Retail in the Metaverse: What Brands Need to Know Now and Into the Future (2023)

In the fall of 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced changing his company to Meta and the term metaverse has become a buzzword every company wants to be a part of even though the metaverse has been around for years. Still, many aren’t entirely sure what it is or how to utilize it best. We recently spoke with two experts when it comes to creativity, innovation and the retail space, Liz Crawford,VP Planning at TPN and David Richmond, Senior Strategist at TPN (TPN is the creative commerce agency and is part of the Omnicom Commerce Group) to understand more of this new world, about how retail in the metaverse might look, plus how voice technology can make an impact.

In simplest terms, Richmond believes the metaverse is more of an idea than a reality that encompasses immersive virtual experiences. Experiences might include video games, podcasts, crypto communities, VR, avatars and more. “They’re almost like the future of social media. These places are where people will come together and interact with each other for the purpose of socializing. There’s also this sort of Web3 phenomenon, the idea that the internet will become more heterogeneous and decentralized. So it’s almost like it’s up to users and creators to define what it is in the moment,” Richmond added.

“When you say ‘the metaverse,’ it kind of leads you to think that there’s one place, but it’s not,” commented Crawford. In 2003, the original metaverse was born, Second Life. Developed by Philip Rosedale, it promised people the option for a different life away from the reality of their own physical world. In fact, it did exactly what the term metaverse is promising now.

“Here we are nearly 20 years later and we’re having this big conversation about the metaverse. Bitcoin itself began in 2009. Virtual reality started in the late ’80s. And even augmented reality, like Pokemon Go for example, one of the first AR games came out in 2016. These things have been around for a while and I think today it’s simply a new way of thinking and talking about these ideas [and innovating upon them],” added Crawford.

What does retail in the metaverse look like?

Retail has seen its fair share of changes over time and in the last few years and going into Web 3.0 the need for personalized and automated customer experiences are becoming increasingly important to consumers. Consumers and businesses alike are looking to have more control over the way they do things, more ownership and even more creativity.

Still with the adoption of Cryptocurrency not quite high enough yet, Richmond believes it’s more about what he calls the “multiverse” which consists of using multiple channels for a brand to connect with their potential buyers. “I think people are interested in it [the metaverse]. A lot of it, what we’re seeing right now, [is more about], driving brand awareness. People will spend a lot of time in these experiences, they’ll learn about a brand, they’ll form memories with their friends and so people are kind of approaching it like a popup in a way. It’s more of a place to go and experience something cool and maybe get a sample or enter some kind of sweep.

(Video) How will the Metaverse impact the Retail Industry? - Retail Economics

But I’ve not really seen much in terms of actual, shoppable experiences in the metaverse. There are some with a great example I’ve seen with Vans World on Roblox. You can design shoes for your Roblox avatar, which is a brilliant way of filling a void that serves that community, as people love to customize their Roblox avatars. And because there weren’t that many shoes available on platforms, Vans filled that space [in a unique way.]

Then once you’ve customized your avatar shoes, you can order a real life version of them for yourself. I’ve seen Nike too do some interesting stuff with bringing their Roblox experience into the store. [In one experience] you can engage with a sample or a light version of their Roblox game play in-store, in their flagship in downtown Manhattan,” Richmond added.

But what if you could order something directly from the game itself? Playstation Australia partnered with local restaurants to recreate meals in various video games, including Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II which uses ReadSpeaker’s text to speech. Although you had to order directly through a food delivery app, the potential for gamers to order food or products through a game or metaverse experience is a possibility for the future and suggests ideas for retail in the metaverse.

The correlation between gaming and the metaverse is certainly one to notice. “Gaming has definitely led the way in terms of things like virtual research and training,” said Crawford. “[For example,] you could reinvent the aisle, put it in a virtual world and then get research results [or even use it as a training tool]. [Companies like] Walmart used gaming technology that way. So I think that from a technological standpoint, [gaming is] certainly at the forefront and will be lending some of their technology, not only of course to research, but also to actual commerce.

Gaming creates better adoption in many cases simply because it’s fun and entertaining. “People are willing to spend hours, in some cases even the majority of their time in these virtual experiences, because it’s a lot of fun. Whether or not they’re willing to incorporate shopping to that, remains to be seen. I do think that brands that can make it fun and engaging are the ones who are going to win for the time being. I don’t think people are yet at the point where they want to do their chores in a virtual space. And I think a lot of people do see some retail as kind of a chore. At least in a case of something like weekly grocery shopping,” added Richmond.

“Yes, when it comes to something like a shopper mom, she’s all about efficiency of time and effort. If something like grocery shopping is going to take more time [in the metaverse], then forget it,” Crawford said.

(Video) Get A Tour Of The Metaverse Retail Experience

Where does voice technology and a custom branded voice fit into retail in the metaverse?

When it comes to any new technology, it’s not about adding it to an environment just to say you’ve done it. It’s always about answering the question: Is this useful and does it make something easier or better? If the answer is no, then using a new technology or creating something for the metaverse simply doesn’t make sense.

It’s why Richmond suggests that for now, people are coming to these metaverse experiences primarily for entertainment and novelty.

If entertainment and experience is the primary purpose for the metaverse, how can retail create that excitement yet still keep with brand consistency? One way is with voice technology and even more specifically, a branded voice. Brands like State Farm have their branded icon, Jake from State Farm in video games like NBA 2K22, Hello Kitty’s voice is used in their Android Google Action game (a custom branded text to speech voice created by ReadSpeaker) and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon also has a voice available for use on TikTok.

“I think there’s a number of ways that voice becomes important in the metaverse,” suggested Richmond. “Sound design is really important for increasing brand awareness and even consideration. Of course these are virtual worlds, so you have a greater degree of control over the experience. Sound is incredibly intimate. It’s a tactile sensation. I think in general, people overlook sound because we’re so visually oriented. But in a way that sort of lowers their guard. People are constantly exposed to ad visuals, but maybe not as conscientious about how what they hear influences them. There’s a lot of data suggesting that people are really open to and receptive to recommendations from podcast hosts [for example]. And it’s because they feel a strong affinity from just listening to their voices all the time.”

According to research by Professor Albert Mehrabian, words account for only 7% of communication. How something is said is far more important than the words used when conveying meaning. A brand voice is a direct personification of the values your brand stands for and a custom branded voice allows for brand consistency, brand legacy and customer loyalty while allowing a brand to keep their own data and be personalized and unique.

Learn more about ReadSpeaker here. Have questions about a custom branded voice for your brand? Contact ReadSpeaker today here.

(Video) The Future Of Fashion Retail In The Metaverse

“It doesn’t seem we’re heading towards true seamless interoperability anytime soon, meaning being able to travel from one world to another, but that’s why having a consistent brand voice becomes almost more important. Because when you’re engaging with the metaverse, you might be engaging on Minecraft and Roblox and Fortnite and a proprietary platform you created yourself simultaneously.

So being able to just type out a message and have it instantly manifest in a consistent way across platforms [with something like a custom branded text to speech voice], is ideal. It sort of removes room for error. You don’t want to have Jake from State Farm having to record a ton of new audio. It becomes easier to manage all these different spokes on the metaverse wheel with just one voice which becomes a tool rather than a task to be constantly recorded,” Richmond added.

“You could also easily create a branded voice and then auction that off as an NFT,” said Richmond. “What’s interesting to me is that, then you can really have something that’s proprietary. When you talk about brand voice you probably want some things that are proprietary. I think that making sure that whatever it is, it can travel across many multiverses and still stay yours and stay consistent,” Crawford added.

Adding even more value, Richmond said, “A custom branded voice is like having one unified voice that speaks many different languages or communicates that character, and that feeling that you’re trying to get across. Cross culturally it is also really interesting. Different intonations can carry different meanings in different languages or social contexts. When voice becomes a tool, you just get a lot more control over that [like you would with a branded text to speech voice].”

When it come to getting started in the metaverse, make sure no matter what, your brand is seen and heard in multiple places, Crawford suggested, adding, “I think that the other thing too is, we do need to think about NFTs as things that pretty much every brand should be considering selling or giving. Whether it’s access to an exclusive Nike club or whether it’s just a way to have, let’s call it, a permanent 10% discount off of something. So it’s like a coupon that could be used over and over again, your personal coupon.

And they could even be changed and reprogrammed and you could target some of your best customers and say, ‘Okay, we’re going to sell these things or give these things to induce different kinds of behaviors, because they’re tokens.’ I do think that it requires some creativity in terms of thinking.

(Video) [Metaverse Roadshow] The future of retail commerce powered by the Metaverse with Alan Smithson

In my experience in the business, we tend to think along the same lines, ‘Okay, here comes the brief and here comes the coupons and the ads and all this other stuff.’ Yet we also need to be thinking about, ‘Hey, what’s happening in the multiverse?’ I think right now we have a multiverse. I think the dream is to have a metaverse.”

Richmond added, “It’s something to have fun with right now. The opportunity for brands is to kind of create a definitive experience because it’s in the early days of [this new metaverse.] I think the pitfall is to create something that’s just sort of drab, fills in the blank. Have some fun with it. Don’t be afraid to do something really wacky or kind of lighthearted.

I also would love to see more hybridization, like using NFTs or selling some kind of access or something that has a long-lived value and for whoever owns it. Maybe it’s a popup that is accessible both virtually and in real life? I think what’ll be exciting to see is that interaction between what’s real and what’s virtual. Making it exciting or playing with the novelty of getting a product in real life, that means something in the virtual world as well. Nerf had done this thing where you could buy a Nerf gun and then your character in Roblox got a corresponding weapon. I feel like that’s almost underexplored and underutilized. I’m hopeful that this year and next we’ll see a lot of fun stuff playing, blurring the lines between the physical and virtual worlds.”

To learn more about TPN visit their website or reach out to for any business opportunity discussions.

Learn more about ReadSpeaker here. Have questions about a custom branded voice for your brand or about retail in the metaverse? Contact ReadSpeaker today here.


What is the future of retail industry in metaverse? ›

So, what is the future of metaverse retail? As we move further into a digital world, it's important for brands to focus on creating emotionally appealing retail experiences. In the metaverse, this means using sight and sound to create a space that feels as real as possible.

What is the metaverse strategy for brands? ›

Metaverse is unlike any other marketing strategy. It allows you to create a world specifically for a product or service and take your customers through an immersive experience. However, it is also essential to note that immersive marketing campaigns require time, effort, and large capital.

Which retail brands enter the metaverse? ›

While for many people this all sounds fanciful, a growing number of companies are buying up space in the metaverse so that they can set up shop there. These firms include the likes of Adidas, Burberry, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Samsung, Louis Vuitton, and even banks HSBC and JP Morgan.

What retail experiences are in the metaverse? ›

Retailers can also use the metaverse to offer unique experiences to customers. This could include virtual tours of the store, virtual product demonstrations, or even virtual events. Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enables individuals to interact with digital or virtual objects in the physical world.

What are the three pillars of the retail metaverse? ›

Intentionality must drive the three key pillars that retailers build into their metaverse: community, experience, and engagement.

What will be in demand in metaverse? ›

JavaScript, C#, Java, Rust and Python are a few programming languages that will be in demand in the metaverse. Learning these programming languages can be very rewarding. Not only can you create something that others will enjoy, but you can also make money from your creations.

What big brands are investing in metaverse? ›

Top 10 companies investing in the metaverse in 2023
  • 3 Google.
  • 4 Facebook. ...
  • 5 Decentraland. ...
  • 6 Nvidia. ...
  • 7 Shopify. ...
  • 8 Unity Technologies. ...
  • 9 Roblox. ...
  • 10 Epic Games. As the creator of the immensely popular game Fortnite, it is hardly surprising that Epic Games would want its success in immersive technologies to continue. ...
Jan 20, 2023

What are luxury brands doing in the metaverse? ›

The metaverse offers brands the ability to overcome geographical limitations, convert experiences into products and merge the distinction between self-service and contact centers using AI-driven digital avatars.

How brands are monetizing in the metaverse? ›

Through integrations, brands can use the metaverse as one additional sales channel by integrating systems that allow customers to buy, invest, and sell in the metaverse, whether using fiat currency (government-issued money) or cryptocurrency.

Which retail brand launched first in metaverse? ›

H&M Metaverse

According to H&M, the apparel accessible in the metaverse will be available in actual stores later. H&M has become the first retail clothing store in the metaverse with the opening of a store. The garment company will be able to offer its customers a 3D buying experience in its virtual store.

Why are retailers interested in metaverse? ›

Metaverse and Online Retail Have Different Business Models:

User Experience: Unlike internet retail, which offers a more conventional online purchasing experience, the metaverse offers a more immersive user experience that makes customers feel like they are truly in the virtual world.

Will the metaverse replace physical stores? ›

The Metaverse is not going to replace physical or online stores anytime soon (if at all). However, in years to come, it may increasingly sit alongside today's omnichannel retail experience as a complimentary part of an increasingly immersive, 3D digital experience.

What products can be sold on the metaverse? ›

NFTs are a vital component of any metaverse platform, providing businesses with an easy, clear-cut way to sell their products and make money. Non-fungible tokens are digital assets such as art, music, or videos that can be traded and sold using cryptocurrencies.

What are products in the metaverse? ›

Mini-games. Augmented and/or virtual reality experiences. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other cryptocurrencies. QR codes.

How do you build a retail store in the metaverse? ›

How To Start A Metaverse Company in 4 Steps
  1. Step 1: Create a Customer Persona. Identify the type of customers you're trying to connect with. ...
  2. Step 2: Understand the Virtual Space. ...
  3. Step 3: Create Different Marketing Channels. ...
  4. Step 4: Begin Your Virtual Journey.
Sep 3, 2022

What are the 4 Ps of metaverse? ›

It encompasses the four P's of the marketing: price, product, promotion and place. Marketing and advertising in the metaverse can offer new places to buy and new ways to promote.

What are the 8 elements of metaverse? ›

The eight key technologies in Metaverse are – Extended Reality, User Interactivity, Artificial intelligence, Block Chain, Computing Vision, Internet of Things, Robotics, Edge and Cloud Computing and Future Mobile networks that are relevant to Metaverse.

What industries will be on the metaverse? ›

Here is a listicle of the top ten industries augmented by Metaverse.
  • Information Technology. First on our list, and the leading investor in the world of Metaverse, is the IT industry. ...
  • Music Industry. ...
  • Real Estate Industry. ...
  • Hospitality Industry. ...
  • Film Industry. ...
  • Education. ...
  • Financial Industry. ...
  • Marketing.
Jan 23, 2023

What industries will the metaverse affect? ›

The metaverse will have its biggest immediate impact not in the consumer sector, but on industry and business. Digital twin technology is already in widespread use across industry, in fields including shipping and aerospace.

What to expect in future with metaverse? ›

According to Bloomberg, the Metaverse's economic projections could reach 800 billion by 2025 and 2.5 trillion by 2030. As a result, the Metaverse appears to be the future universe. Big companies are eager to invest heavily in new technology.

What companies will profit most from metaverse? ›

This article looks at 5 of the best metaverse stocks to buy in 2022: Meta Platforms Inc., Microsoft Corp., Nvidia Corp., Roblox Corp. and Matterport. All of these companies have different products and services that will benefit from the growth of the metaverse.

What are 5 metaverse stocks? ›

The 7 Best Metaverse Stocks to Buy in March 2023
UUnity Software$28.72
THNQROBO Global Artificial Intelligence ETF$30.86
2 more rows
Mar 26, 2023

What is the best thing to invest in the metaverse? ›

Land in the metaverse is highly sought after in the virtual real estate market. The facilities and cities where users will be able to attend sporting, work or cultural events will be built. Decentraland and The Sandbox are two of the most relevant creators, and both sell plots to start building virtual worlds.

How much do metaverse clothes cost? ›

Creating a fashion item in the Metaverse can vary in investment from $1 to $700 per item, while their MSRP can range anywhere from $10 to $8,400.

How many fashion brands are in the metaverse? ›

In fact, this past year we saw the advent of the world's first Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW), a wholly virtual event featuring more than 60 luxury and digital brands.

What brands are buying metaverse real estate? ›

While a fully operational virtual world where adults can socialize and engage with companies is still years away, more than 200 consumer-facing brands, including Gucci, Atari, Wari Music Group and HSBC, have already purchased virtual land in the metaverse.

What are 3 ways to monetize in the metaverse? ›

The metaverse typically uses digital assets such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to make transactions.
In the virtual world, it offer various activities such as:
  • Shopping.
  • Gaming.
  • Buying and selling art and collectibles.
  • Attending conferences and events.
  • Employment opportunities.
Jan 5, 2023

Can you make passive income in the metaverse? ›

As the metaverse continues to develop and evolve, the opportunities for generating passive income within this digital space are also increasing. Investors can benefit from virtual real estate investments, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and metaverse tokens.

What brands are in metaverse digital? ›

Brands you may not have realized are metaverse platforms include Niantic (Pokémon Go), Roblox and Microsoft. We're already there, just not with all the technologies and platforms we hope to utilize.

Who is the first influencer in metaverse? ›

Created by TopSocial in January this year, Kyra is India's first CGI-rendered virtual influencer, built for the metaverse.

What is an example of marketing in metaverse? ›

Famous brands have stepped into the metaverse and are selling virtual accessories. Users can buy these to develop their avatars. For example, you can buy Nike's branded sports apparel and footwear in Roblox and Adidas' branded virtual gear in the Open Sea NFT marketplace.

How do you attract customers to metaverse? ›

6 Ways Small Businesses Can Market in the Metaverse
  1. Offer collectibles. Sixty percent of Americans identify themselves as collectors. ...
  2. Engage with existing communities. ...
  3. Use native advertising. ...
  4. Establish your own metaverse platform. ...
  5. Allow customers to try products. ...
  6. Create interactive and immersive events.
Feb 16, 2023

Is Gucci in the metaverse? ›

Gucci has launched an experimental space for NFTs, vintage items and emerging creators in The Sandbox, making it the first major luxury brand to build its own world in the metaverse platform.

What company leads in the metaverse and why? ›

Epic Games is a leading software development company boasting the creation of games like Fortnite. Epic is now joining the metaverse movement and creating virtual social experiences within a metaverse where people interact as avatars at events such as dinner parties and music concerts.

Will the metaverse replace smartphones? ›

Whether using your GPS-enabled app to get around, keeping in touch with friends and family, or surfing the web, the average consumer circa 2022 is quite dependent on their smartphone.

How will the metaverse affect shopping? ›

The metaverse—the future of commerce

The metaverse is an exciting new development that offers new opportunities for virtual shopping, customer interactivity, and branding. Using technology such as virtual reality, you can create unique and immersive shopping experiences that can revolutionize customer engagement.

Will brands also have avatars in the metaverse? ›

Overall, avatars in the metaverse provide a unique opportunity for brands to engage with users in a more personal and immersive way. By creating branded avatars and providing unique virtual experiences, brands can build stronger relationships with users and increase brand awareness and loyalty.

Can I sell clothes in metaverse? ›

Selling clothes in the Metaverse is an exciting opportunity for fashion retailers and designers to reach a wider audience and provide a unique brand experience. Here are some of the key benefits of Metaverse Fashion.

How many companies are in the metaverse? ›

Currently, over 160+ Metaverse companies are working to harness the full potential of the Metaverse. Since the Metaverse is an emerging technology, there are numerous opportunities available for companies to contribute to enhancing the virtual world.

How do I sell my brand in metaverse? ›

Here we'll give you some tips to help you get the most from your metaverse branding efforts.
  1. Replicate the physical retail experience with a virtual venue.
  2. Integrate augmented reality.
  3. Create virtual items for digital avatars.
  4. Host immersive virtual events and build other experiences.
May 3, 2022

How much does it cost to create a metaverse store? ›

In the fiscal 2022, the company now is expected to spend over $80 billion. However, on an average the cost of a Metaverse social media platform can range from $25,000 to $400,000, depending on the feature-set and technologies used to develop the platform.

What is the market size of metaverse for retail? ›

The global metaverse market was accounted for USD 68.49 billion in 2022 and it is estimated to surpass around USD 1.3 trillion by 2030 with a registered CAGR of 44.5% during the forecast period 2022 to 2030.

Which industry will benefit from metaverse? ›

Information Technology

The IT industry is both a consumer and a producer of augmented reality. With this new technology, IT companies have been using Metaverse to improve their workflows. They've been using the technology for everything from designing new products to testing new software.

What does the metaverse mean for retailers? ›

The Metaverse will allow online users to shop and engage with products in the virtual world using a digital avatar. of their choosing and/or design. Imagine entering this new type of store and engaging with products AND other people using your virtual avatar.

How can metaverse help retail? ›

Avatar accessories and apparel can be purchased in the metaverse, and, in some cases, there may even be a match to the item that can be purchased by shoppers in the real world. These items ultimately create additional revenue and business opportunities for your retail store.

What companies are making money in the metaverse? ›

One of the most significant benefits of the metaverse is that it offers various options for businesses and individuals to make money. Many big brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Adidas, and Nike, are making big strides in harnessing the full potential of the metaverse.

What stock will benefit most from the metaverse? ›

Nvidia (NVDA)

One of the best metaverse stocks to buy is Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), a no-brainer investment in the niche. Over the years, the company has risen to prominence for its cutting-edge GPUs that ushered in a digital revolution across multiple industries.

What is the metaverse industry expecting in US dollar by 2030? ›

With its potential to generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030, the metaverse is too big for companies to ignore. How do we navigate a virtual world that is still taking shape?

What stocks will be related to the metaverse? ›

Like NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META),, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are metaverse stocks that many hedge funds in our database owned at the end of Q4. Click to continue reading and see 5 Most Promising Metaverse Stocks to Buy.

What technologies will metaverse use? ›

The Metaverse is based on the integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology, allowing for multimodal interactions with digital products, virtual settings, and people. As a result, the Metaverse is a networked web of immersive and sociable multiuser permanent platforms.

Is Walmart in the metaverse? ›

Top Retailers Like Walmart and Lowe's Enter the Metaverse: How to Harness the Power of Web3, VR, and AR. What is the metaverse?

Why do brands need to be in the metaverse? ›

The single biggest reason people say they would use the metaverse is to “experience things they can't in physical reality”. 85% of consumers say brands will simply need to have a digital presence to be successful in the future. 81% think that a brand's digital presence is as important as its in-store presence.

How do you build a retail store in metaverse? ›

How To Start A Metaverse Company in 4 Steps
  1. Step 1: Create a Customer Persona. Identify the type of customers you're trying to connect with. ...
  2. Step 2: Understand the Virtual Space. ...
  3. Step 3: Create Different Marketing Channels. ...
  4. Step 4: Begin Your Virtual Journey.
Sep 3, 2022


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2. The Future of Retailing: The Metaverse
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6. A PSFK Guide to Brand Activation, Retail Sales & Doing Business in the Metaverse & Virtual Worlds
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