How Will The Metaverse Disrupt E-Commerce?

A 100-floor, 100 million sq ft mall is hoping to disrupt e-commerce with space, accessibility and personalised shopping experiences.
Image source: MetaVRse

Last Updated on June 6, 2022

Quick take:

  • Web3 company MetaVRse is building a 100-floor mall in the metaverse.
  • The mall will be launched in Q4 this year.
  • It will be accessible on mobile and desktop anywhere in the world.

The advent of e-commerce has given consumers unprecedented convenience and accessibility. Shoppers are able to purchase products and brands that don’t have a physical presence in their regions but can still be acquired online and delivered right to their doorsteps.

According to Statista, the global e-commerce market reached $4.9 trillion in 2021 and is expected to hit $5.5 trillion in 2022. E-commerce platform, Shopify, stated that the growth of the global e-commerce market shows that “borderless e-commerce is becoming a profitable option for online retailers.”

While e-commerce represents a divide between physical and digital shopping experiences, the emergence of the metaverse can bridge the gap between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail to create a whole new shopping experience that could disrupt e-commerce.

One such example is TheMall, a virtual entertainment and retail destination spanning 100 floors and 100 million sq ft, a feat that has yet to be achieved by any physical mall. TheMall has been in development by code-optional metaverse platform, MetaVRse, for seven years, and will debut in Q4 2022.

TheMall will be accessible anywhere in the world on desktop and mobile without the need for a download, an app or a hardware platform, and will be operating on blockchain technology.

In contrast to the pixel graphics on other metaverse platforms such as Roblox, The Sandbox, and Decentraland, MetaVRse chose to focus on realistic graphics that mirror real-life stores and products.

Developers can modify the floors they own and onboard brands and experience centres. Brands will be able to customise the shopping experience to reach a wider audience, as well as offer a personalised digital experience.

“Brands have the ability to create their own brand environments, exclusive events, or do drops of exclusive merchandise. They can mint NFTs, make interactive games, and measure success through time spent in the mall. There is a direct correlation between the amount of time a patron spends in a mall and the amount of money they spend within that structure, with the different vendors,” Alan Smithson, co-founder of MetaVRse told GamesBeat.

The company will be selling 70 floors as NFTs while the remaining 30 will be sold to investors who can resell them to create liquidity for floor owners. The starting price for each floor is 100 ETH. 

Once up and running, TheMall will accept crypto payments via BitPay, which grants access to 95 different wallets and 15 cryptocurrencies. Users can also pay for their purchases using Stripe. MetaVRse charges a 3% fee for every purchase made in TheMall and takes a 3% cut of the lease fee from developers.

Smithson told GamesBeat that the company is working on integrating VR headsets, and is building a personalised concierge. Gradually, the company hopes to add virtual events, concerts and comedy shows as well as appearances by artists and influencers.

A Google survey found that 66% of people are interested in using AR for help when shopping while Shopify claimed that “products with 3D/AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate.”

Metaverse technology such as AR-powered try-on experiences already allows shoppers to virtually try on products before making the purchase, transforming 2D catalogues into real-time experiences in the digital world.

As evident in the recently concluded Metaverse Fashion Week, brands have been setting up shop in the metaverse to sell digital goods, some of which are backed by physical ones. TheMall isn’t the first metaverse shopping mall, nor will it be the last.

Just like Web3 is the next iteration of the Internet, shopping in the metaverse could well be a successor to traditional online shopping as metaverse technologies continue to evolve and contribute to the growth of the overall e-commerce market.

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