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The Increasing Adoption of XR in Retail

In a recent KPMG UK study, there was further confirmation of the importance that companies must understand their audiences and their objectives when creating Metaverse strategies – with clear insights into how to deliver value and a great User experience (UX) in virtual environments. While still emerging, the growing appreciation of the opportunities and benefits with XR (eXtended Reality) is contributing to the increasing adoption of immersive technology. The report also highlighted how younger consumers are more optimistic about virtual services with 2 / 3 of 18 to 24-year-olds have a favorable opinion of the Metaverse.

Consumers believe the Metaverse could provide an assistive tool for optimising buyer and learner experiences. For example, instead of replacing “ water-cooler conversations ” some consumers see the Metaverse as a space to improve shopping and learning journeys. In addition to training, XR has high appeal in marketing campaigns and for retail to bring new brand experiences with engaging visuals and an immersive environment to consumers. In a separate survey, 50 % of people indicated they would shop in VR over in-person or online on a browser, 33 % would use Metaverse platforms for entertainment, and 84 % of companies plan to increase or sustain investments into enterprise-grade Metaverse services.

Of significant note is NIKELAND, the sports firm’s Metaverse hosts has ~ 7,000,000 members in ~ 223 countries where the service enables people to play branded interactive games and have new experiences where they can engage with Nike products before purchasing. For kids, NIKELAND leverages the child-friendly digital platform to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage movement with several smartphone mini-games. The games encourage people to move around a virtual environment using accelerometers and AR hardware to detect motion. With the success of the Metaverse operations, the NIKE Digital division for Web3-based operations now makes up 26 % of the sports brand.

Another example is Walmart providing immersive shopping experiences with a range of immersive try-on options available for at-home shoppers. In addition, VR services are being expanded to increase appeal of virtual shopping and the options for people to engage with them.

Hermès is also leveraging XR technologies to expand their communications and presence in the metaverse for shopping, live events, and gaming.

As well, various brands are utilizing integrated technologies such as NFTs, blockchain, avatar systems, and tokens to attract and engage people as well as to improve CX insights for greater brand retention with click-through, personalization strategies,  purchases, etc.

May 16, 2023                     By Rory Greener / CAIL                     CAIL Innovation commentary                                               905-940-9000