This holiday season, digital marketing is changing as the metaverse raises the bar for online purchasing engagement and opens up new possibilities for brand-customer interaction. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the metaverse business will generate close to $800 billion by 2024. XR shopping is now becoming popular and changing the digital marketing space.
The principles of economics, such as supply and demand, and competitive advantages, still hold true today. But brands must start considering how XR (Extended Reality) technology improves the shopping experience for their customers.
According to recent Accenture data, 64% of consumers have bought virtual goods, used virtual experiences, or used virtual services in the last year. Mobile Marketer also states that 63% of businesses have adopted or are considering adopting XR technology to promote brand discovery and sales. In the metaverse, Brands will want to connect with their customers as quickly as possible hence the need for technologies like XR.
XR trends influencing holiday shopping
The following XR trends should be at the forefront of every forward-thinking retail marketer’s thoughts this holiday season:
Virtual Reality in Retail
By 2030, there are expected to be 1 billion XR users, making it an essential component of every brand’s omnichannel strategy. Immersive experiences can reimagine the in-store experience, out-of-store experience, and digital product visualization when implemented well. Some shoppers only need to purchase the gifts in the most practical manner since they have already laid out exactly what they want to purchase.
In-Store AR-Driven Christmas Events
Mega retail events can connect people uniquely and cross geographical boundaries in the metaverse. Additionally, the power of the omnichannel buyer has never been greater: compared to in-store shoppers, they make purchases 70% more frequently and spend 34% more overall. One huge advantage of experiential retail is that it can encourage time-pressed customers to make more purchases in one location, keeping them there longer.
Lancôme gave its customers a taste of Paris for the holidays in December 2021. Customers worldwide were taken to the Eiffel Tower via a fantastic gateway experience using augmented reality. As a result, Lancôme was able to offer Parisian beauty to its customers for the holiday season both in-store and at home through a highly tailored experience.
Growing Use of Virtual Try-Ons
Technology advances have made virtual try-ons better, more user-friendly, and more authentic. To enable customers to visualize how a Christmas sweater, special occasion dress, or other clothing might appear on their bodies, Walmart recently bought virtual fitting room startup Zeekit and released its own virtual try-on application. The goal is to give customers the assurance that a product they choose will fit them.
Online platform shopping
Targeting the holiday social media scroller is now simple, thanks to the arrival of transactional or social shopping capabilities on Facebook/Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. The advantages are massive. Customers can purchase directly from a social feed or an AR lens with holiday-themed content, which facilitates consumer experience from focused engagement. Marketers can, in other words, collapse the conventional marketing funnel.
Why retail brands should reimagine online and adopt XR shopping
With immersive experiences, businesses can establish locations with a seasonal theme based on actual retail stores, construct a special creative concept store, or conduct an event in an unanticipated but memorable setting. According to research, 51% of marketers believe leveraging experiential is the second most successful trend. Sam’s Club built a 3-D experience of the Griswold family residence in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to allow customers to browse holiday goods in a pleasant yet familiar setting. This gave customers a discovery-driven approach to shop.
More businesses are resorting to social augmented reality as a quick method to test the metaverse. Collaborations between brands and gamification effectively increase engagement, virality, and sales. For NYFW this year, Snapchat developed AR lenses to promote social commerce. The app has 250 million users that interact with augmented reality daily.
AR for holiday commerce experiences is beneficial since holiday returns cost retailers less. While 66% of consumers claim to be interested in utilizing augmented reality to assist them when shopping, 80% of AR shoppers report feeling more secure in their purchases due to using AR.
The advantage is that two-thirds of customers are less likely to return a product after utilizing an augmented reality function, which boosts sales.
Retail brands should prepare for XR shopping to be Metaverse-ready
The ideal time to change retail regulations is during this holiday season. That’s because, apart from short-term gains, seasonal marketing offers opportunities for longer-term consumer relationships and brand-building metaverse marketing strategies. The newest trends are ready for discovery by an eager army of metaverse shoppers throughout the next holiday season. And these people are preparing to buy more things. VR headsets and AR glasses open the door to new users and help them get closer to a hyper-realistic metaverse as headsets and immersive solutions become more inexpensive.