Metaverse’s impact on marketing and commerce


In a recent two-day virtual session on “How is digital transformation and the ‘Metaverse’ World impacting future marketing and commerce?”, Justin W. Hochberg, CEO and Co-founder of Virtual Brand Group, a leader in creating innovative virtual experience in the metaverse, summarized the metaverse into three core multi-layered gateways, infrastructure, and consumers.  


Gateways comprise of over 40 different gaming or social platforms to be chosen.  Each of them has their own rules, technical protocols, revenue models, communities and costs.   While Infrastructure include 9 different base technology areas to navigate with functions and features eg minting, cryptocurrencies, Adtech, hosting, AI, digital twinning, cloud, scaling and data management.  Consumers involve avatar creation tech, marketplaces, payment systems, reward programs, user interface, community platforms, social media.


New era of marketing and commerce has been significantly changed over the years.    Thanks to technology advancement and innovation of Web 3.0, Metaverse, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Blockchain, 5G, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR) and other upcoming development, retailers and brands are moving to a more real-time responsive operating model and immersive users’ experience in virtual world.


“The metaverse that has no laws of physics and cost, it is a great place to be innovative and creative” Hochberg added.


Barry Thomas, Senior Retail – Commerce Consultant, Kantar, illustrated Alibaba Group’s case study in China under the Era 4 Algorithm-driven commerce which are diverse in global marketplaces and ecosystems, on-demand, online to offline (O2O), and metaverse incubation.  


Key success factors rely on AI and automation, Retail as a Service business model, Speed to market, Unified E2E synchronized data IDs which create about 8,000 datapoints on one user, Voice commerce, Enterpreneurial models.  Most companies take a dual transformation approach towards extending the lifespan of the current core business while seizing ‘moonshot’ opportunities with talents and capital.


This also takes Generation 4 Leadership which leads to courage, focus, determination to tap new S-curve opportunities.   The highest-value areas are data collection in all data points equipped with AI and automation and enterprise agility capabilities to gain competitive advantages.


Sebastien Borget, Chief Operation Officer & Co-founder, The Sandbox shared how its virtual lands in the metaverse to enable entertainment companies, brands, and artists around the world in curating exclusive contents and closer engagement with fans and driving new revenue streams.  Over 200 major brands eg Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Gucci have participated in The Sandbox and a wide variety in games, music, sports, adventures, entertainment, arts, fashion are building virtual lands in the metaverse.


To monetize their contents in the metaverse, brands need to have clear goals of bringing values and creating community participation, to be creative in NFTs variables and contents, to sell 3D avatars which are unique and remix with new ideas, to give extra values for NFT tickets eg to meet or chat with celebrities, as VIP member for any concerts.    This can be a bridge between the virtual world and physical world.


With successful debut of the South China Morning Post’s initiatives ‘1997 Premium Series’ tradeable NFTs launched on last Monday, Gary Liu, CEO of South China Morning Post, shared his vision over the potential business to develop a standardized metadata structure to tokenise historical accounts and assets on the blockchain, through its venture called Artifact Labs.  


Those historical arts, photographs and contents from its 118-year-old archives can be turned into NFT collectibles, ARTIFACTS, which are unique and tradeable.


Liu believed that Web 3.0 will drive more applications on blockchain infrastructure and open-source and to ensure immutability with decentralized ownership of data or contents and while Metaverse will be an immersive space with creativity and imagination contents and experiences in the virtual world.

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