RTIH: When did you first become interested in the metaverse and how did you become convinced that it’s the future of retail?
BB: We’ve imagined a shared virtual world integrated with a retail experience since 2015 where we shared our vision at a TedX event.
Marxent developed the first AR application for the App Store in 2011. We launched the first enterprise implementation of VR at Macy’s in 2018.
We’ve been on the cutting edge of the metaverse for over 10 years and believe that within the home category, we’re creating a platform that will make major contributions.
RTIH: How quickly will shopping habits migrate to the metaverse?
BB: We’ve generated over $3 billion in 3D enabled sales through our applications already. The metaverse creates a world of new opportunities for retailers leveraging 3D.
There are a lot of gimmicky campaign applications, like product launches in Roboxand Metaverse Fashion Week, or exclusive product launches tied to NFTs.
We are more interested in sustainable 3D applications that deliver ROI for retailers now and that bridge virtual and real reality.
RTIH: How does a retailer who needs results today, get ready for the metaverse?
BB: A 3D content management system is paramount. This is the very first investment.
The second major investment is transitioning product catalogues and business rules into that 3D content management system.
RTIH: How important is customisation/ personalisation and configuration to the metaverse and the future of retail?
BB: The great power of 3D is the ability for shoppers to customise and personalise.
Home categories are among the first categories to come into the metaverse precisely because they are configurable, high consideration categories that require design, personalisation, configuration, and visualisation.
RTIH: As the metaverse becomes more present in the life of consumers, how should brands be rethinking their approach to omnichannel?
BB: Many of these 3D experiences will live simultaneously in multiple channels. Access via a retailer or manufacturer website will continue. The next phase is to make them discoverable across the metaverse.