Imagine trying on a new pair of sneakers virtually from home or shopping in a virtual store in real time with a friend who’s in a different city. This is what the future of retail could look like in the metaverse.
The metaverse is shaping up to be the buzzword of 2022 — and for good reason. For retailers, the metaverse represents a significant opportunity to advertise products and services. And while there are still many unanswered questions about what the metaverse will look like and the role it could play in the shopping experience, brands like Walmart are already preparing for their entrance into the space. Retailers who aren’t ready to dive into this new virtual world (when the time comes) risk losing their edge over the competition.
To remain competitive, retailers need to be agile and ready to adopt new trends. But how can retailers keep pace with the evolving ecommerce market? That’s where a product-to-consumer (P2C) management strategy comes into play.
P2C management is an agile solution that streamlines the path product data takes as it moves between suppliers and buyers. Retailers can better manage their feeds and ensure consistent product content across all channels, enabling them to be well prepared when the metaverse arrives.
What Will Shopping in the Metaverse Look Like?
When most people think about the metaverse, they think of virtual reality (VR). While VR will play a large role, the metaverse will also include augmented reality (AR), in the form of AR glasses. AR glasses are wearable devices that can display AR content in the user’s field of vision.
Many retailers have long considered how they can incorporate the ease and convenience of online shopping into in-store experiences. This is where the metaverse and AR can help create seamless touch points for consumers, wherever they prefer to shop. For example, retailers can have a virtual sales assistant appear through the lens of a customer’s AR glasses to answer questions while they shop in-store, or the customer can virtually try on an out-of-stock product through a digital overlay on the AR glasses.
Retailers can also use AR to provide more detailed product information for in-store shoppers, like enabling easy access to reviews or sizing information.
Augmented reality also unlocks great advertising opportunities for retailers. Through AR glasses, a retailer could create digital billboards that lead to more product information. In this immersive digital world, advertising space is unlimited.
With all of these future benefits, you can’t sit back and watch as other retailers make the voyage into the metaverse. The new augmented and virtual landscape is rife with opportunities for retailers — and it’s time to adopt or risk falling behind.
How P2C Management Can Help You Dive Into the Metaverse
So, how can you take advantage of the opportunities the metaverse presents? The metaverse is still a work in progress, but you can prepare for its arrival in the retail world by ensuring your commerce management system and product information are in order. That starts with a P2C management strategy: a systematic approach to controlling, directing, and optimizing your commerce ecosystem. Ultimately, a P2C approach simplifies your tech stack and the flow of the product information you manage.
With a P2C management strategy, you can:
1. Simplify Commerce and Feed Management
There are countless ecommerce channels available today. Without the right approach, managing product data across these channels can be a challenge. A P2C management strategy enables cross-platform operations so you can automate monitoring and tracking, integrate systems, and unlock complete visibility of your data. This strategy also allows you to seamlessly onboard and manage new channels in a centralized repository — helping expand your reach and up your omnichannel game.
2. Maintain Consistent Product Content
You don’t want consumers encountering incorrect information within the metaverse and then discovering inconsistencies (e.g., the wrong price, blurry photos, inaccurate inventory counts) when they’re shopping through a different channel. Inaccurate product content can be damaging to your bottom line — in fact, misleading product information costs companies from 6% to even 10% in revenue and between 3% and 7% in profit. When the time comes to enter the metaverse, a P2C management strategy can help ensure you have consistent product information — and a more streamlined customer experience.
3. Unlock Agility
The ability to quickly react to trends is essential for keeping pace with the global commerce market. Whether you need to launch new products or scale down your campaigns in real time, a P2C management strategy can quickly enable these changes. With an agile and scalable P2C foundation, you can adopt new commerce channels into your ecosystem and ensure these channels are set up for success.
It’s Time to Prepare for the Metaverse
To keep your competitive edge, you need to prepare for this new future of retail. With a P2C strategy, you can enhance your commerce management and ensure accurate product content across all channels. So, when the metaverse is finally here, you’ll be ready to jump in and take full advantage.
— Thomas Kasemir, Chief Product Officer, Productsup