NFT and metaverse: the new marketing of GAFAM?

The metaverse, from dream to reality – The origins of our exchanges and of our sociality derive from bartering. Upon closer inspection, trading starts all over again. From a logical and simple observation: “if you want the milk from my cows, you will have to give me your grain in exchange”. Subsequently, without following a course in history and anthropology, money appeared as the equivalent of value. It has allowed many political, state and commercial powers to develop across borders.

One thing led to another, thanks to a voluntary ellipse on the progress of technologies, we then arrive at the birth of e-commerce, exacerbated by the arrival, development and rise of the Internet. The appearance of the term then Web 3, evolution of the Web 2internet as we know it, has given birth to NFT technology, an almost tailor-made solution to consider the possibility – for the moment unfinished – of a metaverse open to all, a free trade area and, consequently, business.

So prophetic, books like Snow crash or the movie Ready player one become a probable dystopian reality for some. But not for the others. In fact, from Amazon to E-bay passing through Meta (formerly Facebook) are we not already in an era of the metaverse – embryonic of course – powered by NFT and blockchain technology? Taken by storm by the giants of commerce, has the metaverse slipped from the novel of anticipation to a reality already consumed? Let’s get some height.

In order not to get lost in the Meta-Hebdo:

Amazon, E-bay, Orange … shop in the metaverse

In front of Internet 2.0 is running out it’s a blockchain technology that despite obstacles continues to make its way into the hearts of its users, commerce has in fact adapted to the situation and to the new and emerging demands of consumers. Art, Luxury, Sport, Politics, there is no sector that does not have it has begun to adopt specific codes for the so-called world of cryptocurrencies.

However, beyond this visible adoption, there are metaverse specific functions that we use in smartphone applications. We have even integrated them into our daily life without realizing it. Amazon allows you, for example, to view in 3D your future furniture in your home. Branching out, theAmazon’s involvement in the creation of the digital euro enters this dynamic of a commercial giant that is already an actor – criticizable – of the Web 3.

Orange Spain, a subsidiary of Orange, also recently opened its store in the metaverse with spaces provided for brands to showcase their innovations and products. Aided by a partnership with Meta and its Meta Quest virtual viewer, the consumer experience is in the words of Diego Martínez, Director of the Orange Business Unitthe nerve of the company’s future:

“With the opening of our store in the metaverse, we have become pioneers in this environment, deepening our commitment to innovation and digital transformation and, above all, improving the experience of our customers who thus have another point of contact. with the company. “

Collection of NFTs by E-Bay, development of recognized NFTs and parts of Nike, conquering the metaverse is an effective strategy for these giants of commerce

The Orange Spain store in the metaverse – Source: Orange

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NFT and metaverse: one does not do without the other

So yes. Talking about metaverse doesn’t necessarily imply talking about blockchain technologies. However, the latter allowed the birth of NFT, true proof of the authenticity of an avatar or virtual object. The contract engraved on the blockchain in progress undeniable proof of ownership.

Adopted by the big stars, the NFT collections like those of CryptoPunk or also Bored Ape Yacht Club has enabled metaverse development by attracting investors and other business magnates such as Paris Hilton.

For the more enthusiastic, NFTs even appear as the new foundation for a worn-out global trade. In a society where we all wear the same clothes, we are all in the same places, we use the same networks, offering NFT on behalf of a brand is the way to allow the consumer to truly belong to the community.

We are already in a 3.0 trade

Quite quickly, we understand that we are already in the 3.0 era of commerce. QR codes accompany our lives, like the one that sticks to our health pass. Sharpened by the so-called “covid” period we have experienced, the concept of a virtual common space open to all makes sense.

Amazon, eBay, Halfbut still Microsoft they are all major players in traditional trade who have already embarked on the race to the metaverse and to the development of NFTs. Nike, which emerged stronger from the acquisition of RTFKT studios, won the lead with its own Cryptocurrencies.

Nike and RTFKT launch the Cryptokicks, the brand's first NFT sneakers.

GucciLouis Vuitton or Balenciaga, luxury and regularly avant-garde haute couture are also stimulated by the experiences made possible by NFTs and the metaverse for their clients. Gucci even accepting Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in some of its outlets.

Finally, sports marketing has also shown its interest in the metaverse. From the construction of a virtual stadium to Manchester Citythe creation of fan token platforms (sports club cryptocurrencies) such as Partner. NFTs were thus able to show their value and position themselves as safe solution for trade and not as a threat.

The evolution of technologies therefore allows the trade to continue its development at a time when it is ending. Indeed, the concept of click to buy having gradually moved towards that ofexperiment to buy.

The metaverse pushes the boundaries of reality for brands

Beyond the cryptocurrency winter we’re all going through, a lot fundraiser and other forward-looking studies such as McKinsey’s show the growing and propulsive interest of the metaverse and of NFT ramifications. Commerce, social networks, virtual experiences, the evolution of gaming, the metaverse allows brands to go further.

By property of NFT they can propose a true virtual identity to their consumer, proposing a world – supposedly – as a free and inclusive space. This space therefore allows the creation of an omnichannel business.

The metaverse: an omnipresence of the brand

The term omnichannel it is a concept that, with the birth and rise of the metaverse, gives it meaning. Coming from marketing, this term underlines the fact that the metaverse makes it possible to maintain all communication channels and to connect them in a starting point and in a central sales space, most of the time physical. Here, the metaverse offers a virtual sales space, open 24 hours a day. The brands intend to play well with distance and space in this new playground.

Catalyst of communication channels, which allows a real test of commitment despite the distance allowed by the metaverse develop the customer experience and to build loyalty thanks to the latter, such as Starbucks, which recently presented its NFT platform.

NFT for Starbucks customers
Logo of Starbucks, a commercial giant that focuses on the web 3

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Playful travel, interactions, brands are already starting to multiply innovative ideas to create virtual interaction with users or their future users.

NFT and metaverse, limited use

However, this trade mutation and the unknowns it includes in its equation raise questions. What property for NFT ? What right to fair competition and to the consumer? These are all questions underlined by some legal loopholes that we can see in theNFT News. The action of GAFAM, whether Apple, Google, Meta or even Microsoft for the future of the metaverse, will be decisive at the risk of transgressing some key principles of decentralization.

Finally, and this is a parameter that brands will have to consider in order to develop on the web 3, they will have to allow their customers to understand, through education, the volatility of NFTs as well as the specific practices and uses of the blockchain. , in order to limit speculative risks for their consumers.

Actors of what is called mass adoption, (mass adoption), the place of brands and commerce in the metaverse, of Roblox to Decentral Passing through The sandbox, is no longer to be determined. Torn between the usefulness they can bring to popularize Web 3 and the threat they pose as they can distort the use of NFT and the metaverse (destroying theanonymity and centralization) the rapid advancement of technologies allows them to envision a virtual space where more could be done than in reality. Reaching more customers, being more visible, having a more direct communication with consumers: the metaverse breaks with the codes of commerce we know.

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