The Future of Ecommerce in the Metaverse

The global e-commerce market was valued at around 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2021, and forecasted to grow by 50% in 4 years, to 7.4 trillion dollars. The massive growth could be due to the global pandemic and more people shopping online instead of instores, or even the more easily 24/7 accessible ecommerce apps and stores via mobile devices. It’s hard to say what the defining growth drivers of online stores sales are, but one thing is for sure, the metaverse will have ecommerce integrations that will help accelerate it even more so. What can we expect for e-commerce in the metaverse? Walkable and interactive stores? Will it be a more exciting and life-like experience than browsing the amazon website? Let’s discover together!

What Will Be the Most Popular Products for Stores to Sell in the Metaverse?

This is an interesting question, and one that we’re sure that retailers and entrepreneurs are dying to figure out. Of course we have already seen the rise of virtual land sales, renting and more in metaverse projects. We have also started to see the emergence of NFT mints (initial sales) in the Metaverse. With the largest NFT market reaching over $4.2 billion dollars in sales volume in one month, we’re all curious to see how much of that will soon take place in future metaverse environments and integrated marketplaces.

One thing we know for sure about metaverse products… many will be tied to real life goods and services. For example, let’s say you’re exploring the metaverse with a friend, maybe on a treasure hunt or part of a MMORPG of sorts, and you get hungry. You could eat a metaverse meal but that wouldn’t be as satisfying as seeing a portal (perhaps signage like on freeway exits signifying these service/food stops) that offers the metaverse equivalent of DoorDash or Domino’s pizza delivery. You jump in the metaverse portal, arrive in a metaverse restaurant or restaurant food court, and go up the virtual counter, pick what you want, then pay with your cryptocurrency wallet or credit card, all in an in-metaverse seamless experience.  

Other industries that will likely take hold in the metaverse selling real products, are clothing, makeup, shoes, and hats. You may be thinking… how will I ever try on a product and see if it fits correctly when I can’t do that on current e-commerce stores? Well, in the metaverse we envision eventually seeing people scan their body and face, either via a home device or at a store, and then be able to import that scanned data, or sizing, into the metaverse for the trying on and sizing fit estimates of those products. 

How Will Metaverse E-Commerce Work for Users & Stores?

Just like the ecommerce industry has adjusted to a mobile-friendly and often mobile-first design world, with custom apps and catered experiences, we will see stores adjust for the metaverse specifics. One of these we already mentioned is payment via cryptocurrency. With many metaverse projects, such as our own Metaversol already integrating wallets for blockchains like Solana, it’s possible to see the default method of payment for in-metaverse purchases be cryptocurrency tokens like USDC, UDX, MANA, SOL, ETH, and more. These are not all built the same though, and likely the faster and more affordable transaction blockchains tokens like USDC on Solana blockchain will be the more acceptable of the bunch. We already see lots of hype surrounding the related Solana Pay ecosystem, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the long run. We may also see discounts or other benefits for users who own and hold an NFT of the ecommerce store or brand they are purchasing from. Sort of a futuristic loyalty program or discount program.

Another potentially interesting aspect of ecommerce in the metaverse concerns play to earn and similar reward-type interactions. With the huge economies of play to earn games like Axie Infinity emerging over the last few years, it only makes sense that some users will not want to “cash out” their earnings, and instead spend them within the metaverse with ecommerce offerings. Which stores and services will be the first to accept play to earn tokens and bridge the gap to ecommerce? We’re confident this is an untapped pathway that can benefit store owners as well as users, who may get discounts for certain tokens or scores perhaps. 

In summation, the possibilities of ecommerce and metaverse are impressive and still relatively unknown. Together, let’s pave the next billion dollars in ecommerce on a virtual metaverse road of usability and discounts!