Understanding The New V2P and P2V Metaverse Commerce Models



Forbes | Cathy Hackl | Jul 5, 2022

Physical to virtual - Understanding The New V2P and P2V Metaverse Commerce Models

Physical and Virtual

Look at any Target or Walmart store on a Saturday and watch as customers perfectly dominate the essence of physical-to-physical commerce. In fact, just the experience of being in a physical location leads most customers to make purchases far beyond their shopping lists. That’s the reason why brands spend millions of dollars on physical retail locations because they feel confident they can elevate and capitalize on the on-site shopping experience and the “serendipity” that happens in the store. Whether it’s waiting in a queue to enter the Louis Vuitton Maison Vendôme store in Paris or going down an in-store slide during a Showfields shopping adventure in New York, the world of physical retail has become more experiential and glitzy. It is one of the drivers of BIG retail.

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But when we start to think about a brand’s physical footprint in virtual economies, we seem to falter. Does this footprint have a “toe hold” in the virtual world? I say a resounding yes!  As I continue to advise and work with brands in this new space, it is evident from my perspective that new commerce models are evolving, but they have not been done at scale. Even while the Metaverse is in a nascent state, these models will have a significant impact on customers’ choices and purchasing decisions. My advice to you is to buckle up, because we’re about to head into the future of commerce!

The dawn of the internet introduced new marketplaces for exchanges starting with social media apps and eCommerce. In the dawn of the metaverse and the coming era of web3, commerce will evolve and with this evolution, new models will emerge.

Is the market ready for the Metaverse?

A recent survey conducted by Zipline (one of the world’s largest delivery drone companies) suggests that 85% of Gen-Z respondents, 75% of millennials and 69% of Gen-Xers responded that they would be interested in hybrid shopping experiences, which include using mixed reality in retail stores and for online shopping.

Zipline cofounder and CEO Melissa Wong:

The key is to engage consumers with entertaining and accessible digital content that lowers the barriers to entry and meets Metaverse users where they already exist. This might be in a popular game or in a physical store where people mingle in the flesh.

Making it a reality

Current shopping models are Physical-to-Physical, Digital-to-Physical, and Virtual-to-Virtual. But what about going the next step and making the sale from Virtual-to-Physical and Physical-to-Virtual? When your customers are in the Metaverse, it’s virtual first. However, what happens when they want to purchase something physical in-game or in-world? Or when they are at a physical location, whether a store or a music festival and something they acquire at the location can unlock something else for them in the virtual world?

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In the Metaverse, there is an emerging business model focused on providing new products to digital twins of the customer, which would be the person’s unique avatar. This is called Direct-to-Avatar (D2A), a term that Ryan Gill, CEO of Crucible, and I first explored back in July 2020 in a highly cited article. D2A bypasses traditional marketing by focusing on in-game personas to sell virtual goods, physical items, or real-world experiences. D2A may sound counterintuitive, but it is becoming a fast-growing market segment with an increased sense of connection to purchase digital goods that may or may not come with real-world counterparts. D2A can be leveraged by brands to sell V2V, P2V, and V2P.

With D2A becoming a new model for D2C, this in itself signals a new frontier for B2B and B2C paradigms which will be impacted not only by gaming but also by AR and voice.

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