In the vast expanse of the universe, with its millions of galaxies, imagine a digital galaxy like Earth where customisation knows no bounds. With the advent of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets, we can now teleport into this world—a galaxy called the metaverse. Within this metaverse, multiple planet-like worlds have emerged, such as Decentraland, Zepeto, and Roblox, each revolving around the core concept of an open-world experience.

To fully immerse ourselves in these digital planets, we utilise avatars as mediators between the physical and digital realms. Avatars allow us to teleport into the digital world and can be personalised and customised to our liking. Depending on our tastes and preferences, the customisation options are vast and unique to each individual. Just as two persons avatars will differ, so too will their activities within the metaverse. For example, one person may have an interest in attending a virtual music concert, while another may prefer participating in a thrilling car race. Some may even indulge in virtual shopping, where brand choices and preferences vary. The metaverse thus provides a personalised experience, offering insights into users’ preferred activities, preferred social interactions, and behavioural patterns.

For those seeking unique experiences in life, the metaverse opens up new possibilities. Users can purchase non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to acquire add-on items like body skins, accessories, garments, and gestures. Luxury brands like Gucci have even ventured into this space, launching NFT versions of their products. In fact, the Gucci Dionysus bag sold on NFT platforms for more than its physical counterpart. Users can also purchase virtual land and establish retail stores or create customised homes.

The metaverse enables direct sales to avatars, eliminating intermediaries. This direct-to-avatar (D2A) commerce is considered the future of e-commerce, where brands engage directly with end consumers. Entrepreneurs like Andrew Kiguel, co-founder and CEO of, have recognised this potential and invested millions in the metaverse. Kiguel has even rented out spaces in the metaverse for fashion shows and retail shops.

What’s more, brands across industries have also begun to embrace the metaverse. Gucci, H&M, Samsung, Vodafone, and others have already established virtual malls. Hyundai has launched the Hyundai Mobility Adventure games, while Louis Vuitton commemorated its 200th anniversary with a game within the metaverse.

The ability to merge the physical and digital worlds has paved the way for brands to explore the metaverse. It represents the evolution of the online shopping experience and provides a competitive edge. The possibilities are limitless, as demonstrated by Nike, which introduced an NFT digital twin of its physical hoodie in the metaverse, complete with wings.

Tools like Unreal Engine’s MetaHuman Creator allow users to create highly realistic digital replicas of themselves, enabling them to try on clothes and make purchases for both their physical selves and their digital twins. Metaworlds like Zepeto even enable users to dress their avatars in Gucci attire.

Looking ahead, the metaverse offers numerous opportunities for retail organisations. The choice of metaverse use cases will be influenced by the key differentiators each organisation employs to compete in the market. Whether it is recreating in-store experiences for clothing stores, furniture showrooms, or automobile dealerships, the metaverse provides a solution.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of various talent engagement applications, such as virtual training, onboarding, and mentoring. Retail businesses need to broaden their scope and consider adopting a distinct approach when it comes to selling their products within the metaverse. By embracing the metaverse, retail brands can tap into new markets, engage with consumers directly, and stay ahead of the competition.