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The Era of Virtual - How Brands Are Tapping Into the Metaverse

You have probably heard Zuckerberg, and other tech CEOs go on and on about the Metaverse and its potential for the future of retail. But what does this newfound term actually encompass? And how can it catapult the retail industry into a new era of shopping?


According to Time, the Metaverse is a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal and immersive virtual world facilitated by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. A well-crafted definition, but one that does not really make the Metaverse concept crystal clear for the inexperienced or tech-unsavvy. Let’s dive into how a number of major brands have made their virtual entry into the Metaverse - to get a grasp of its potential. 

© ArchDaily - Nikeland

One of the world’s leading sports manufacturing brands, Nike, has made a reputation for being at the forefront of digital transformation. Where AI, in-store experiential technologies, and e-commerce have been essential components of the brand’s retail strategy. Through observing the increasing popularity of the Metaverse, Nike decided to roll up their sleeves and set up a virtual shop. Nike’s purpose-built space, Nikeland, was launched on the Roblox platform in November of 2021 and has amassed ample traffic with over 7 million visitors since its premiere.

© Nikeland Roblox

Nikeland is an interactive and experience-based virtual retail space, where visitors meet, socialize, take part in promotions, and engage with a number of unique brand experiences - like celebrity appearances from LeBron James and a collection of exclusive digital merchandise. Nike’s Metaverse retail experience is perfectly tailored toward the millennial and Gen-Z audience and illustrates the brand’s understanding of the value of aligning digital transformation with brand identity and ideals. 

© Gucci Vault Land

Gucci was one of the first luxury fashion brands to tap into the Metaverse. The luxury fashion retailer announced in February this year that it had acquired a digital real estate space on the Sandbox platform. Some months later the brand launched its Gucci Vault Land. A virtual world designed to be the landing space for all of Gucci’s digital efforts - like NFTs, mini-games, and digital exhibitions for past collections. Which in a similar fashion to the brand’s Gucci Town space on Roblox, is based on a “play-to-know” narrative. 

© Vans World 

The action sports footwear and apparel brand Vans, are known for its sleek sneaker designs and influences from the skateboarding community. To meet their target audience in an entirely new and virtual fashion, Vans collaborated with the Gang to set up an “Off the Wall” virtual skate park in Roblox inspired by real-world destinations. Here users can hang out with other players, create their personalised Vans merchandise and take on daily challenges.

© Samsung 837x

As one of the world’s largest electronics and tech companies, Samsung wanted to align its brand identity with its campaign strategy - and decided to set up Samsung 873X. An immersive world modeled in Decentraland and based on Samsung’s physical 837 flagship location in New York City. The Samsung 837 Metaverse experience is an experiential playground where users can discover the endless possibilities when culture and technology collide. Where guests are allowed to embark on a virtual journey packed with art, fashion, music, and sustainability through a digital adventure in a Connectivity Theatre and Sustainability Forest. 

With a handful of examples of how brands have gone about tapping into the Metaverse - we want to challenge any preconceived notions that you might have of the Metaverse’s potential. We are not speaking of the Metaverse as a retail fad, but rather as the future of the retail scene and a virtual platform that can propel your brand into the media’s limelight and onto your next chapter in terms of digital transformation.  

Even if it might seem like quite a handful to develop your own virtual presence within the Metaverse - there are ways to go about minimising the entry barriers of setting up your own virtual world. Let our retail experts and Metaverse partner network help you in coordinating your Metaverse retail presence. We help you all the way from activation to virtual launch. 

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