Brands and merchants must examine their entry into the metaverse, this virtual universe which is the fusion between video games and more traditional e-commerce. The barriers to entry are however multiple, at the same time regulatory, technical, cultural and economic. The NFT – this unique digital object – constitutes a first step in this experience, as evidenced by the approaches of Casino or Decathlon, which for its part has even appointed a Chief Metaverse Officer, one of the first of its kind.
A cryptocurrency crash and a craving for metaverses
Although cryptocurrencies have just experienced a memorable crash, the metaverse are on the rise, The Sandbox platform has reached 2 million users and won over sportswear brand Adidas, for example. It is one of the best known platforms with Decentralandin which Coca-Cola launched its first NFTsWhere Roblox, chosen by Nike. There are other experiences in recent months with somnium, Om, etc. But if metaverses offer to acquire or lease virtual land, a brand will be more concerned with focusing on building its community on the web3 and creating virtual experiences.
There are three challenges when a brand wants to use the metaverse. These are the financial, technical and cultural challenges raised by Highco Metaland, a company specializing in supporting retail companies. On the financial side, transactions in cryptocurrencies are irreversible, so the error must be avoided, especially since the costs of acquiring land are high. A virtual land is valued at between €50,000 and €100,000 minimum.
In terms of technical issues, not all brands are equipped internally to buy crypto-currencies because the KYC (Know Your Customer) rules are complex, and it is a question of dealing with the management of “wallets”, electronic wallets and “gas fees”. “Gas fees” refer to the maximum amount of gas or energy one is willing to expend to complete a transaction on the blockchain.
Offering a classic web3 experience is unsuitable
As far as cultural aspects are concerned, you have to choose your platform, specify the experience you want to offer your consumers and know the technical limits. ” Offering a classic experience in a web3 universe can be disastrous, because consumer expectations are radically different there. warns Highco Metaland.
Before embarking on the metaverse, the brand’s teams must be made aware so that they better understand the metaverse and their various opportunities.
Cryptocurrency alone is an issue in its own right, with the purchase of cryptocurrency, the transfer to the wallet, the study of smart contracts which will automatically determine the conditions of the transaction. And there is the securing of the property once the purchase has been made. In order to discover the metaverse, a brand can opt for land rental in the case of specific needs such as events or a pop-up store. This makes it possible to start in the metaverse at a lower cost.
Will buying land in the metaverse be as simple as buying a domain name for an e-commerce site on the internet? This is announced by Highco Metaland. The road is still long, however, because the challenge is to create ad hoc content. ” Today, metaverse platforms are still in their infancy. Beyond a simple virtual presence, brands therefore absolutely need to develop dedicated and relevant content, in order to create the uses of tomorrow and bring real added value to consumers. » describes Charles Fauchet, CEO of HighCo Metaland.
Decentraland is an accessible platform
For its first site, this service provider has chosen to Decentraland mainly for its accessibility and because he believes that today it is the most decentralized platform and therefore the most in tune with the web3 community. Metaland then wants to extend its presence to all platforms because it believes that each has its advantages and its community. For example, it aims The Sandbox to encourage his customers to build gamified experiences, while on Decentraland he favors projects around retail, fashion and events.
The universe of metaverses is taken seriously by retailers. Example with the heavyweight Decathlon, which appointed its Chief Metaverse Officer, Valentin Auvinet, in December 2021. The first experiment launched by Decathlon at the end of April 2022 concerns a new range of sneakers, that is to say sneakers. The project is called Kipsta Barrio, the sneakers are inspired and designed for Street Football players. Tezos was chosen to deliver the associated blockchain.
For its very first NFT, Decathlon is collaborating with an athlete, Séan Garnier, world champion and three-time French freestyle football champion, to design shoes that pay tribute to his career. The sneakers will be available in 2,008 copies as a tribute to the year he won RedBull Street Style in Brazil. Decathlon emphasizes that this project is the 1time stage of its construction of a future in which digital and physical goods are connected. Indeed, each shoe will be associated with an NFT in the form of a “golden ticket”, a golden ticket, and will give access to personalized and exclusive experiences with the world champion. This golden ticket extends the customer experience.
Choice of the Tezos blockchain for its eco-responsibility
Decathlon has chosen to deploy its project on the blockchain developed by Tezos because it recalls its commitments in terms of biodiversity and climate ambition. The sports retailer chose Tezos for its “Proof-of-Stake” design and the fact that it is energy efficient and by its low issue and transaction costs.
Decathlon retains that the total annual carbon footprint of the Tezos blockchain is equivalent to the average energy footprint of 17 people. The company says some of the best-known sports organizations choose Tezos to boost their fan engagement, including Manchester United, The Gap, Ubisoft, Evian, and Formula 1 teams Red Bull Racing and McLaren Racing.
” The Barrio project by Kipsta for Decathlon is the first step into the world of blockchain and NFTs. We wanted to surround ourselves with partners who are references in their universe. That is to say Séan Garnier for freestyle football, Tezos and Nomadic Labs [NDLR : spécialiste français de la blockchain Tezos] in the blockchain. We hope that this collaboration with Séan Garnier will lead to many others and we can’t wait for the public to adopt this new pair of sneakers. comments Valentin Auvinet, NFT Leader at Decathlon.
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