Source: Observatorioblockchain / Jennifer Maldonado
Alibaba Group is changing the rules of commerce with the opening of a luxury store in the metaverse with augmented reality (AR). T he Chinese-based retail company has built a virtual luxury boutique to introduce its consumers to the future of retail. It is doing this through its luxury shopping platform Tmall Luxury Pavilion, where it offers a new 3D shopping experience based on the Metaverse. Alibaba says in a statement that the metaverse is key to achieving its goal of becoming the world’s largest luxury market by 2025. For Alibaba, the metaverse ensures limitless expansion.
Alibaba and commerce in the metaverse
The company, which calls static images on online merchant sites obsolete, says digitization allows for greater personalization. For example, consumers at the Tmall Luxury Pavilion are already experimenting with Augmented Reality to try on watches, jewelry and shoes. Thanks to Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, customers of this luxury platform can enter the boutique and enjoy an immersive shopping experience. Every time one of these consumers clicks on one of the available products, a window opens in front of them with all the details of each item.
The company makes it easy for its consumers to interact with luxury items from different brands, allowing for a completely immersive shopping experience. LVMH, Kering, Chanel, Richemont and Hermès International are just a few of the brands clients can access. On the metaversian platform you can also buy watches, bags, shoes and jewelry from brands such as Burberry, Cartier and Bogner.
The future of retail is the Metaverse
The metaverse is considered to be the next generation of the Internet and companies from all over the world want to lead this technological innovation. In the case of Alibaba, the group’s division chief, Janet Wang, said the company has been working for years to optimize the shopping experience for its consumers in the virtual world. «Before the metaverse became a buzzword, we had already transformed this buzzword into a business reality,» Alibaba’s executive said.
Alibaba management highlighted that Chinese consumers are quite tech-savvy and this is why they are introducing an entirely new and innovative meta-shopping experience. Wang, who was responsible for the online business for Asia Pacific of the Spanish brand Zara, emphasizes that both consumers and Chinese platforms have been the first to adopt the technologies of the metaverse. Wang also pointed out that avatars from the West look cartoonish and clumsy. The digital world can provide consumers with the same or even better shopping experiences than the real world, Wang said.
Immersive shopping at Tmall Luxury Pavilion
Thus, customers of Tmall Luxury Pavilion have been able to test the new virtual shopping experience during an exhibition held by XR Lab. Alibaba reported in a statement that its users tried their Augmented Reality glasses to enter the new luxury boutique . They held a digital luxury bag, explored the different products available, and were even able to interact with the mascots of luxury brands in the metaverse. Among them, a Burberry brand deer.
Alibaba’s luxury shopping platform is home to more than 200 brands, and according to the company, in less than a year, 20 of them have launched 37 digital collections on the platform and hosted virtual fashion shows . Likewise, around 3,500 customers have purchased digital collections on the Tmall Luxury Pavilion platform . Almost 70% of buyers were men and half were under 30 years old. Almost all of them live in big cities in China.
As part of its strategy in the metaverse, the company is participating with Vogue magazine in organizing a virtual fashion show, which will take place tomorrow, September 22. During the parade, users of the Tmall Luxury Pavilion will be able to interact with the mascots of luxury brands on the virtual catwalk and take photos with them. As reported by Blockchain Observatory, Vogue has created Vogue’s New World , a virtual world recreated on the Spatial.io platform.
Meta Pass blockchain
Alibaba has also given its customers a blockchain-based Meta Pass. The pass will give them free access to the e-commerce giant’s metaverse and claim special benefits. As advantages in the purchase of products or the entrance to activities organized by the brands in the real world. Additionally, Meta Pass holders will be able to exchange the certified digital warranties on their passes for limited-edition luxury items. Like Bogner’s 90th anniversary snowboard or a sweater from Max Mara’s Autumn-Winter 2022 collection. Likewise, luxury brands that provide special benefits to Meta Pass holders will be able to observe the interactions of their consumers and measure the results of their services through Alibaba.
The company indicates that the Tmall Luxury Pavilion platform is very different from what it was five years ago. Consumers’ experience on the site has evolved, but so has the way the platform helps brands engage consumers. The number of consumers who shopped at Tmall Luxury Pavilion last year was 153% higher than in 2019. Similarly, transaction volume increased 309% during the same period, according to Alibaba.
Investment in Nreal
In its statement, Anlibaba stresses that the luxury consumer is relatively immune to inflation and that China’s luxury market has been boosted in recent years by Chinese consumers themselves. It should be remembered that the Chinese e-commerce giant is a major investor in Web3 technologies. In April of this year, he participated in the $60 million investment round of Nreal, the company that designs augmented reality glasses without looking like it. They are similar to regular sunglasses, unlike Meta’s.