Metaverse, a future for the retail industry in Malaysia

HURIN EIN
05 Aug 2022 05:09pm
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Consumers deeply value a shopping experience that goes beyond the usual brick-and-mortar contact.

KPMG, a professional services firm and Adyen, a Dutch payment company briefed a report on the future of retail to incorporate a holistic approach to include tech in retail.

A rising phenomenon in the retail industry is the inclusion of artificial intelligence (AI) which introduces a beguiling tech called Metaverse.

KPMG Malaysia executive director, head of management consulting and head of technology consulting, Alvin Gan said the wonders of Metaverse in retail allow consumers to interact through touchscreen mirrors in fittings rooms and in-store, visit virtual retail locations and can even have virtual try-ons at home.

KPMG Malaysia executive director, head of management consulting and head of technology consulting, Alvin Gan.
KPMG Malaysia executive director, head of management consulting and head of technology consulting, Alvin Gan.

“Digital stylists and chatbots will also be accessible for consumer facilitation and through the incorporation of augmented reality (AR) consumers can touch and feel the products without having to travel physically to the store.

“Try and picture this – you can grab a can of Milo from the local grocery store and turn it around to read the ingredients, all virtually,” he said.

The use of Metaverse is not just a possibility but has become a reality. As reported on Forbes, luxury brands like Ralph Lauren have launched their products in the Metaverse reality through Roblox, an online gaming platform selling their virtual puffer jackets, checkered beanies and ski-wear priced just under USD$5.

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This novel approach in retail serves as an attraction for customers, especially for the Gen Z community considering how they have an immense digital presence.

Since they spend a considerable time online, the formation of a digital persona or an avatar is entirely probable.

Over time, there will be a heightened consciousness in how they choose to present themselves online. Thus, the Metaverse in retail seeks to fill that gap and realize the consumer’s need to stage themselves accordingly in the digital world.

“Based on current trends, retailers are urged to adopt a digital transformation in the retail experience of consumers to not only deliver a pleasant cross-channel experience but to also enable them to respond accordingly to consumers’ behaviours and shopping habits.

“In a way, making the retail experience of consumers to be fitted to their preferences,” said Gan.

Adopting a digital transformation can bring in lucrative revenue for the retail industry in Malaysia.

If the acceleration of technological adoption is implemented, the growth rate of the retail sector can account for up to 5.6 per cent in the next five years according to an analysis by Adyen.

Although technological adoption in retail is largely mentioned, it is undeniable that physical stores are still eminently relevant.

Head of Commercial, SEA & Hong Kong, Adyen, Priyanka Gargav.
Head of Commercial, SEA & Hong Kong, Adyen, Priyanka Gargav.

Meanwhile, Head of Commercial, SEA & Hong Kong, Adyen, Priyanka Gargav said 76 per cent of Malaysians opined for convenience through online shopping but pleasure through in-store shopping.

“The satisfaction of having to touch, feel and try products physically is thus far remained a euphoric shopping quality that is irreplaceable through digital means,” she said.