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Can You Open a Shop in the Metaverse?

Aside from gaming, opening stores is something that businesses can do in the Metaverse.

Updated: January 16, 2023

The first word that people commonly associate with the Metaverse is gaming. It’s true that the idea was first implemented by virtual world games like Roblox and many others from a concept that predates even the Internet. However, gaming is not the only thing you can do in the digital space.

People who closely follow the evolution of the Metaverse know that the digital world will have applications across multiple industries. For instance, a version of it can be accessed through Microsoft’s Teams app. This variety will act as a tool that will enhance productivity and connectivity between employees in the workplace.

Yet another application of the Metaverse takes root in e-commerce. Shopping online will never be the same when the Meta universe takes off the ground in the near future. If you’re an entrepreneur, now should be the time to learn about how you can make money in the Metaverse’s e-commerce space.

Buying things in the metaverse

Yes, You Can Open a Shop in the Metaverse

It may take a while before you can fully wrap your head around the Metaverse, especially its applications for e-commerce. In a nutshell, however, the technology will act as an improvement to the existing online selling systems. Specifically, the Metaverse will provide a more intimate and three-dimensional face to online marketplaces.

Let’s back up and look at how e-commerce currently works. To purchase, you must log in to a portal like Amazon, eBay or Shopify. You search for a product that you like and purchase it. After you confirm your order, the seller will first pack the product for shipping and hand it over to Amazon for fulfilment. On your side, you simply wait until the parcel arrives at your doorstep.

In the Metaverse, you can visit a digital representation of a real store and make your purchase there. This triggers the fulfilment phase, which covers packing until delivery.

You see, it’s basically the same process as conventional e-commerce. However, the Metaverse simply provides you with the capability to view a digital version of the item and try it out for size before purchasing. You also get to interact with a person, or an actual individual’s avatar, putting a personal touch to every shopping experience in the Metaverse.

How Do You Open a Store in the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is designed to be a digital representation of the real world, at least in the e-commerce context. Thus, opening a store is not that different from opening a physical shop for your business. In fact, the processes share many similarities with and very few distinctions from each other.

The first step to starting a shop in the Metaverse is to purchase virtual real estate. There are various real estate “developers” in the space from whom you can purchase plots of land. The most popular of these is Decentraland, which hosts Samsung’s digital store, the 837x. However, there’s also the Sandbox, which provided Gucci space for the Gucci Vault.

Be sure to set your expectations before you start shopping for Metaverse real estate. The prices are currently high, with brands and venture capitalists making up most of the early residents. There’s almost a certainty as well that virtual land prices will go up as the technology develops further.

What Do You Use to Pay For Purchases in the Metaverse?

The currency presently used for transactions in the Metaverse is cryptocurrency. For now, businesses like The Sandbox, My Land, Decentraland and others only accept digital coins. These include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, among others.

Why Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is very ideal for Metaverse transactions because of decentralization. The currency eliminates the middleman, which in the real world would be the banks and other financial institutions. As a result, transactions close significantly faster than they would when using fiat or paper currencies.

However, the Metaverse may accept real cash in the future once there are systems established to process transactions.

Another advantage to using cryptocurrency is transparency. Instead of a middleman handling deals, nodes in the network (called “peers”) verify every purchase or exchange and encode the data to the blockchain. The blockchain is a public ledger that grows with every transaction confirmed in the network, where everyone can view the data held therein.

The blockchain also secures the data they hold by automatically putting every “block” in a read-only mode after confirmation. This means that once verified, nobody can tamper and modify the details of the transactions. For a nascent technology like the Metaverse, security carries a high premium, and the blockchain’s attributes make it very ideal for the task.

How Can You Get Cryptocurrency to Fund Your Metaverse Transactions?

Unlike in its early years, cryptocurrency can be exchanged for fiat money and vice versa. All you have to do is open a crypto wallet, of which the Internet has in abundance. The highly recommended ones are Coinbase, Electrum, Trust Wallet and Exodus Crypto.

Each of these wallets has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s highly recommended that you do your own research first.

Once you’ve got your wallet set up, your next step is to link and fund it through your bank account. Take note, however, that the exchange can be very volatile. The price for half a Bitcoin today, for instance, may either be lower or higher next week. This is due to the drastic rises and drops in prices inherent to cryptocurrency trading.

Is Opening a Shop in the Metaverse Worth It?

As an investment, a Metaverse shop’s worth will only be demonstrated once the general public has fully adapted to the technology and put it into frequent usage. It’ll take a matter of time before most of the global population can access the Metaverse and start taking advantage of its perks. In other words, it’ll be a few years before you can earn back your investment.

Thus, opening up an e-commerce store on the Metaverse as early as now is a calculated risk. However, the benefits that could be reaped once the flower has bloomed definitely justify the initial expenses that you’ll have to make.

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