Immersive Social Shopping: Get your brand attention with ecommerce on the spatial web

Gheric Speiginer, Griffin Rowell, David Gordon
August 27, 2023
The Apple glasses are coming, is your company ready?

How long did it take for your company to get a website? A mobile app? A mobile website? I bet it was years. Wouldn’t you have preferred to have a site on day one? An iPhone app on launch? Connect your team of brand experts through our host dashboard so they can be teleported to guests as they walk in your eCommerce storefront. Connect your brand’s experts and sales staff to every customer right as they walk in.

You can be ready for the metaverse glasses. Your brand can be ready for augmented reality.

The barrier to entry for getting a proof of concept off the ground (and starting the crucial internal conversations, data gathering, customer feedback) is actually surprisingly low – if you use the right platform. Just as Wordpress dramatically lowered the barrier to entry into blogging, just as Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify made marketing and storefront site creation orders of magnitude easier, you now have a reasonable chance to establish a foothold in the Metaverse / on the 3D Web.And you don't have to sit idle while waiting for the glasses to arrive and take the tech world by storm, since the 3D Web is already very accessible on existing platforms. It turns out that most modern mobile phones are already AR-capable, and that the humble desktop browser hides powerful 3D and VR capabilities under the hood.

Personalized, social 3D eCommerce is already possible. Turn your store into a Social Experience.

Real-time multiplayer turns every shopping trip into a social event. Voice and video let your customers share their love of your brand. Your store is a destination for connecting. Virtual models create a luxurious personalized shopping experience. Show your customers how your products look, feel, and move in the real world. Give every customer the white glove treatment with a virtual concierge. Make even the most complex buying decisions simple with live customer service.Getting Attention: The Current Crisis in Customer Acquisition Cost

Ethereal Engine leverages the web to not only engage the largest pool of users possible but to also engage them in the fastest way possible. Compared to other marketing channels, our product cuts down on customer acquisition costs and reduces an otherwise higher click-through requirement just for a consumer to gain access to a product, event or experience. It is important to reiterate that the more steps a customer needs to complete to gain access to something, the less likely they are going to do so. High click-through requirements leads not only to more customer drop-off but also to higher customer acquisition costs. Ethereal Engine provides businesses the ability to avoid this depreciative cycle by leveraging the web and acquiring the most customers at the lowest cost.

Channel Comparison of Consumer Accessibility, Cost and Drop-Off
Channel Number of Users (Customers) Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) Click-Through Entry (%)
Applications (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac) 3.4 Billion $85 - $120 2%
The Web 3.5 Billion $31 - $65 10% - 30%
3D Applications 500 Million $45 - $165
3D Web 2.9 Billion $10 - $35 10% - 45%
Complex buying behavior

Online shopping success comes from understanding the motivations of buying behavior. Many factors influence how purchases are perceived including major variables such as total cost, volume, variety, commodification, and product brand value. eCommerce struggles most in cases of complex buying behavior. These occur when the consumer is highly involved with the purchase and when there are significant differences between brands. Such tasks are complex, and the risk of unsatisfied needs is high, particularly when consumers are buying an expensive product. In this scenario, they will research thoroughly before committing to a transaction. This behavior can be associated with the purchase of high ticket items such as a new car, personal computers, electronics, appliances, furniture, real estate and luxury items.

Traditionally, physical retail and showroom-sales systems have been more successful with helping consumers navigate through complex buying situations. The ability to experience hands-on trials of the product coupled with expert representatives allows consumers to feel more confident in their purchases. Retail shifted from physical to online as a result of being unable to tangibly examine a potential purchase.Despite these limitations, eCommerce has surged with no foreseeable pause. Ethereal Engine recognizes the following two key takeaways:1. More shopping is being done online.2. Fewer consumers are able to physically see what they are purchasing.Despite this, eCommerce has steadily increased since 2014, and is projected to continue to increase as we enter the next decade. Given the demonstrated value of eCommerce as a highly utilized channel for consumers, removing barriers to complex buying behaviors will further increase the utilization of online shopping. Ethereal Engine is the solution for this exact scenario. (More blog posts, demos and videos on complex buying behavior of customers in the metaverse coming very soon.)

Metaverse eCommerce is already here

Immersive industry leaders are seeing up to a 600% increase in Conversion Rate. 3D shopping combines the best of eCommerce and brick & mortar stores: seeing is believing. Several case studies in 3D shopping on mobile, AR and VR, show on average 40% fewer returns. Customers will know they love their purchase before they check out. The curiosity and delight factor cannot be understated. Engagement of branded spatial world campaigns have seen 71% more customers coming through the door. Shoppers are more likely to choose retailers offering immersive eCommerce experiences.It is important to note that Ethereal Engine’s goal is not to simply generate impressions. We are actively building the ability to conduct real-time transactions in the virtual and augmented reality spaces created. The immersive experience is constructed to not only build upon branding but to also engage in such a way that increases market penetration and drives sales. Ethereal Engine is not a passive solution for the purposes of capturing vanity metrics. It is an active, living and thriving space where business has the option of being conducted therein.

Ethereal Engine eCommerce extensions integrate perfectly with:
  • Shopify
  • Woocommerce
  • Wix
  • Squarespace

Extend the traditional commerce platforms that are already working. No need to change systems, give up on existing revenue lines, or learn something new and retrain your team.

Case Study: Shopping District and Arena Store

3D shopping also opens the door to tailoring a shopping experience based on the complexity of a purchase. Simpler items can be purchased in unattended virtual shops through navigating an automated user experience. For more complex purchases, virtual showrooms with brand representatives can walk potential buyers through more detailed comparisons and infographics.We built the Arena Store to be a case study for multiple levels of involvement in purchases. Products are displayed to be highly Skeuomorphic (the design concept of making items represented resemble their real-world counterparts). Reimagine your website as a spatial storefront with an anywhere address. Meet face to face in your virtual store, on video chat, in virtual reality, and even in augmented reality. This video shows an example of Arena electronics, our demo Shopify storefront powered by Ethereal Engine.

New customers can discover you everywhere. The shopping district is a hub of co-local eCommerce. Just like a location at a mall, many vendors, brands, and creators can exist in a nexus space for visitors to search and explore. Let’s imagine this hub world lives as a destination for discovery, delight and deals. Discover the opportunities of multi-tenant worlds. Explore many shopping and entertainment delights brought to you by top creators and brands all in one place.

Explore the Shopping District

We also have created an augmented reality social shopping demo that lets you bring products and brand experts right into your home. (More AR shopping coming soon)

Experience Social AR Shopping

Create your store with the Ethereal Studio web editor. Creators can edit virtual worlds together in real time using our instance-linked editor. Here’s a video to learn more. Import your already created assets from your existing 2D and 3D asset creation pipeline, with plugins and documentation for blender, unity and unreal engine. Use our content management system to organize all of your resources in one place, or many.

No need to download extra software.  Ethereal Engine lets you create, publish, and edit your store directly in the web browser. Each asset is amazingly customizable. No code is necessary, but Ethereal Engine can utilize the full power of JavaScript, just like a 2D website.

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