Looking to help merchants, banks, and service providers to create an initial presence in the metaverse, Worldline launched the shopping mall on 8 March with 9 stores having already joined, including Germany-based direct bank Consorsbank, Switzerland-based luxury hotel The Chedi Andermatt, and Australia-based non-alcoholic spirits brand Naked Life.
The metaverse and how Worldline’s solution falls into place
The announcement details that the metaverse is expected to become a retail commerce channel, alongside POS and ecommerce. A June 2022 McKinsey & Company research estimates that the global market volume of metaverse commerce will reach between USD 2 – 2.6 trillion by 2030. Having this knowledge as its basis, Worldline’s solution aims to provide companies with no metaverse presence the opportunity to prepare for it and gain initial experience.
Within the Worldline shopping mall, retailers, service providers and banks alike have the option of building a Web 3.0 presence in a simple and modular way to test how their community reacts to it and how metaverse’s potential can be tapped into.
The starter package includes a multitude of features targeting metaverse newcomers, providing store tenants with the Worldline payment function, with or without cryptocurrencies, and a set of advertising services. Stores and products are assisted with achieving increased visibility and creating ‘innovative’ customer experience through means of optional add-on packages such as target advertising, phygital products and augmented reality, provided through partnerships with 42Meta (target advertising), Metyis (phygital products) and Threedium (augmented reality).
The decision to open a shopping mall in the metaverse followed an extensive test operation for which Worldline set up a showroom in March 2022 where, on a monthly basis, brands from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and Australia were presented. Following a successful one-year test run, the companies committed to continuing their presence in the shopping mall.
Commenting on this, Jean-Yves Blatt, General Manager at The Chedi Andermatt, a luxury hotel in Switzerland, stated that an increased number of guests show a preference for the uncomplicated opportunities brought forth by the online space. Having this knowledge, the company believes the tourism and hotel industry to become as ‘unimaginable’ without the metaverse as online shopping is for fashion.
Svenja Weith, Head of Tribe Banking at Consorsbank added that as the company activates within the digital direct banking space in Germany, its goal is to have a ‘curious and innovative’ approach and to adapt and explore modern technologies at an early stage. Due to this, being present within the metaverse alongside Worldline as a technology provider is believed to be a ‘logical step’.
When commenting on the announcement, Sascha Münger, Metaverse Expert at Worldline stated that the company believes metaverse to be the sales channel of the future, alongside stationary POS and ecommerce, and the decision to open the Worldline shopping mall is thought to reflect this vision. Furthermore, they advised that for well-known brands particularly, the virtual shopping mall provides an ‘ideal precondition’ to venture into the metaverse at a decreased cost.