Interest in the metaverse has declined significantly ever since the launch of AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT by OpenAI. Tech firms, from Microsoft to Google and Meta, have all increased their investment in AI-related projects. This, in turn, has resulted in a decline of interest in the development of the metaverse. Microsoft, for instance, reportedly scrapped the industrial metaverse projects in Q1 2023. In China, too, many of the leading tech corporations disbanded their metaverse projects.
Retailers, on the other hand, have continued to invest in metaverse-related projects in 2023. From Ralph Lauren to Dennison and even Walmart, many of the leading retailers globally are innovating in the space.
This interactive gaming setting within the Roblox immersive virtual platform presents a range of puzzles and challenges designed for players aged 13 and above. Players have the option to either team up or engage in friendly competition with fellow players. The gameplay integrates familiar back-to-school products and brands available at Walmart, featuring items like BIC Highlighters, Crayola crayons, and 3M's Post-it Notes. The firm made its initial entry into the metaverse by introducing two novel Roblox metaverse encounters in September of 2022.
Aéropostale is another US-based retailer that has entered into a strategic collaboration to launch an immersive shopping experience for its customers in 2023. The firm, in March 2023, partnered with MetaversePlus, enabling people to shop, socialize, and play games in the virtual world.
Europe-based retailers have also shown growing interest in the development of metaverse and this is evident in their investment and project launches. Puma, the German-based sportswear firm, announced the launch of Black Station 2 in June 2023. With the launch, the firm is expanding its presence in the metaverse. Black Station 2, which will allow users to purchase phygital footwear, is an expansion of its initial Black Station project that was launched at the New York Fashion Week in September 2022.
The Hundreds, a well-known streetwear brand in the United Kingdom, also announced its foray into the metaverse sector in 2023. The firm, in May 2023, opened a metaverse shop that will promote special clothing releases, which will not be seen at its physical stores. Furthermore, the clothing releases will be available to the Adam Bomb Squad NFT line.
With the metaverse interest among retailers growing every quarter in the global market, TechInsight360 expects more retailers to invest and launch innovative projects from the short to medium-term perspective.
To make it easier for retailers and other businesses to have a presence in the metaverse, Worldline launched a shopping mall as a white-label solution in Decentraland in March 2023. The solution also caters to the growing interest among banking institutions and hoteliers who are looking to develop a metaverse experience for their customers. Germany-based direct bank Consorsbank and Switzerland-based luxury hotel The Chedi Andermatt have joined the white-label solution offered by Worldline.
Going forward, TechInsight360 expects more such innovative metaverse-related project launches, thereby supporting the growth in the global market over the next three to four years. Based on the estimates of TechInsight360, the global metaverse industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 33.5% from 2023 to 2030. During the period, the metaverse spend value will increase from US$291.2 billion in 2022 to reach US$1.5 trillion by 2030.
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