Tomorrow, the retail revolution? | The Gazette Nord-Pas de Calais

Despite the spectacular stock market crashes, cryptocurrencies and NFTs will structure tomorrow’s trade, according to experts from Echangeur BNP Paribas Personal Finance, a monitoring unit dedicated to trade. During a recent online conference, Nicolas Diacono, analyst, and Guillaume Rio, technology trends manager, at Echangeur, presented the results of the annual “Commerce reloaded” study. Among the topics dealt with, that of commerce in the age of Web 3.0. The latter combines several technological trends that are already operational. That of immersive universes (the “metavers”). That of cryptocurrencies, these digital currencies issued on a peer-to-peer basis. And finally, that of the blockchain, a technology for storing and transmitting information.

Young people under 25, a priority target

According to the study, the foundations for a revolution have already been laid. Young people under 25 are ready for the metaverse: already, 80% of them frequent “gaming” platforms. The latter are places of social interaction and commerce. Thus, the market for “skins” – clothing for avatars – weighs 40 billion dollars. Cryptocurrencies are beginning to spread: 5% of French people own them and 10% of Spaniards.

According to experts, this new Web3 should be structured around the blockchain and NFT, Non Fungible Token. The latter are composed of a cryptographic token which represents an object (often digital), to which is attached a digital identity (linked to at least one owner). Everything is stored and authenticated within the framework of blockchains. Illustration, with Nicolas Diacono. He had his body scanned, resulting in a 3D representation, and inserted this information into a token stored in a wallet, itself integrated into a blockchain. “I can connect with the Nike brand and give them temporary access to this token, so that they know my precise measurements and offer me the appropriate product. For the brand, this eliminates costly returns due to incorrect sizing.“says the analyst. It is also possible to integrate cryptocurrencies into your wallet and carry out the entire transaction in this way. Therefore, the same device can be imagined to access a financial service; occasional access to personal information can then be authorized to the service provider concerned.

Pioneering brands

Very diverse pioneering brands have already begun to explore the different possibilities of this “Web 3”. This allows “transform the customer experience beyond the transaction», Analyzes Guillaume Rio. Example with Decathlon. Last April, the distributor caused a stir by marketing a limited series of 2008 copies of

shoes for players Street Soccer. The operation was carried out with Séan Garnier, world champion in the discipline, whom the purchaser of the shoes could meet in a virtual space. Another example, more operational, at Alfa Romeo. The company exploits the authentication and traceability potential of NTFs in the management of the vehicle’s maintenance log. With each visit to the dealership, the dynamic token saves the information. “When I want to sell my car, I can authenticate the fact that I got it correctly busy. This brings transparency to new buyers“says Guillaume Rio. Another advantage for the brand: informed of the transaction, it can put forward a new commercial proposal…

LVHM has made yet another use of these new technologies: the tokenization of real objects “. The luxury group hastokenized» bottles of cognac, sold as a digital token. It is in fact a financial investment, the glass bottle and its remaining precious liquid kept in a safe. Still other experiments are carried out in immersive worlds. Essentially, they are an attempt to reach young people in a fun way. However, new practices are taking shape: Alpine has produced digital duplicates of its cars, which can be used in online games.

Otherwise, “the metaverse may interact with physical commerceadds Guillaume Rio. Example: buy a garment for his avatar, in order to go to a job interview that takes place in an immersive world, and order the same garment at the same time, in material version. The transaction can take place in an immersive world or a physical store, always with an NFT…

South Korea at the forefront

In South Korea, this future is already a reality: virtual influencers abound on social networks, customers are greeted by avatars in certain shops… In 2020, in this country already very focused on technology and innovation, the government set up a “Korean New deal” endowed with 50 billion dollars, centered on new technologies. “South Korea is entering the world of tomorrow, the metaverse. Specifically, the investment of $186.7 million which will be dedicated to the country’s metaverse ecosystem called “Expanded Virtual Worldwill stimulate, in particular, the development and growth of the country’s virtual cities, education and media industries. Clearly, South Korea has entered the world chessboard and will want to impose its future rules on the commercial world of tomorrow.», Comments Guillaume Rio. The country’s industrial giants, such as Samsung and LG, are already positioned in these markets.

Despite the pioneering example of Korea, there are many obstacles to the massive deployment of this trade of tomorrow. Starting with the plurality of immersive worlds, which are of three types: video games (like Fortnite) Gafam (for example Facebook) and the new ones arriving via the blockchain (The Sandbox, Somnium space…). Gold “each of these immersive worlds is partitioned. There is no interoperability between them“, points out Guillaume Rio. The tech giants are currently trying to promote a single standard. “For trade, the stakes are enormous“, emphasizes the expert. Another essential project is the regulation of NFTs. “HAStoday is a bit like the Wild West», Recognizes Guillaume Rio. The European Union is working on the subject.

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Tomorrow, the retail revolution? | The Gazette Nord-Pas de Calais


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