To help emphasize my story and what my small taste of success within The Sandbox means for e-commerece in the metaverse, I want to start with a very easy question.
Remember the days before the internet? Can you imagine not even knowing what the internet is?
In the 90’s, no imagination was needed. Companies like AOL had to create advertisements to explain how amazing it was to experience the internet… at 56K speeds. Dial-tone, anyone?
If you remember seeing the video below I apologize for reminding you of your age. If you’ve never seen an AOL advertisement, you’re welcome for showing you how far the internet and the hardware that runs it has evolved.
In addition to advertisements, AOL also had to send out FLOPPY discs in the mail that provided FREE hours of the internet just to incentivize people to try it out. You might already know where I'm going with this, but I have one more entertaining video for you to watch before moving on with my point.
When it comes to the metaverse, the majority of people including the media are in a similar mindset as the Today Show's cast. In 30 years, we went from "what is the internet" to feeling internal rage if WiFi speeds dip below 1mb. In addition to the internet, some of the most powerful companies were born in the 90's. Google, Amazon and Netflix to name a few.
What will The Sandbox and other metaverse companies look like in 30 years? I'm betting we'll see a very similar outcome as the major tech giants from the 90's, but a lot sooner than 30 years. I'm betting on 5 years. Here's why.
e-commerce in The Sandbox is already here
The current e-commerce experience isn't as fluid as what you're used to today, but I already proved that it's possible to generate revenue in The Sandbox for theo & amelia. What makes me even more excited is that The Sandbox is still in alpha and hasn't officially launched. If I was able to generate revenue on the platform's most basic version, I will absolutely be able to grow my brand as the metaverse evolves. That's why I encourage other small businesses not to wait until the platform is polished to start generating sales of their own. Now is the time to start learning and an opportunity to grow with the technology instead of playing catch up in the near future.
My first metaverse experiment in The Sandbox, Find Amelia resulted in 20 online orders, over 100 messages on Instagram and helped kickstart a small Discord community of 80 people. I also shipped out our first exclusive products for NFT holders this week to 9 different countries. This was all because of one experience I created in The Sandbox.
The e-commerce experiment consisted of 4 quests that took players on an adventure to find Amelia. The quests included two scavenger hunts, a timed race and figuring out where Amelia was hiding. The experience also showcased voxelized replicas of Amelia Earhart's planes and equipment, sketched versions of some of my favorite pictures and historical references. People who finished the quests were rewarded with a promo code that offered 50% off their order, a fragrance not yet sold online and a free NFT.
I learned a lot of valuable feedback that I'll implement into my follow up experiences, but below are a few key takeaways.
- People are willing to purchase from brands that they discover in The Sandbox.
- Building a global business in the metaverse will open a lot of opportunities for new and existing businesses. I've shipped to more countries in the past two weeks than any other time period.
- People were willing to spend over 2 hours on my experience. That amount of time would make any marketer claim a campaign successful.
- Like all marketing, humans will always be drawn to a great story.
- As The Sandbox innovates, purchases will become more convenient than the current web 2.0 model.
- People already trust online shopping so doing it in the metaverse will not take any additional teaching or convincing.
E-commerce in The Sandbox isn't the best experience in terms of the checkout process right now, but in terms of building brand loyalty it already beats some traditional marketing channels. I'm selfishly keeping some details to myself for now because I would like an advantage over big brands that have unlimited budgets.
Based on the results of my first experience and witnessing how passionate The Sandbox community is, I'm excited to invest even more resources into my metaverse plans. Not only because of the potential revenue, but to see my community grow and to provide story driven experiences.
How will e-commerce in the metaverse evolve?
Members of any metaverse will have a profile that includes their shipping address. While playing games, shopping, hanging out with friends or just sitting alone on a far distant planet, we'll be able to buy goods and services without ever leaving the platform.
As an example, McDonald's plans on offering delivery service that allows people to order their favorite meal while exploring the metaverse. Other big brands with massive budgets are following suit with their own ambitious plans. That's why I encourage small businesses to start now and build a presence before the industry explodes.
Improvements are needed before e-commerce in the metaverse is widely adopted so businesses do have a little time to prepare. For example, players in my game had to write down the promo code, exit The Sandbox and then order from my website using fiat currency. In the near future, businesses will have shops in the metaverse where the entire transaction is done without leaving the platform. Once that happens, we'll see a much faster adoption of e-commerce in the metaverse.
Below are a few additional improvements that will help the metaverse e-commerce experience.
- Direct links to your experiences so people can click on them from social media or your website. Think of this as domain names in The Sandbox.
- MetaMask and Shopify integration. The CEO of Shopify hinted that this would happen. If it does, almost 2 million shops around the world will be instantly connected to the metaverse without even fully understanding what that means. Without giving away too many details, this is something I am heavily preparing for.
- One click purchases while the player is in the game and orders are paid from the user's SAND balance. This is particulary interesting to me because The Sandbox has a P2E feature. In order for the token to grow, I feel like they need a marketplace that expands beyond just in-game assets/NFTs. As a LAND owner and a business owner, I want people to visit my metaverse store and have a great shopping experience. Frictionless transactions would be needed in order to accomplish that goal.
I have many other notes related to future improvements and I fully intend on pushing the current platform to its limits. For now, I'm going to continue having fun with the current platform and focus on building great stories and an even better community.
If you're interested in learning more about e-commerce in The Sandbox and want to follow along, join our Discord channel.
As a reminder...
Humans are uncomfortable with change and the unknown, but it's the early day pioneers that end up ahead. Very ahead.