The Metaverse is emerging into the automotive space. There’s talk of selling vintage cars within it, and Hyundai has even added its products to Roblox’s Metaverse space.

The Metaverse world is growing in popularity, and it looks like automotive retail is the next frontier for this platform. What exactly is this new concept, and how can it impact dealers?

For a quick introduction to the Metaverse and a look at how it may impact the automotive industry, read on.

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is a virtual world where users can interact and collaborate with others. Often, users will use virtual reality technologies to engage in real-world activities. For example, users can participate in virtual games, meet with co-workers, buy virtual real estate, and even shop virtually. Brands like Nike and even Walmart are looking to capitalize on the Metaverse.

Many companies are looking at this digital world as a new way to interact with and sell to customers.

Metaverse platforms connect to a blockchain, a digital ledger, that can track transactions and ownership of digital assets without the need for traditional financial institutions like banks.

This allows users to buy and sell virtual goods on the Metaverse using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

How Can the Emergence of the Metaverse Impact Dealers?

The Metaverse opens up various new possibilities for dealerships. According to Statista, As of November 21, 2021, 43% of adults ages 18 to 34 were either very or somewhat interested in the Metaverse. That number increased to 48% for the 35 to 44 age group. It’s projected that this virtual world will reach a market value of $800 billion by 2024. So, there are opportunities to expand your dealership’s reach.

Here are a few ways you can benefit from the Metaverse:

  • Virtual and augmented experiences – Instead of only browsing car photos and video walkthroughs in 2D on a mobile device, the Metaverse allows you to create an immersive VR and AR experience for users. You can develop a virtual showroom that lets consumers interact with 3D models of cars.
  • Buying and selling within the Metaverse – With blockchain and cryptocurrency, consumers can purchase vehicles through the Metaverse. A Nonfungible Token or NFT can be attached to the digital version of a car, allowing buyers to buy it through the blockchain and indicate ownership. This virtual car could correspond to one currently on your lot so that the consumer could own both the virtual and physical versions.
  • Advertise your dealership brand – Interest in the Metaverse is growing, meaning there is potential to market to new consumers. Much like in the real world, you could purchase space on a virtual billboard or showcase your dealership’s brand in other areas of the Metaverse.

How Can You Prepare Your Dealership?

While the Metaverse is still developing into an established community, it’s worth it for your dealership to begin to explore ways that you can benefit from this virtual platform.

Here are some ways that you can prepare for your dealership to take advantage of this evolution in tech:

  1. Understand its concepts – The first step you can take is to familiarize yourself and your team with concepts like NFTs, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. You can then start to see how they can fit into your dealership’s strategic plans — whether you want to increase your customer base or expand brand awareness.
  2. Open a virtual wallet – You can test out the financial platforms connected to the Metaverse by having your dealership open a virtual wallet. This step allows you to take cryptocurrency as payment.
  3. See how competitors use it – Check out how other businesses are advertising on Metaverse platforms like Decentraland, The Sandlot, or even games like Fornite or Roblox.
  4. Understand how it can best benefit you – See how getting on the Metaverse aligns with your business goals. For example, you may determine that this platform is a great way to target Generation Z or that it allows you to market to customers outside of your geographic radius.

The Metaverse may not be for everyone, and it’s still got a bit of a way to go before becoming as mainstream as the current state of the internet. However, you may find ways that this new evolution in technology can allow you to improve your customer acquisition strategies and overall brand awareness in the short and long term

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