Lowe’s expands into the metaverse with a tool to help visualize projects

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  • Lowe’s is offering customers the opportunity to use Metaverse assets to help them envision building projects.
  • The home improvement retailer is offering 500 properties on its own Metaverse hub for free.
  • “Our customers have a huge appetite for access to emerging technology,” Lowe’s executive frontier Godbole told CNBC in an exclusive interview.

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It seems like every company is getting into the metaverse these days. Lowe’s doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to use it to help builders envision projects.

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But unlike other retailers that chose a particular virtual platform or game, like Fortnite or Roblox, Lowe’s Metaverse assets — which include free downloads of 500 product assets, including items like chairs — are available on their own hub.

“It’s all emerging, and it’s ready for exploration,” Marisa Thalberg, Lowe’s executive vice president and chief brand and marketing officer, told CNBC in an exclusive interview. The retailer chose not to choose a Metaverse platform, but rather “a sort of agnostic and kind of democratic approach.”

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While other brands have found immediate ways to make money in the metaverse, even on an experimental basis, Thalberg said, “It’s not about jumping in and trying to create a phenomenon or commoditizing it immediately. Is.”

Instead, she told CNBC, “Our goal is to really take this new frontier and help people use their imaginations and make their virtual places as exciting and inspiring and entertaining as their real-world places.” And that’s the only benefit we want to get. At this point in time.”

At least that’s the only advantage mentioned. As the first major home improvement retailer to enter the metaverse and make its applicable properties available for free, undoubtedly a key goal is watching consumer behavior ultimately capitalize on the opportunity that may exist. Assets are based on actual products that the company currently sells online and in its stores.

Analysts see a huge success for the Metaverse. Consulting and research firm Gartner estimates that by 2026, a quarter of consumers will spend at least one hour per day in the metaverse. Morgan Stanley The total addressable market for advertising and e-commerce opportunities is estimated to be $8.3 trillion in the metaverse, with home and home-related spending at $697 billion. The firm lists a walk-through “home renovation plan” as an example.

“Last year alone, it was estimated that around $100 billion was spent on virtual goods inside gaming platforms. This does not include NFTs,” said Cathy Hackl, CEO and Chief Metaverse Officer of Futures Intelligence Group.

Metaverse participants have already paid thousands of dollars for unique non-fungible tokens for aviators from luxury and fashion brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren, in some cases. Gucci garnered 19 million visitors to its Gucci Garden on Roblox. Dolce & Gabbana sold an NFT called “The Glass Suit” together with the physical apparel for over $1 million.

For its part, Lowe’s is releasing a free, limited NFT collection of boots, hardhats, and other related goods to builders on the Decentraland platform for the first 1,000 participants.

Lowe’s executive vice president and chief information officer Seemantini Godbole told CNBC in an exclusive interview that the retailer is applying many of the same principles it currently uses to shoppers for this Metaverse project.

“What we’ve seen in our current mediums like Lowes.com and our stores … is the same idea for Metaverse,” he said. You want them to experiment, feel and understand what it’s going to look like before they start a project in the real world.”

Godbole said many of these Metaverse assets were created as 3D digital versions of physical products already available for purchase, to help online shoppers visualize real-life dimensions and features. Lowe’s is already using virtual and augmented reality technology to help shoppers design an entire kitchen online or map out the floor plan of their home using their smartphone, as an example.

VR and AR Tools “Our customers just have a huge appetite” to use emerging technology, said Godbole. “We’re applying some of those lessons to the metaverse.”

Godbole said that right now, Lowe’s is not offering a physical item with the purchase of Virtual, or giving back any links to its website from any Metaverse platform. But it may change.

“In the future, we can totally think about how all these different things add up, and make sure that [metaverse users] are able to shop for these items at Lowe’s.com or in our stores,” she said.

Thalberg acknowledged that the typical Metaverse participant has a “really youthful slant,” smaller than the typical Lowe’s shopper or homeowner today.

“But if you look at kids who have used platforms like Minecraft and Roblox, all they do there is, fascinatingly enough, build and design. Being able to build and decorate and design and improvise. That’s the core of the idea of ​​how these places are emerging,” she said. “And so if we catch them young, that’s great, but we also see a real utility, because we see a huge wave of millennial new homeowners who aren’t afraid of technology.”

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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