The boss of Hermès LV is angry at the Metaverse, is he a guardian of the traditional era, or a sober person under the agitation of the wind?
The Metaverse brings not only opportunities, but also disasters.
The luxury brand Hermès has officially launched legal proceedings against the “Metaverse”. The reason is that digital artist Mason Rothschild has sold about 100 virtual bags called “MetaBirkins” in the virtual market, and the image of the series of bags is exactly the same as the Birkin handbags introduced by Hermès in the 1980s.
In the lawsuit, Hermès detailed the origins and trademark situation associated with the Birkin bag. Hermès officials pointed out that it did not authorize Mason Rothschild, and believed that Rothschild infringed Hermès’ intellectual property rights.
This is not only the Metaverse’s first case concerning brand property rights, but also the tip of the iceberg of whether digital products will divert sales revenue from real products. It is exactly the same as whether the e-commerce will infringe the commercial interests of offline entities when everyone was discussing ten years ago.
MetaBirkIn series NFT platinum bag, photo credit: Mason Rothschild
It is reported that MetaBirkins displayed 100 NFT works at Art Basel in Miami and sold them on Basic.Space, a fashion e-commerce platform in Los Angeles.
In the first week of the launch, the first NFT platinum bag sold in this series was priced at 250,000 yuan. The entire series is priced at 5.03 million yuan (about 790,000 US dollars).
Obviously, Hermes is difficult to accept. Because in their offline stores, the price of platinum bags is usually only 50,000 to 60,000 yuan.
In addition to seeking compensation, Hermès is also seeking an injunction against Rothschild’s NFTs, removal of all product examples, and the handover of the MetaBirkins website’s domain name to Hermès. Currently, no information about MetaBirkins can be found on Basic.Space. But metabirkins’ Instagram account has 20,000 followers and links to an address where the NFT product can be purchased.
But Rothschild seemed undeterred, declaring on Instagram: “I don’t make or sell fake Birkin bags. The artwork I create depicts imaginary Birkin bags. They have nothing but digital meaning.”
Rothschild’s lawyers pointed out that the NFT works sold by Rothschild would not change their non-commercial nature based on the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and believed that “the right of speech in the First Amendment must take precedence over Hermes’ trademark complaint.”
Coincidentally, Bernard Arnault, chairman and chairman of the French luxury goods giant LVMH Group, made a high-profile call on the Metaverse in the 2021 annual results conference call. “Selling virtual sneakers for 10 euros, we’re not interested in that.”
Bernard Arnault believes that the Metaverse and the Internet bubble are exactly the same, and the industry needs to be more vigilant. “All sorts of things pop out of nowhere and then shatter quickly. There are several Facebooks-like companies, but only one emerges as a winner.”
The Metaverse came too hastily. So that there is no time to take care of the conflict with the world.
However, digital assets and virtual interactions are irreversible trends.
Facing the unknown, you are like LV and Hermes, shouting “you must be alert to bubbles” and “warning must be issued”!Or meet this reckless “new world” and evolve and grow together?
01 $15,000 for a pair of shoes! Sky-high virtual goods become a hot commodity
Hermès said that the reason why it has not yet entered the NFT market is because Hermès attaches great importance to the “figurative expression of handmade objects”.
But more brands may not be as cautious as Hermes.
Nike, for example, has applied for a series of patents on virtual sneakers and virtual clothing, and acquired virtual sneaker company RTFKT.
It is reported that a pair of RTFKT virtual sneakers once sold for a sky-high price of $15,000. You know, this pair of shoes is completely virtual, and consumers can’t get the real thing at all.
In addition, Gucci tried selling virtual handbags on the gaming platform Roblox for a whopping $4,115. Walmart also plans to manufacture and sell virtual goods such as electronics, decorations, and toys.
Gucci Garden Archetypes on Roblox, Image Credit: Roblox Blog
Samsung, on the other hand, launched its own Metaverse and sold $7.18 million worth of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) within a week. In addition, Samsung has also equipped several of its smart TVs with NFT platform applications, through which users can discover digital artworks and make direct purchases and transactions.
Different from Hermes’ “conservative and prudent” attitude, Givenchy boldly created a group of NFTs. In Givenchy’s view, NFT is more technological, environmentally friendly and low-carbon. It is also a fashion.
To this end, Givenchy brand creative director Matthew Williams invited graffiti artist Chito to collaborate to create a series of graphic prints for the brand’s new spring 2022 collection. The brand uses these prints as a prototype to create 15 NFT collectibles that buyers can purchase as personal avatars.
Gucci, which is owned by Kering Group, is much more friendly to the Metaverse.
It is reported that Gucci once sold virtual sneakers for $12 and launched item packs in Roblox, Sims and other games. In January this year, it cooperated with Superplastic, an American designer fashion play company, to launch an NFT joint series. Earlier, an NFT artwork was auctioned through Christie’s. This 4-minute NFT video finally sold for $25,000 (about 159,400 yuan).
Another Kering brand, Balenciaga, has launched a virtual item package in the well-known large-scale game “Fortress Night”.
Meta founder Zuckerberg also predicted: “In the next decade, the virtual world will cover 1 billion people, carry hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce, and provide employment opportunities for millions of creators and developers.”
This also means that the developers of these Metaverses will become the “creators” of the virtual world. Through digital technology, all commodities in the real world are virtualized.
From the ancient QQ show to today’s virtual people, virtual sneakers, virtual clothing, virtual handbags, virtual toys, what else can’t be virtual? You might as well “open your mind” and re-engrave the products around you into the Metaverse to become new virtual digital assets and sell them to consumers who love new things.
There are many core brands under the LVMH group, including top brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Tiffany. But none of them seem eager to sell virtual fashion products.
“We have to see which ‘universes’ are really profitable.” Even Bernard Arnault, chairman of the LVMH group, questioned the Metaverse, but he did not exclude it as a very interesting thing. “NFTs are generating profits and I believe if it develops well, there will be a positive impact.”
02 Can Walmart’s “new shopping mall” make Amazon panic?
Chip design giant Nvidia announced the launch of Omniverse, an engineer Metaverse platform; Microsoft intends to use its software Microsoft Team to cut into the Metaverse in the future; retail giant Walmart was revealed to be manufacturing and selling virtual goods; Alibaba set up an XR laboratory in Dharma Academy, specializing in Research Metaverse related technologies.
The entry of capital and giants is accelerating the maturity of virtual simulation technology and digital twin technology. A higher-order digital commerce is brewing.
Looking at the development of the e-commerce industry, in the era of e-commerce platform 1.0, customers can only rely on pictures and texts to understand products; in the era of e-commerce 2.0, the rise of live streaming has greatly improved the user’s visual experience. So, can Metaverse + E-commerce create the E-commerce 3.0 era?
Zuckerberg described the Metaverse as the “physical internet” where you don’t look at a screen, but “be there.” The experience brought by the Metaverse includes almost everything that people do in the real world, such as work, parties, games, concerts, sports, shopping, learning… These experiences are also the basis for the Metaverse to become a new shopping mall.
Winner of the first digital fashion contest hosted by the British Fashion Council on the Roblox platform. Image source: Roblox Facebook page
Some sharp-smelling players are already in action. For example, Nike released NIKELAND on Roblox, the “first share of the Metaverse” game platform, where users can play games for free, dress up their avatars, and purchase digital goods in the future.
The 2021 annual conference of beauty shopping platform Sephora will be held in a purely digital form, and a virtual space 3D interactive playhouse will be built, including a “loft” for beauty lovers to exchange ideas, and a “loft” for roundtable discussions with founders of beauty brands. family room”, a “home theater” for teaching makeup tutorials, a “backyard party” attended by influencers. Consumers can play games in the playhouse to win Sephora products and coupons, with physical products mailed directly to their homes.
Retail giant Walmart plans to create its own cryptocurrency and NFT combination. It has filed trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for services such as cryptocurrencies and advertising.
When the game platform became the practice place of Metaverse + E-commerce, Meta Company realized that the “immersive hand-chopping” of Metaverse + E-commerce still needs to rely on the technological progress of Metaverse. Therefore, Meta has planned to provide AR Reality Labs, the headphone and other hardware maker, is investing $10 billion to serve consumers with basic hardware.
For cross-border merchants, in the face of the Metaverse, whether it is developing hardware products leading to the Metaverse, providing a gamified shopping experience, or cleverly using the Metaverse as a marketing scenario to sell goods to consumers may be a new way out.
03 As long as you wear VR, the price of the product can be 40% more expensive!
After the global pandemic of the epidemic, the home has become a place that more and more users pay attention to and build, and the sales of home products have increased. AR and VR technologies have become important tools to help consumers purchase furniture products online.
Due to the difficulty of judging the matching degree and suitability of products online, some household goods, cosmetics, footwear, and fashion products sold online often have a high return rate. The application of AR and VR technology has gradually dispelled the concerns of users.
As early as 2020, Charlotte Tilbury launched a VR online store, where users can experience the effect of beauty products on their faces online through cameras and VR technology. In November 2021, Charlotte Tilbury launched another social feature called “Shop With Friends”. It allows customers to invite friends to video chat while shopping at Charlotte Tilbury’s VR online store. Charlotte Tilbury also announced that a new feature will be added to the online store in 2022, allowing people to create their own avatars to walk around the virtual store.
Charlotte Tilbury VR online store, image source: Charlotte Tilbury official website
More and more brands are also beginning to realize the power of AR and VR technology for merchandising. Consumers are even willing to pay 40% more for products that can be tested using AR, according to research firm Forrester .
When it comes to AR, we have to say that Snapchat is the favorite of overseas Gen Z youths. On the Snapchat platform, 200 million users use AR functions such as special effects filters and product try-ons every day, and the total number of daily AR functions is as high as 6 billion times. In addition, Snapchat’s data also shows that by 2025, nearly 75% of the world’s population and almost everyone using social software will be frequent users of AR.
Shopify’s research report shows that the application of AR technology will greatly improve the conversion rate of marketing, which means that Snapchat may become one of the important marketing positions for cross-border e-commerce brands in the future. For example, the fast fashion brand SHEIN once launched an AR special effect marketing advertisement on Snapchat, which aroused the interest of young American consumers and was once on the Snapchat hot list.
In addition to Snapchat, other major overseas social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest have also invested in AR technology to enhance the shopping experience on social media. How to use VR or AR technology to enhance the interaction between users and brands may be the key bargaining chip for cross-border merchants to win young users.
04 Lick the screen! Ear, eye, nose and tongue without dead ends digital marketing
When the smell of freshly baked bread wafts from a street corner, when a captivating scent emanates from a perfume bottle, when the scent of ink wafts from a book, we have to admit that it is often the smell that makes us decide to buy a certain item.
The sense of smell is the strongest and most primitive of all human senses. An article published by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) pointed out that in marketing, smell can be very effective in helping users differentiate one product from another, and smell can also bring pleasant associations to consumers and further influence. Consumer purchasing decisions.
The advent of digital olfactory technologies, primarily used for the digital transmission and re-creation of smells, could revolutionize the future of a range of industries including fragrances, food, and healthcare. Just imagine, when you are sitting at home shopping for perfume, you can not only observe the color and bottle body of the perfume, but also smell the perfume through the network transmission; or, you can breathe the sea breeze during a virtual reality trip in the Maldives , smell the sea.
In addition, in the health field, digital scents can also be used to enhance the consumer experience. For example, using the persistent smell of lavender to improve sleep quality, and using digital smell detection technology to make refrigerators smarter, tell consumers whether milk is sour, or fruit is ripe. In addition, digital olfactory technology has the potential to optimize smoke detectors, such as detecting pollutants that are more dangerous than smoke.
Of course, these digital olfactory technologies have yet to be fully implemented. Taste seems to be easier to reproduce digitally than smell. In Japan, a taste display invented by researchers at Meiji University has been able to artificially reproduce any taste by triggering five different tastes on the user’s tongue.
In this way, when watching “A Bite of China”, maybe you can really “lick the screen” while watching. Then for those cross-border e-commerce sellers whose products are related to smell, digital olfactory technology seems to be an essential “secret to making a fortune”.
05 In the Metaverse, Meta and Google continue to choke the throats of overseas companies
In China, we are used to contacting customer service if there is a problem, while overseas, merchants generally chat with customers through Facebook Messenger.
Many independent e-commerce sites use Facebook Messenger customer service robots to communicate with customers, and preset response techniques in the robots to meet consumers’ 24-hour online response needs.
Some data show that by 2025, 95% of customer service interactions will be dominated by AI technology. This means that as the impact of AI on customer service experience continues to strengthen, businesses that can engage in more personalized and all-round interactions with consumers will have a better chance of being loved by consumers.
In addition to customer service robots, another application of artificial intelligence related to consumer services is voice assistants. Google data shows that in the mobile terminal, one out of every five searches is conducted by voice, and voice search will be more intuitive and natural in the future.
As a bridge connecting China’s supply chain and overseas consumer markets, cross-border e-commerce seems to have ushered in an opportunity to “change rails”.
For example, Facebook has always been one of the main traffic channels for cross-border e-commerce, while Amazon and Walmart are the mainstream sales venues for cross-border sellers. When Facebook becomes Meta, and Walmart and Amazon play VR/AR shopping, they start to switch to new digital infrastructure. If the cross-border sellers and service providers who depend on them for their survival can replace new weapons in time, they may be able to successfully enter the market. future new world.
Voice search applications widely related to cross-border e-commerce include Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc. At present, Google Assistant occupies a dominant position in the voice search industry, and more and more independent websites are discovered by users through voice search. Therefore, for cross-border e-commerce independent website sellers, they should pay attention to SEO optimization, so as to rank first in the voice search results.
Cross-border sellers can also integrate the voice search module into the independent website. If AI voice search is supported in the menu or search bar, users can easily find their favorite item from thousands of products.
More importantly, AI voice search can intelligently provide users with purchasing suggestions based on users’ consumption preferences and price sensitivity, thereby bringing more sales opportunities. And, the process of optimizing your site’s content to fit voice search results can also unknowingly optimize your site’s SEO.
In addition, the voice search of the independent station can also be combined with customer service functions such as chatbots, so that users can activate the customer service function through voice, quickly find ways to answer questions and complaints, and improve the user experience.
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