Metaverse commerce is growing—and bringing with it a new set of retail formats. According to Bloomberg, the metaverse market is expected to reach $783 billion in 2024, up from $479 billion in 2020. Nike makes a strong case for the commercial power of metacommerce: Nike Digital is the brand’s fastest growing segment, now comprising over a quarter (26%) of the brand’s total revenue. Its virtual Nikeland experience on Roblox has attracted 21 million people as of September 2022, and, following the brand’s December 2021 acquisition of RTFKT, its Web3 products have generated $185 million in revenue as of August 2022.

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Nike .Swoosh

Now, Nike is ramping up its virtual offerings even further with its new Web3-enabled platform, “Dot Swoosh.” Nike describes the platform, which was announced earlier this week and will open for registration later this month, as part virtual marketplace, part VIP loyalty community, and part creator economy. The platform will be a place to buy and trade Nike’s virtual goods, participate in community challenges to unlock exclusive access to events and products, and co-create Nike gear.

“We are shaping a marketplace of the future with an accessible platform for the Web3-curious,” said Ron Faris, VP/GM of Nike Virtual Studios. “In this new space, the .Swoosh community and Nike can create, share, and benefit together.”

Nike has teased that .Swoosh’s community challenges will expand next year to include competitions in which members can win a chance to co-design virtual Nike products with the brand’s designers, even earning royalties on their sales. “We want to redefine what it means to be a creator,” Faris said.

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Forever 21 Shop City

Forever21 is inviting shoppers to curate and operate their own virtual storefronts on Roblox. Announced in December 2021, Forever 21 Shop City introduces a new user-generated retail format. Users build, stock and operate their own virtual Forever 21 franchises—managing everything from stocking inventory, assisting customers, operating the cash register, hiring employees and decorating their storefront windows. Users fully customize their store design, picking furniture, art, lighting and music that suit their style. They even curate the Forever21 products they want to sell, hand-picking pieces from the brand’s latest collections, which are updated on Roblox with each new physical release.

The Intelligence take

The future of virtual retail will be co-creative. Creativity is becoming the new status symbol for the dawning Web3 era and brands are adjusting their virtual activations to trade in creativity and co-creation alongside traditional products. Expect to see more brands democratizing vcommerce by offering creative control to their consumers.

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