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    Does the Metaverse Still Have a Chance To Revolutionize Retail?

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    Meta's ambitious strategy is Metaverse rollout through retail stores does not go as planned. The company's first physical Metastore opened a year ago in California and showcased Quest headsets, but other stores haven't followed suit. Martin Gilliard, the leader of the store initiative, has left the company, and another planned store was abandoned due to the economic downturn and changes in Apple's privacy practices.

    Meta has recently been focused on cutting costs, with more than 20,000 employees laid off in recent months and certain projects terminated for efficiency reasons. Nevertheless, the original Meta store continues to operate.

    years ago, Metaverse was a marketing buzzword, brands are flocking to virtual platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. However, the initial excitement has faded with the rise of AI and other technological trends, and the Metaverse has lost some of its appeal. However, some industry leaders still see potential in the metaverse, such as his CMO of Commercetools, Jen Jones. Jones believes the narrative around virtual experiences is evolving and advises brands not to lose faith in the Metaverse's potential to reshape marketing and retail.

    Now, Meta is starting to evolve its strategy and shift its focus to improving its workforce using the Metaverse. Over the past year, the retail labor market landscape has experienced unprecedented changes due to AI, machine learning, augmented reality, facial recognition, robotics, and more. Previous employee development practices and procedures are rapidly being replaced as workplaces evolve to become digitally centric in response to demands for greater flexibility from employees.

    With the advent of these technological advancements, retailers are unlocking endless possibilities. Main focus of NRF Innovation Lab 2024Let's take a look at how you can streamline your retailer's business operations. In particular, the Metaverse is expected to revolutionize many aspects of retail, including workforce development. New research shows virtual reality may hold the key to improving learning outcomes.

    Having established a presence in the metaverse, Meta is learning how to leverage insights gleaned into the effectiveness of VR to address key retail challenges of ensuring employee engagement, training, and retention. Masu.

    “The Metaverse promises to make learning more active. Using virtual and augmented reality technologies, people can learn by doing, rather than just absorbing information passively.” has the potential to change the way we provide people with new skills and new lifelong learning tools in the future.”

    Nick Clegg, President of World Affairs at Meta, via NRF

    In a press release last summer, Mr. Mehta explained five key benefits of the Metaverse For employees:

    • Reducing risks in hazardous work: Through VR training platforms like Interplay, electrical apprentices can safely practice on virtual live wires. Such technology makes training programs cost-effective, flexible, and safe.
    • Increase caregiver empathy and retention: Platforms like Embodied Labs use VR to simulate cognitive, hearing, or visual loss, increasing caregiver empathy and knowledge of everyday challenges, and aiding retention.
    • Add longevity to your career: Workers in physically demanding jobs can extend their careers by transitioning to less physically demanding jobs through VR training platforms like Interplay.
    • Open the way to a new job: according to future jobcareers in augmented reality (XR) are more accessible to those without a degree, allowing a wider range of people to enter and advance in the technology field.
    • Provide an alternative to physical prototypes: AR and VR allow companies to create and manipulate digital twins of large-scale projects in real time, reducing the need for expensive physical prototypes.

    These concepts have already been tested in the real world. For example, Walmart offers a case study on the application of VR technology in retail. As an early adopter, the retail giant is leveraging the potential of immersive simulation to enhance employee development and training. Employees participate in virtual recreations of real-world store situations, increasing engagement and effectiveness of the learning process.

    The introduction of VR-based training has revealed insights into employee capabilities, leading to improved test scores for employees. Andy Trainer, former vice president of learning at Walmart, says implementing his VR training module has improved his test scores by 5% to 10% and reduced the time it takes to train employees. This is an outcome that has the potential to have significant positive ripples throughout the company. retail industry. VR-based training has been shown to: 4x faster than traditional classroom learningand it's associated with a 275% increase in job confidence after training.

    While the impact of VR technology extends to in-store retail training, its potential application to customer service retail job training has the potential to revolutionize workforce development.

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