Online shopping is here to stay, but it's a one-way street: brands don't get the kind of feedback they would get from interactions in brick and mortar shops. A metaverse presence gives them an occasion to get that back. And so far, the only metaverses that are sufficiently established, operational and getting traffic are the gaming ones -- even though they're more and more about much more than gaming. Curious to see how successful Burberry or Gucci will be in Roblox.
As far as Canada is concerned, we've seen traffic and sales bounce back much stronger in the outlets than in the malls. People want to be outside and find as much entertainment in the outlets than in the malls. Outlets are also cheaper to build and easier to convert, which makes them more "future-proof."
I feel that there's two traps here -- looking only at ways in which the metaverse emulates the physical world, and looking only at what it means for the individual customer. For example, the metaverse could be a place to visualize additional layers of data over the digital twin of a retail space -- imagine being able to go around the virtual twin of a mall while looking at traffic data or sales for each shop, or electrical and HVAC networks.