Integrating CRM, AI, and the Metaverse

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Did you know that tens of billions of dollars worth of goods were sold in the metaverse in 2023, including fashion clothing? I want you to imagine a shopping experience that sounds like the stuff of a sci-fi story but is available to consumers with today’s technology.

You need to shop for a special occasion, so you put on a pair of Apple Vision Pro goggles and visit GetReal!, your favorite fashion clothing store in the metaverse, where your avatar gets personally greeted by the store manager’s avatar. You explain to the store manager’s avatar that you are looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind dress to celebrate your boyfriend’s birthday party, which is taking place in an upscale metaverse hotel in a week’s time.

The store manager’s avatar asks you to use your headset’s 3-D camera to create a near real-life avatar of yourself so you can try on your dress options. The store manager’s avatar also asks you several additional questions about whether you are looking for a formal dress, a fashionable party dress, or something wild like a “fire” dress that can only be created in the metaverse. You respond to these questions using your natural voice, thanks to the natural language processing (NLP) technology that’s working behind the scenes to recognize and understand your input.

CRM, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse are now ready to kick into action and begin the search for that one-of-a-kind dress. Data from your CRM profile, including your prior online and metaverse purchases, gets fed into the clothing store’s generative AI engine. So does the data gathered through your NLP interactions with the store manager’s avatar. The store’s genAI engine starts searching hundreds of clothing image databases. Bingo! The genAI engine locates 11 dresses that fit your requirements, and two of them are unique “fire” dresses. To better imagine this kind of virtual party-wear, visit www.dressx.com and search for “fire dresses,” or go to YouTube and search for “Hunger Games fire dresses.”

Designing in the metaverse takes Dressx and Hunger Games fashion to an entirely new level in that the metaverse offers a blank canvass, meaning there is no limit to original and eccentric creations. We are already seeing garments designed out of impractical or even impossible fabrics like liquid gold, glass, water, fire, or smoke. (To learn more, attend a metaverse fashion show, e.g., Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 in Decentraland.)

Two days after visiting with the store manager’s avatar at GetReal!, your Apple Vision Pro goggles receive a message asking you to visit the store to view the 11 dresses they have found for you. From your living room sofa, you easily enter the metaverse and are welcomed by the store manager’s avatar, who is eager to show you the incredible variety of dress designs. Your avatar tries on all 11 dresses, although you are fascinated by the two fire dresses. The store manager’s avatar informs you all 11 dresses can be purchased for your avatar “as is,” and the two fire dresses can be personalized down to the smallest detail and sold to you as a non-fungible token (NFT). By purchasing the NFT, you are assigned a unique serial number, which further cements the dress’ status as a unique fashion piece. One of the two fire dress designers even offers you both the NFT version of the fire dress for your avatar as well as a real-life version for you to wear outside the metaverse. You are ecstatic and opt to purchase from that designer. Your dress surely will be the talk of the party! You also learn the dress was designed not by a top fashion house but rather by a lesser-known, emerging metaverse designer, which makes you feel good because you’re helping to bring democratization to the fashion industry.

Sound unreal? This type of scenario currently happens daily in the metaverse. To learn more, listen to my Gucci XR/Metaverse podcast or read the Gucci case study in the XR/Metaverse Resource Center.

To understand how this and similar scenarios happen in the metaverse, we need to look at how genAI technology impacts the metaverse and your user experience:

  • GenAI technology worked with metaverse technology to quickly create the (fictional) GetReal! store in the metaverse, where you had fun purchasing your dress.
  • GenAI technology created your and the store manager’s near real-life avatars.
  • GenAI technology allowed your avatar to speak to the store manager’s avatar using NLP (i.e., your voice), which served as input into genAI’s search for your ideal birthday party dress.
  • GenAI technology took your CRM data, and the data from the hundreds of clothing image databases, to locate the 11 dresses and present them to you so vividly in the GetReal! metaverse store that you were sure you were seeing these dresses in the real world.

The integration of CRM, AI, and the metaverse is in its infancy. But it is real, and it is here today. As Tim Bajarin, my business partner, and Silicon Valley guru, notes: “For the past 60 years, we made the transition from analog to digital technology. The next 25 years we will focus on transitioning from 2-D technology to AI and 3-D/immersive experiences. While not all our computing will be immersive, 3-D/immersive computing will impact how we view sports, entertainment, concerts, shopping, video calls, enterprise apps, and much more. The real world will not go away, but it will be augmented.” Are you ready to explore and have fun in this 3-D/immersive world?

Barton Goldenberg (bgoldenberg@ismguide.com) is president of ISM, Inc. Since 1985, ISM has established itself as a premier strategic adviser leveraging leading edge technologies—like the metaverse and digital communities—to improve sales, marketing, and customer service. His thought leadership includes co-creating the ‘Business Success in a Virtual World’ podcast, co-creating the award winning XR/Metaverse Resource Center, and writing three business books, including The Definitive Guide to Social CRM. He is also in high demand as a keynote speaker (www.bartongoldenberg.com).

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