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Kate Ancketill Forecasts the Future of Retail in the Metaverse at Make it Big 2022

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Kate Ancketill is the Founder and CEO of GDR Creative Intelligence, where she is a business futurist adept at making complex societal shifts and emerging technologies relatable for any audience. 

With more than 21 years of experience in trends affecting business sectors and consumer behaviors, she shares her visionary insights around the world, including advising on the future customer experience, how marketing is evolving and the use of tech to adapt new customer behavior.

At this year’s Make it Big conference, Ancketill explored what trailblazers are doing in virtual worlds as one of our featured keynote speakers. 

Kate Ancketill’s Key Takeaways at Make it Big 2022

During her keynote presentation at Make it Big 2022, Kate Ancketill offered her predictions of the future potential for brands in this emerging space. while highlighting the fascinating methods in which brands are already existing in the Metaverse. 

Here are a few key takeaways from her Make it Big keynote session:

Key characteristics of the Metaverse.

According to Ancketill, we are seeing the elements of this new digital age really converge at scale.

The key characteristics of this emerging space are that many metaverses exist and are best experienced in three dimensions. This next iteration of the Internet, Web3, is about participation, with the user acting as a creator and having the ability to make money. 

“You can make this world yourself, you can charge people to enter your spaces, you can make serious money. So that’s very interesting for entrepreneurial young people, of course,” Ancketill said.

Building for the future. 

Ancketill said that we are building this virtual world for future generations and suggests that marketers who are strategizing long-term plans, remember the quick demographic shift that will happen as younger generations gain more spending power and utilize it in virtual worlds. 

“I think that we are seeing from our perspective as researchers, analysts and strategists for retail and business futures that the Metaverse is weaving its way into almost every part of commerce, both frontend consumer facing and also back-office operations,” she explained. 

Ancketill mentioned that Gartner predicts that by 2026, a quarter of people will be spending at least an hour a day in the Metaverse, in education, training, shopping, gaming, social, all things that people do in their everyday lives.

Brands in the Metaverse.

Through various brand examples, Ancketill showed how companies are already finding unique ways to utilize these virtual spaces. 

“Once you start to see this, if you haven’t experienced it yourself, of course, you start to realize that this is a huge potential for kind of retail interactions as well as kind of workplace,” Ancketill mentioned. 

Whether it be CVS offering a virtual pharmacy, brands giving their employees the option to earn their salaries through crypto payments or companies onboarding and training for new hires in the Metaverse, it’s evident that brands are getting creative. 

“I think that we are seeing from our perspective as researchers, analysts and strategists for retail and business futures that the Metaverse is weaving its way into almost every part of commerce, both front end consumer facing and also back office operations.” — Kate Ancketill 

Predictions for the future. 

As more brands upgrade to this emerging space, Ancketill mentioned that companies will have to adapt and consider their omnichannel experiences. 

“I think nobody knows whether or not Meta-commerce could be the best marketing and sales opportunity ever,” Ancketill said. “But we would say to all clients is, we are in the foothills. It is time to learn. 

“We would recommend that anything large at least is in some kind of serious learning mode — test and trial. If you are going to dip a toe and spend some serious money, then we would suggest you consider being in the Metaverse in a way that seamlessly is integrated with the real world.”

The Final Word

If you missed this session with Kate Ancketill or would like to watch it again, now you can! Register for free today for easy access to all Make it Big sessions, now available on-demand through the end of the year. 

Don’t forget to share your favorite Make it Big moments with us on social with #MakeitBigConf, and tag us @BigCommerce.

Kelsey Daubner avatar

Kelsey Daubner is a Content Marketing Specialist at BigCommerce, where she specializes in thought leadership content. She holds a B.S. in Journalism and Media Studies from Texas State University and, prior to joining BigCommerce, worked in marketing roles in various industries spanning from food and beverage to nonprofit.