History of the World Wide Web
Internet technology has been at the core of billions of people’s everyday lives providing them with information to retain and make use of. Tim Berners-Lee created the initial World Wide Web (Web 1.0) in 1989 for the primary purpose of posting and sharing data between academics and organizations. Users were shown a read-only service with which they could only engage offline. Soon enough, Web 2.0, which is what we now most commonly use, was created to further develop the first iteration into a user-generated platform that allows people to not only consume but also interact with the dynamic content put out there. However, users now are highly dependent on the Internet. They can easily become victims of fraud and hacks since all of their personal data is exposed and can be accessible to anyone, especially by tech giants that exploit them for financial profits. This accelerated the need for a technology revolution to produce a new version of the World Wide Web that addresses such issues: Web 3.0.
Definition and Features
The original web creator refers to this next phase of the Internet as the Semantic Web, which is based on the idea that data is designed to be read directly by computers. In other words, machine learning and artificial intelligence will be at the heart of information processing, allowing for a far more customized, error-free surfing experience that gives consumers greater control over their data. A few features of Web 3.0 can be listed as being decentralized, providing connectivity and advanced 3D graphics, and being permissionless and trustless.
Preparations for Web 3.0
There are many reasons why brands should care about Web 3.0. The former will enable shoppers to enjoy a more user-friendly eCommerce experience; it will also offer retailers new ways to build brand loyalty and drive sales. It is all about giving consumers intuitive shopping on their own terms in a personal, trustworthy, and rewarding experience. The new iteration of the World Wide Web’s services will also offer tailored product suggestions based on machine learning, allowing businesses to present customers with the correct items at the right time, increasing conversions, building trust, and driving sales. So what is it that businesses can do?
Leveraging 3D and AR Experiences
Recognizing the significance of 3D and Augmented Reality experiences in eCommerce is a solid starting point. In the Web 2.0 environment, creating “digital twins” for the Metaverse and allowing customers to engage with items through 3D and AR experiences is an ideal practice for future Web 3.0 interactions. Including this virtual luxe in online shopping will not only increase customers’ satisfaction with their buying process but will also drive more sales and increase brand loyalty. This is especially true for physical product dealers and makers. Companies must be able to navigate the new platform and understand how to use its capabilities to assist clients in finding what they want. This way, consumers can buy in Metaverse environments from wherever and will get the physical counterpart delivered right to their location.
Introduction of virtual-only items and new purchasing methods
Among physical and digital products, virtual goods have become a key focus of consumption online during the previous decade. Analyzing this phenomenon, it is evident that, unlike traditional products, the reasons why individuals buy virtual goods are intrinsically tied to the platform where they are offered. Therefore, with their increasing value, eCommerce brands will be urged to integrate virtual-only items that will leverage their business, making the experience of shoppers more pleasant and fulfilling. This shift is not only limited to the actual products but is also about ways of buying them. For instance, Gucci, the renowned luxury fashion company, has announced that it is now accepting ApeCoin, the proprietary cryptocurrency of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, as a new payment method at select branches.
Wallet-based (or token-gated) interactions and brand loyalty
To remain competitive as brands transition from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, they must employ new technologies. Projects are increasingly constructing open source bridges between the two web iterations to let businesses integrate their existing sites, systems, and data with tokens, smart contracts, and other blockchain technology. To take advantage of early product access and revenue sharing, brands must be able to identify and respond to NFTs in a user’s wallet by engaging with them in new, creative ways. When done so, brands may leverage NFTs as a new connecting bridge between high-value consumers and the brand products and services they enjoy.
Gaming is becoming a new sub-culture for luxury brands
Players can always customize the appearance and style of the characters they play, and many games now provide the choice of recognized designer brands as well. Not only does this provide brands with a subtle marketing opportunity, but it also allows gaming companies to position themselves as more culturally relevant and mainstream. Furthermore, much as customers may purchase designer clothing in real life, gamers are resorting to in-game items to compete with others or flex and identify themselves online.
Since the creation of the first World Wide Web, technology has gone a long way, and Web 3.0 is ready to take brands to the next level. This iteration is the next big thing in eCommerce, providing a more user-friendly shopping experience by leveraging AI machine learning, voice assistants, AR/VR experiences, and blockchain technology to help consumers find what they’re searching for and complete transactions quickly and simply.