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The Metaverse is still more or less a new concept to many people. It’s a new take on virtual reality, where people can feel more like they’re in a digital or virtual space and less like wearing a pair of goggles and gloves. Automakers attempting this in their own ways, such as making a digital living space on wheel. We saw some of this during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and even more so during the 2022 CES, but not as much during the 2023 CES. That was more about battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and the technology they’re bringing with them. Taking a huge approach towards the Metaverse and consumer interaction, FIAT launched a one-of-a-kind store in the Metaverse, the FIAT Metaverse Store.
Set to be an innovative pillar for automaker’s North American launch next year for the Fiat 500e, plans for the Metaverse store see it opening during the first quarter of 2024. In essence, FIAT wants to create an alternative car buying experience. There are so many ways to buy or shop for a car online, like buying a new car online with NowCar, an automaker would really have to do something different to get consumers interested. Well, how does virtual 360-degree walkarounds of a car, inside-and-out, without leaving your couch sound? Almost unreal, but that’s the kind of experience the Metaverse can provide. This new revolution of the consumer experience is in thanks to FIAT’s partnership with Microsoft and Touchcast.
For anyone who was at the 2023 CES, attendees had a chance to experience the virtual showroom technology firsthand and see what FIAT is up to. Near the setup for the FIAT Metaverse Store, setup at the Microsoft booth, the Stellantis Free2move brand was also there, bringing things a little back down to earth with its growing shared vehicle market. A mobility marketplace for B2B and B2C consumers, it’s a great way to temporarily own a vehicle when necessary without having to pay a fee every month. Both had a lot to say during the show in January 2023, and both are prioritizing consumer needs to stay mobile and independent in an era of continuous change in terms of technology and mobility.
FIAT Metaverse Store
Already launched overseas in Italy in December 2022, the FIAT Metaverse store is already gaining traction, offering consumers a user-friendly, simple yet immersive, human-driven brand experience. As we said above, it’s like going to a real life showroom without having to step into a dealership and feel the pressure of all those sales associates hungry for compensation and making their target sales goal. Gives me the shivers. Instead, consumers can research, configure and purchase vehicles like the new 500 La Prima by Bocelli, virtually, with the help of a live FIAT product genius. It’s also accessible via smartphone, no need for wires and cords, but can also be accessed through a tablet or computer if that’s more your speed. Best of all, this Metaverse store does not require a virtual reality (VR) headset or additional hardware to experience.
Now that really is something cool. I’m not about to invest any money into a fake world, but when you’re a massive company like FIAT, what’s a few million? After all those Meta layoffs, it’s hard to know where it’s going, but assuming things stay positive, the Metaverse could change…well…everything. Stay in the know about the Metaverse and other automotive technologies when you follow along with us on NowCar social media.