Facebook owner Meta is taking a multichannel approach to selling the tools that will be needed to access its metaverse by opening its first shop. The Meta Store, set to open on May 9 on its campus in California, will feature its hardware products, while shoppers will also be able to buy from a new shop tab on the meta.com website.
By opening a shop close to its Reality Labs HQ, where Meta is starting to build its version of a metaverse, the company hopes to give shoppers a chance to test out the tools they will need to use it for themselves.
“Having the store here in Burlingame gives us more opportunity to experiment and keep the customer experience core to our development,” says Gillard. “What we learn here will help define our future retail strategy. The Meta Store is going to help people make that connection to how our products can be the gateway to the metaverse in the future. We’re not selling the metaverse in our store, but hopefully people will come in and walk out knowing a little bit more about how our products will help connect them to it.”
Visitors will be able to touch, feel and try out products at the 1,550 sq ft shop, making video calls using Portal, trying on first-generation smart glasses from Ray-Ban Stories, and virtual reality through the Quest 2 system. In a Quest 2 demo area, visitors can try VR experiences from golf to fishing. Customers will be able to buy Quest 2 systems and accessories as well as Portal devices in the shop and will be signposted to order Ray-Ban Stories direct from Ray-Ban.
“Once people experience the technology, they can gain a better appreciation for it,” says Martin Gilliard, head of Meta Store. “If we did our job right people should leave and tell their friends, ‘you’ve got to go check out the Meta Store’.”
Facebook owner Meta has said it will spend $50m to develop the metaverse in a responsible way over the next 10 to 15 years. It is among many companies now developing the infrastructure and products they will need as virtual worlds expand.