The presence of restaurants in the metaverse is still too new to say which strategies (if any) will be key to securing VR customer loyalty, but the QSR giant Wendy He argued in an interview with PYMNTS that the key to success in the space is focused on strengthening digital societies.
Jimmy BennettConnecting with users who frequent virtual spaces is key to brands’ success, not just in the metaverse but across digital sites, said The Wendy’s Company’s vice president of media and social networks.
“While other brands may enter spaces and unnecessarily distract, confuse or detract from the experience, we listen, learn and prepare to make sure we always appear to enhance and add value to every interaction with our fans,” Bennett said. “As we’ve seen this community expand rapidly on platforms like Twitch, Discord, TikTok, and across multiple gaming verticals, we’re with them.”
The brand, which operates around 7,000 restaurants around the world, is launching a range of branded experiences at Meta Horizon worlds A virtual reality platform, including a breakfast-themed obstacle course, a virtual basketball court, and recently a digital ski slope, among others, all themed “WindiverseBanner.
Bennett said regular communication with the brand’s customers across these platforms helps the company “stay ahead of the curve” in these emerging spaces.
According to data from the July issue of the PYMNTS Digital Divide Study, “The Digital Divide: Moving to the MetaverseCreated in collaboration with Paytronix, which was drawn from a May survey of nearly 2,700 consumers in the United States, one in four had already used the metaverse or reported significant interest in doing so. Additionally, that share has jumped to four out of 10 millennial consumers.
Most of these consumers were interested in incorporating dining experiences into their digital routines. Fifty-four percent of consumers who had already used the metaverse or had a significant interest in doing so were “very interested or very interested” in incorporating restaurant purchases into their metaverse experiences, and another 19 percent were somewhat interested.
Moreover, participants in the metaverse were more likely to interact with restaurant loyalty offers than non-participants, which means that gaining spend for these consumers could be key to attracting consumers who will return frequently and engage with brands’ omnichannel offerings. Seventy percent of metaverse participants and highly interested consumers have participated in loyalty programs, compared to only 45% of the overall population.
Race to Metaverse
Brands ranging from QSR and fast food giants like McDonald’s and Panera Bread to smaller chains like Bareburger in New York City to food companies like Kraft have taken steps toward opening restaurants in the metaverse.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Jeff AlexanderCEO of a Chicago-based Asian-style restaurant brand wow baowhich has hundreds of virtual locations and a few brick-and-mortar stores, hinted at an upcoming announcement about the company’s metaverse plans in the coming weeks.
“There’s a great way to create a community; there’s a great way to create loyalty; there’s a great way to create rewards; there’s a great way to create engagement, and when we announce our metaverse announcement, I think we’ll be able to offer all these different points and do something that hasn’t been done,” he said. to before. “
Trust the experts
Wendy, for her part, focused on getting to the ground before diving in.
“Our presence in space is based on our deeply rooted approach to community development: watching before everything goes in,” Bennett said.
Noting that there is a distinct culture around metaverse sharing, he said the best path to success in the space is to rely on those who know it best, and collaborate with those who actually excel in metaverse sharing rather than just coming in as an outsider.
Through these efforts, the company can also more effectively push the adoption of its promotions, which in turn get consumers to interact with Wendy’s e-commerce channels. Recently, for example, along with Wendy’s Frosty Village launch in mid-July at Horizon Worlds, the company offered free fries with the purchase of Strawberry Frosty via the Wendy app.
“When we started working on the Wendyverse, we identified that creator culture plays a major role,” Bennett said. “As brands begin to engage in this new dimension, it is important to respect the individuals and fans who have been in this space and made it what it is today.”