Facebook, which changed its name to Meta Platforms, Inc. in October 2021, opened its first physical store in California earlier this month.
The store is located in Burlingame and will sell metaverse-oriented products such as Oculus Quest 2 headset.
VR headset usage is currently limited to only 5% of the teenage market, but this figure is expected to shoot up as metaverse becomes part of mainstream culture.
The company also noted that many of its products need to be experienced to understand how they work.
All the Meta products can be tried and experienced at the physical store in Burlingame.
The Reason for Meta Opening a Physical Store
The Head of Meta Store, Martin Gilliard, revealed that the idea was to introduce mainstream users to Meta’s products, which are not yet quite popular.
It should be noted that most people still do not have a tangible conception of what the metaverse is and how it works.
As a result, Meta has much work to do to popularise existing VR products that enable users to experience metaverse reality.
The Market for Metaverse-Related Products is Growing Slowly
The market for VR headsets is likely to grow as more people begin to play immersive video games.
Gaming is a $200 billion market that is expanding widely across the world.
Gen Z, or the ones born after 2000, is already a huge market for VR headset adoption.
However, older generations such as the Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers are slowly warming up to the idea of using VR headsets and wearable devices as well.
It should be noted that several wearable devices are lifestyle and heath-oriented, making them potentially quite popular among users of all age groups.
In other words, the Meta Store may not immediately see a huge footfall, but will slowly become popular among the mainstream.
Why Isn’t the Metaverse Hardware Market Taking Off As Expected?
There are several hurdles towards making metaverse more mainstream.
To begin with, virtual spaces require hardware that is virtual or augmented reality-enabled (VR/AR-enabled).
These products, such as headsets and wearable gadgets, are pretty expensive, and many people do not know where to procure them.
Third, people are not open to the idea of immersive experiences because they still haven’t had an opportunity to experience what it feels like.
Finally, there is a crucial lacuna related to marketing the metaverse.
The Meta Store is a step in this direction — marketing metaverse-oriented products through real-life experience at a physical store.
More Stores May Open Up Soon
Although the first store is located in Burlingame, California, Meta will likely open more stores across the US and elsewhere.
It could just be a matter of time before metaverse-oriented VR and AR products get sold in every large city globally.
This will make metaverse more mainstream and accessible.