Martech Interview with Laura Haines, Chief Product Officer at Amaze

Laura Haines shares insights on strategies that brands and marketers have to integrate to take advantage of an ecommerce industry in the Metaverse and NFT era.

Laura Haines, the Chief Product Officer of Amaze, a mobile ecommerce design platform, speaks on what strategies do brands and marketers have to integrate to take advantage of an ecommerce industry that is influenced by the Metaverse and NFTs.

To take advantage of social commerce, brands need to shrewdly market their products by creating social media ads and posts that lead consumers on a seamless transition to their personalized selling page.

1. How is the Metaverse affecting the ecommerce industry?
We are seeing a slew of companies make strides in the Metaverse, which is defined as a collective and digital shared space that immerses users in a growing collection of increasingly popular virtual engagement models. According to SMartBrief, 41% of consumers say that they’d like to shop in virtual worlds, so high-profile retailers are creating Metaverse-specific strategies and launching marketing initiatives focused on targeting consumers and increasing engagement, sales and customer loyalty. Luxury fashion brands including Gucci, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry are among the first to integrate immersive Metaverse experiences into customers’ shopping journey.
As technology improves and investments in Metaverse infrastructure continue, virtual retail experiences will evolve from being an emerging and experimental concept to a more widespread reality. Given how competitive the ecommerce space is, it’s important for brands to understand the potential of the Metaverse right now so they can adequately prepare, invest, innovate and execute marketing initiatives that truly tap into the Metaverse’s potential.

2. How can ecommerce brands use the Metaverse to market to and connect with customers?
There are a variety of ways that marketers can connect with consumers in this new channel. Content creators, influencers and merchants can conduct virtual events with digital apparel giveaways, exclusive access to immersive environments, and loyalty rewards, for example.
Additionally, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), offer brands of all sizes an accessible point of entry into the Metaverse. NFTs are records of digital ownership stored in the blockchain and act as proof of ownership of a unique digital asset. These are growing in demand because any type of digital asset can be transformed into one – including audio files, videos, images, 3D digital art, and more. Companies, such as Sotheby’s are already auctioning NFTs, while brands like Gucci recently launched its first digital-only sneaker. NFTs present a new opportunity for sellers to provide links to assets on the web or mint them, creating a new revenue stream for brands.

3. How do you see the Metaverse changing sales, marketing and customer engagement strategies for ecommerce businesses?
Ecommerce brands need to understand the challenges and opportunities of the Metaverse. While it provides great new forums for consumers to interact with brands and browse products, companies must face a new challenge of staking a relatable and positive presence in the Metaverse environment amongst competitors. As brands grow into this new space, they must first settle in, ensure seamless and personable experiences, and integrate supporting designs so consumers can be introduced to the virtual world with a lasting positive impression.
The same principles apply in developing and executing smart approaches to captivate and attract customers in any channel. Design considerations are key such as user experiences with specific marketing channels and devices in mind, as well as integrating immersive assets such as AR (augmented reality) that help consumers experiment with the product directly and smoothly. Particularly, as Metaverse shopping will allow consumers to “walk” around a virtual store,” it will be important to synthesize the experience of physical retail and the convenience of online shopping. Studies show that 70% of consumers rate the ability to physically try on, touch, and see products as their favorite part of the in-store experience. With the growing buzz of the Metaverse, ecommerce brands need to meet where consumers are congregating next to ensure the overall quality of their online experience and curate consumer-focused designs to consistently gain more conversions.

4. Can you share a few examples of how martech tools are adapting to better market products in these emerging channels?
I can share what Amaze is doing to help brands adapt their marketing strategies in the Metaverse and NFT spaces. We noticed how the Metaverse and NFTs are playing a larger role in marketing strategies when displaying brands’ products and advertising them to consumers. Our vision of the future as well as the opportunities of today mean we are partnering with Metaverse/VR company, and blockchain development companies to accelerate immersive, virtual ecommerce experiences and express our continual investment in being the leading edge of ecommerce. We wish to empower marketers using our specialized martech software that integrates with 3D, virtual shopping experiences.
Metaverse partnerships will enable Amaze users to construct virtual shopping experiences cost-effectively and at scale. Amaze’s platform, once integrated with a Metaverse’s proprietary engine and composable NFT stack, will programmatically load product details and critical inventory into an immersive 3D format. This will help brands to market their products with virtual shopping experiences via the web, mobile, and VR.
Amaze’s vision is to connect brands, creators, influences and audiences to enable them to sell anything to anyone and explore new ways to optimize customer engagement. Creating a powerful ecosystem, Amaze will unlock anyones potential and launch what we consider to be the consideration economy.

5. What are other notable trends that are taking place in the marketing space?
While consumers are interested in the Metaverse, we’ve also observed that they are increasingly shopping in another emerging space: social media. Already showing promise, social commerce is expected to grow even further. According to Statista, in 2022, social commerce sales in the U.S. are estimated to reach nearly $45 billion. As the influence of social media continues to rise, this number is expected to reach about $56 billion next year and a staggering $79 billion in 2025. With most people spending an average of two hours and 25 minutes daily on social media, it’s crucial that brands find ways to market to customers in the most captivating ways possible in this burgeoning space.

To take advantage of social commerce, brands need to shrewdly market their products by creating social media ads and posts that lead consumers on a seamless transition to their personalized selling page.

Brands will be able to muster more consumers and conversions, if they market specific ads to certain audience segments that guide them to the most fitting selling page for them.
Specifically, one rising trend being used to capture consumer attention is having brands market their products through live-streaming. As brand ambassadors or influencers livestream their shopping updates and product reviews on social media, it creates a relatable and memorable exchange between consumers and the product in real-time.

6. Apart from the Metaverse, what other marketing strategies should brands focus on to increase conversions and sales?
Innovations like the Metaverse open new opportunities for brands and their marketing departments, but the Metaverse is still nascent and marketing professionals are just beginning to enter and experiment in this emerging space.
We know consumers want educational experiences as well as trust integrated into their shopping experience. When it comes to mobile web designs, one relatively simple investment that brings great rewards is for brands to market their products through 3D images and videos. Such assets make it easier for consumers to view, explore, and better understand the product,as they are more engaged with it, and also learn what the brand stands for. If businesses market their offerings so consumers can have a deeper and more hands-on connection with the product and brand, consumers are bound to return to brand sites with fervor and devotion.

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Laura Haines, Chief Product Officer at Amaze
Laura Haines is the Chief Product Officer of Amaze, a mobile ecommerce design platform helping anyone easily market and sell products online. Based in Australia, she helps drive the company mission and leads the cross-functional teams in product design, development, and strategy

Prior to Amaze, she was the General Manager of Global Partnerships and Products at the leading design platform Canva, where she oversaw the entire product and partner portfolio, set the company’s mission, strategy, and goals, and managed a variety of teams across sales, marketing, engineering, operations, and product.

Laura started her career as a software engineer at JPMorgan before she went on to project management at companies such as Skyscanner and Typeform.

Amaze is the only company that is 100% focused on helping Creators, Makers, Influencers, SMB's, and more monetize their brand on social platforms. We have merged a very robust design engine with an easy-to-use commerce engine that allows you to create no-code selling experiences in minutes.

Choose from hundreds of professionally designed templates, including link in bio pages, selling pages, ad/jump pages, presentations, and more, to quickly get started.

Our drag-and-drop editor allows you to easily replace images, videos, and text with your own content. Share your designs on social media, email, SMS, and anywhere else a link works.

Anyone can use Amaze–even creators, makers, etc. with little to no technical expertise.

Our goal at Amaze is to make it easy and affordable for anyone in the creator economy to promote and share their products/services online. Visit our website today to sign up for a free 15-day trial and discover the power of Amaze risk-free.

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