Aussie beverage brand jumps into the metaverse with ANZ Worldline Payments Solution play

Naked Life Beverages becomes the first local brand in the payment company's Decentraland showroom. We find out why

Experimenting from the inside has provided the motivation for Naked Life Beverages to become the first Australian customer hosted in the ANZ Worldline Payment Solution showroom in Decentraland Metaverse, its chief says.

ANZ Worldline Payments is a joint venture between ANZ and payments provider, Worldwide, and made its debut in Decentraland in May. Its showcase is on a land plot leased from Bitcoin Suisse and is designed to provide a marketplace for merchants to engage with consumers in the metaverse.

So far, a number of global brands have been showcased, including Swiss electrical goods brand, Solis, and luxury hotel, The Chedi.

Naked Life Beverages is a local business that produces no-sugar and low-sugar beverages distributed nationally through Woolworths, Woolworths Metro, Coles Local and independent supermarkets. Its presence in the metaverse has gone live for the month of September and will see the brand with products on display virtually, as well as advertising and promotions through the ANZ Worldline showroom.

ANZ Worldline Payment Solutions CEO for A/NZ, Petr Ryska, said key features and functionality of its presence in Decentraland include an exclusive merchant of the month area, featuring interactive billboards and product displays. There are also interactive chatbots that visitors can chat with via their avatars, an event space including a virtual stage to host virtual product presentations or events, and a dedicated space for supporting charity projects.

Naked Life Beverages CEO, David Andrew, told CMO there the hype around the metaverse had led the business to dive into the activation in order to understand the brand opportunity. With many of its customers in the Gen Z bracket, who are already active users to the metaverse, the ‘better for you’ drinks brand was also keen to find emerging ways to engage.

“For such a new platform, we believe you need to experiment from the inside – that’s how we’ve always approached innovation. Being a smaller company, we’re able to do that, this time with the added support of ANZ Worldline as the omnichannel expert,” Andrew said.

Some of the questions Andrew said Naked Life Beverages is looking to answer from this first activation include: Are we too early, too late? How does this play out as an extension of our ecommerce strategy? And what investment will be required?

“Investment costs for the metaverse aren’t set and there aren’t benchmarks. This is an experiment for us to understand from the inside, what the opportunity is and then the metrics will follow. This is our first step, and we’ll know pretty quickly how we need to pursue it,” Andrew said.

Globally, Ryska is seeing demand for the Worldline Metaverse showroom from retail brands, but also healthcare, property, luxury and mass market brands. 

“The common denominator across brands showing interest in the metaverse is a digital-first, customer-centric mindset,” he said. “They know their customers intimately and are following them into this new platform, to interact, engage and ultimately do business with them. They want to understand the opportunities and how their omnichannel strategies would need to evolve to incorporate the metaverse.”

Decentraland is one of several metaverses that’s been created and is attracting about 300,000 visitors per month globally. ANZ Worldline Payment Solutions this year will invest a further $22 million into its platform for Australia, including development of this metaverse offering. Globally, the organisation has spent about $350 million globally in research and development.

“The metaverse is still in its infancy, but it’s quickly gaining momentum - we’re already having conversations with small and large Australian brands who are planning ahead,” Ryska said, adding its metaverse play is a direct response to customer demand for a way to advertise and ultimately trade in the new virtual realm.  

“As the technology becomes more accessible and mainstream, the metaverse will become another way of buying, selling and marketing to consumers. We’ve had bricks-and-mortar, we’ve got online and we’ll soon have the metaverse,” he said. “It’s important that businesses have an omnichannel payments solution that allows them to transact across all these platforms.”  

Tennis Australia also took its first steps into the metaverse this year, launching a dedicated metaverse experience, virtual AO, as part of the 2022 Australian Open.

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