The young start-up Daire wants to launch the first virtual shopping center in Belgium in September: DaireLand. “If a brand really wants to develop an online shopping experience that is close to reality, they should go for the metaverse,” said co-founder Luan Doan.
Founded in 2021 by Toby Nguyen, Daire is a technology start-up specializing in artificial intelligence. Your main project? The development of DaireLand, an online platform that should become the first virtual shopping center in our country starting in September.
“A shopping experience closer to reality”
“Over the past year, the metaverse concept has received a lot of attention, especially thanks to Facebook. We at Daire are also convinced that these virtual worlds are the future,” says Luan Doan. “Whether it is private or professional matters, we are spending more and more time online. And thanks to technology, there are now new possibilities to create a shopping experience in a digital world that is closer to the reality of the physical world” According to the entrepreneur, virtual shopping malls are the logical continuation of a process that began a long time ago: “If you look at the evolution of purchases, you see that physical stores were first, then websites, and finally virtual stores. We believe that the next step will be the metaverse. We’re not saying this will be the only solution, but it’s one that offers a lot of interactivity and possibilities.”
But what will this shopping center of the future look like? “When you visit a web store now, everything is very static,” says Luan Doan. “On the platform that we are developing, customers will be able to visit our mall, walk through it, browse the stores, just like in a physical mall. All thanks to an avatar in a three-dimensional virtual world. And, of course, you will be able to serve the offers and promotions of the brands present.” Later, Daire wants to gradually implement a whole series of developments such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and blockchain technology.” For example, customers will also be able to customize their avatars. There really are a lot of options.”
A new sales channel
Luan Doan believes that virtual malls are the future of online shopping, but they are not intended to replace everything that already exists, at least not at first. “We offer brands a new solution, a new tool to present their products. The idea is not to replace a sales channel, but to create a new one. The brands will continue to have their physical stores and web stores, but they will also have a place in DaireLand”. According to the co-founder of the start-up, it is up to the brands to decide how everything will evolve in the future. “But it’s clear that static websites will eventually go away. If you look at the news, you can see that major international brands are already setting up their stores in the metaverse.”
Daire’s team will now begin building the virtual mall. At the same time, it will develop the different stores in collaboration with brands interested in renting commercial spaces. “We will work with them to create their virtual stores, including their logos and branding, we will organize the space as they want…” Over time, Daire is also considering developing related services such as home delivery or marketing. focus on the platform. We will see how the brands react, what they want, if they are willing to work together, etc. But from our experience with artificial intelligence, I can already tell that this technology will be integrated in the next steps.”
“Giving visibility to Belgian brands in the metaverse is one of our most important goals”
Before its launch, DaireLand expects to reach between 10 and 20 retailers. “At the moment, we are mainly interested in brands that already have a strong online presence, that want to shop virtually at their level,” explains Luan Doan, “but we want to attract all kinds of brands because we need them to build our mall. Attracting Belgian brands and offering them a showcase in the metaverse is one of our main goals. We are Belgian and we are proud of that, and this will certainly be part of our marketing.” In the longer term, Daire has the ambition to make DaireLand the benchmark platform for the Belgian metaverse.
That leaves the question of how much retailers will have to pay. “We haven’t set our exact prices yet, simply because they will depend on many factors, such as the size or position of a store in our mall,” explains Luan Doan, adding that the price will depend on what happens on a monthly basis. like when you rent a physical space. “I think our prices will be between 1,000 and 2,000 euros per month.” Therefore, the idea of Daire is to stay roughly in the same price category as a classic webshop. “While there will likely be some extras as we create new technology, it’s certainly not our goal to force brands to pay more and more. They will be able to determine the rate at which they roll out new features based on their goals.”