I started researching this topic full of skepticism about the crazy ideas of virtual lands and virtual yachts I would find. To my surprise, it was exactly the opposite! We have clearly seen the rapid development of dynamic internet services in the past 20 years. But I discovered that ignoring the metaverse means ignoring the internet of tomorrow.
The metaverse is about improving our social experience and interactions. Many say that this is the future Web 3.0. According to PWC, we might not reach Web 3.0 soon (or ever), but there is clear evidence that the internet is evolving every single day. You do not want your business to be behind, right? Therefore, the least you can do is follow closely the topic and strategize.
Ignoring the Metaverse means to close your eyes to the development of the Internet in the next decade
To begin with, the primary goal of the metaverse is to provide immersive experience through virtual reality, augmented reality and videos. None of you want to lose customers because you fail to offer the online presence that matches the high quality experience you offer in-house. Since more and more customers reach a brand for the first time through its webstore before visiting its physical location, this means the quality of this experience has to match the quality of service you provide in-person. Do you believe your web presentation offers the same experience as your standard service?
Additionally, the metaverse is trying to change how consumers interact with products and services. According to Harvard Business Review, the metaverse isn’t a revolution, but an evolution, which will improve greatly how businesses interact with their customers. Their analysis leads them to believe that the metaverse will become a very realistic 3D world experience where you can play, recruit talent, interact with communities and much more. You can check the full article here.
Starting in the Metaverse
Every brand could start offering a metaverse experience now so they can create a better experience for their customers. Starting a metaverse experience can allow the brand to offer digital-only products, for instance. Of course, physical products and services can also be sold in the metaverse. Additionally, the data collected can help you improve your customer service. The most important part is to get enough feedback about this virtual space at the very beginning before you are already lagging behind your competitors. For more recommendations on how to begin your metaverse journey as a company, you can check PwC’s analysis here.
Creating NFTs to increase brand awareness
Today, NFTs are mainly used to build communities. Owning an NFT is a prove of access to some community or experiences (e.g. the Bored Ape Yacht Club, the CryptoPunks). This can definitely help your business!
The secret to NFTs is that they are a smart contracts and therefore you determine the rules. You can give them out to your community and allow members who are part of the community to use them to participate in different events, for example. You can also track different KPIs like the participation rate. A great example is TIME magazine which sends users a secret word and give them an hour to enter the secret word on their website and collect a free NFT. This feature could later give you access to more premium sessions.
Social commerce, i.e. buying products and services directly from experiences, is a growing market. You remember the pre-Covid times when book publishers organized reading sessions and people had the option to purchase books right at the particular events. Another example is watching TV sales channel and buying products based on their presentation. Now platforms like Facebooks Horizon Venues allows people to create their own 3D worlds. People can organize social experiences the way they did in real life and in the future we can expect sales opportunities to be available as well. After all, the platform already has 300,000 users.
Now you can take advantage of the current platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to sell your products directly on their websites. This is said to increase the conversion rates and your new audience. This e-commerce market segment went up 35% in 2021. Another research by Accenture points out that social commerce will grow three times as fast as normal commerce.
We do not think that Facebook (now Meta), Microsoft, Nike, Gucci and the thousands of other companies invested in the metaverse are going in the wrong direction. All of them are trying to build immersive digital experiences which are a true representation of the high-quality physical experiences they already offer in real life.