Understanding Metaverse’s Potential Business Opportunities

The opportunity of the metaverse is to build an immersive and interconnected set of online third spaces where users have sovereign ownership and portability of their digital creations and possessions.

While the opportunities in the virtual worlds collectively known as the metaverse will look different in each business, the main value that organizations have begun to tap into is the ability to engage with consumers in ways that are different from other online channels. According to a June McKinsey report, the metaverse has the potential to generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030, an opportunity that is “too big” for businesses to ignore.

However, before a company enters the metaverse, it must first determine the type of virtual presence it wishes to establish with its customers. The metaverse is a consumer touchpoint that adds value and immerses a user in a specific experience so that they will spend more time engaging with a business.

“The business proposition is the type of virtual presence a company wants to create and how they want to interact with their consumers, whether for informational or entertainment purposes. It is explained that in order for the experience to be effective, a company must first understand their consumer and how it can create an authentic presence without imposing itself on the user.

A business must always understand the risks associated with any uncharted and undefined territory. A company should think about the costs of the metaverse as well as the digital presence it will gain with its customers.

New Channels for Customer Engagement

According to Hayley Sikora, experience strategy director at Valtech, the term “metaverse” refers to a future network of virtual worlds that is expected to further connect physical and digital realities. “While the metaverse has not yet materialized, it is widely assumed that it will be where much of our interaction will take place in the next wave of the internet. Today’s virtual worlds such as Roblox, Fortnite, and Decentraland as some of the first steps toward this metaverse, providing brands with their first genuine opportunities to connect with users in this space.

The beauty of metaverse experiences is that they can be used by businesses to connect with customers all over the world while feeling nearly as intimate and engaging as being in the same physical space together. “On a more concrete level there are a few different lenses through which the business case for a metaverse experience can be made. From the standpoint of brand awareness, the metaverse represents a greater opportunity to reach broader audiences and form deeper connections with them than other channels. In terms of revenue, the metaverse allows brands to incorporate enhanced product visualizations, consultations, and tools that have been shown to lead to more conversions.

In terms of a company’s product portfolio, the metaverse allows it to sell new, digital product lines like NFTs or tap into D2A (Direct-to-Avatar) revenue models. Finally, in terms of cost savings, the metaverse enables businesses to create, maintain, and update immersive experiences faster and cheaper than ever before. Think of the metaverse as a new marketing channel, similar to how social media was once a hot, new marketing channel for organizations. While not every department should be thinking about the metaverse strategy on a daily basis, organizations should bring together teams to collaborate on how the metaverse will play a role in the overall omnichannel customer journey.

A Self-Governing Environment for Digital Creations

The opportunity of the metaverse, according to Josh Constine, venture partner at early-stage VC fund SignalFire, is to build an immersive and interconnected set of online third spaces where users have sovereign ownership and portability of their digital creations and possessions.

As graphics, connections, screens, and headsets improve, and as more apps are built for the metaverse, people will spend more time there, unlocking opportunities for advertising, shopping, ticketing, and subscription experiences, as well as the infrastructure that powers it all.

Businesses that enter this world will need product managers who can reimagine how their products will work and be sold in the metaverse, as well as marketers who can get them the partnerships, property, and promotion that will help consumers discover them. Don’t try to cram your business into the metaverse in intrusive or unnatural ways just to preserve your existing product experience. Rather, consider how your product could be altered or translated to add value in the metaverse.

Creating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Track Success

As an organization begins to explore opportunities, it must define success and track KPIs associated with the metaverse. Once those are in place, a company can research what opportunities they want to pursue and weigh the costs of each option, such as deciding whether to build their own metaverse or join an existing one.

The trajectory of the existing metaverse, how long it has been around, the founding partners behind the metaverse, and whether their principles and ethics align with the company considering using it all influence this decision. It will be difficult to unwind once a company commits to a metaverse and directs attention to that platform. It is critical for executives to conduct thorough research on each opportunity.

Finally, one of the most important factors to consider is the consumer’s ease of use and how intuitive the experience is so that they will return to the platform. Because the metaverse is still a relatively new concept, and businesses are experimenting with various features, an organization must remain flexible and keep in mind that technology is evolving. In the early days of the internet, when businesses were unfamiliar with the technology and were slow to adopt it. Once we get past the trial-and-error phase and the infrastructure is fully developed, we will see this sector grow and more companies will embrace the metaverse.

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