From using static websites to AR becoming a part of life, technology has come a long way. Most of us have witnessed the power of digital evolution and will continue to do so. Umpteen iterations in the technology are continuing to transform and enhance customer experience.
But how does this new buzz in technology help brands and their customers? Let’s discuss how this will be beneficial to customers.
Interestingly enough, the term was first used in a science-fiction novel by Neal Stephenson in 1992 and now we are using it as a mainstream technology.
The Metaverse represents the interactive world of a three-dimensional web powered by Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). This kind of technology is persistent, infinite, interoperable, self-sustaining, and in real-time technology.
With the increasing popularity of the Metaverse, companies are choosing to build centralized and decentralized Metaverses. Since the industries have already benefited from blockchain technology, the demand for blockchain-powered Metaverse has increased significantly.
Benefits of Metaverse to consumers
The ever-increasing trend of telecommunication has made people rely more and more on virtual spaces and digital mode communication like web conferences, video calls, and so on.
Taking the digital experience to the next level, the Metaverse has brought a range of real-world capabilities to users in a 3-D immersive world.
Following are the key benefits that Metaverse brings to us.
Metaverse Addressing Remote Work Challenges
The Metaverse has proven time and again that it can meet all the existing challenges of remote work.
It has provided the managers with a virtual platform where they can meet their employees’ avatars and communicate effectively (verbal and non-verbal). It helps them to retain the essence of in-person interaction.
With the Metaverse, the employer can also solve problems as they can keep a track of the team inside a virtual office.
Best Tool for Healthcare Practitioners
A metaverse is a boon tool for healthcare professionals and medical staff who could not visit their patients because of geographical limitations.
With the help of Metaverse, healthcare practitioners can now interact with the patient and have a clearer and better understanding of their patient’s health condition.
Metaverse Making Online Games more Exciting
Metaverse helping the gamers and game developers as well. Most of the Metaverse games are decentralized with an integrated economic model to support play-to-earn games.
These kinds of games allow the customers to buy, sell, and trade in-game assets in the form of NFTs.
On top of that, the idea of avatars exploring the vast virtual space is exciting and thrilling for players like you and me.
Experience Virtual Tours
There’s no one who never wishes to travel. Traveling is an adventurous experience; however, not everyone can travel as per their wishes concerning the limited resources.
And that’s when Metaverse comes into the picture, it allows you to visit places virtually where they cannot go actually.
With the combined power of the VR, AR, and the Metaverse, an advanced virtual world is developed which will offer a first-person experience.
Monetization Benefits for Metaverse Developers and Consumers
Development enthusiasts are always looking to develop the ecosystem and they always want to build their business-specific projects, while others are looking for opportunities to generate income.
And the Metaverse has opened its doors to meet the demands of both these groups. Because the Metaverse is open-source, it helps everyone build a relevant project on top of the ecosystem.
Use Cases and Applications of the Metaverse
Advanced Blockchain Use Cases
Blockchain is important for the mass dimension of the Metaverse across major industries. It functions as a distributed ledger for recording peer-to-peer transactions and provides the creation of digital assets called NFTs and dApps.
With Metaverse, brands can design more realistic and exciting marketplaces where customers can interact with fellow users, have a look at desired NFTs, and make better buying decisions.
Metaverse offers a shared realm of virtual space and thus, it has been promoting new blockchain games in which users can gather the collectibles and exchange them with other participants.
Virtual Work and Learning Spaces
During the pandemic, worldwide businesses adopted digital modes of communication. Video conferencing platforms became a lot popular for online classes, remote work, and other work-from-home meetings and arrangements.
However, in the long run, these platforms failed to provide an engaging, compelling experience because of the real-time video and audio conferences.
Enter the Metaverse!
Metaverse offers users a more engaging experience to address the limitations of the work-from-home model through its graphically rich virtual environment, immersive meetings, and 3-D avatars.
Rather than mere audio and visual communication, the Metaverse allows you to navigate through the environment with life-like participants’ avatars.
Virtual Businesses and Markets
Advancements in technology have created new opportunities for businesses and have helped them to promote their products and services effectively.
With the increasing use of the Metaverse, businesses are coming out of the 2-D traditional surface of eCommerce and are more adoptive towards lifelike virtualized spaces for a profound experience.
eCommerce business owners can now interact with their merchants and customers in a virtual space and perform formalities like negotiations, product inspection, and finalizing.
On top of that, Metaverse helps businesses to influence their customers using realistic and interactive marketing content instead of relying on social media marketing tactics.
Expansion of Social Media Platforms
The idea of accepting the Metaverse is to introduce 3D space which is not limited to watching people on computers or mobile screens and listening to their voices.
Platforms based on the Metaverse offer a more immersive experience for social media users by inducing a feeling of presence amongst the users.
We have witnessed the evolution of social media from text-based platforms to sharing memories, stories, and even video calls. And now, we are entering the world of the Metaverse.
Content in the Metaverse is focused on graphics, and the users will become content creators as they live virtually inside that universe.
Metaverse Customer Experience
Though the Metaverse will not replace the physical or even online customer experience; however, it will turn out to be an important new channel – much like social media and online shopping.
Everyone has been talking about the endless benefits that a business organization could get from the Metaverse, but what about us — consumers?
WIth the Metaverse coming up, research has explicitly shown that customer engagement will increase manifolds.
Customer Engagement in the Metaverse
In the Metaverse, customers will now be able to interact with their favorite online stores and brands as much as they would like to do in real life.
The customers can pursue storefronts, shop in a virtual store, select products off the rack, consult with employees, try on the products in a virtual dressing room, and finally, add the products to the cart.
The whole shopping experience will be redefined with the Metaverse and yet, it will remain the same.
While some brands are looking to recreate their real-life stories in the metaverse, others are going a step forward to create an entirely new online shopping experience.
Nike built Nikeland — a virtual world where their customers can interact with the brand in unique ways. Thus, taking customer experience a step forward and redefining the world of online shopping.
Maximum Differentiation, Greater Reach
We live in a generation where customer experience boils down to creating personalized experiences, which, in turn, makes the brand stand out from the crowd, hence, making the customers want to revisit time and again.
The Metaverse provides companies and their brands with umpteen opportunities to provide the best customer experience.
Here’s how brands that use Metaverse opportunities can enhance the customer experience:
- Just like Nike, brands with Metaverse have an opportunity to introduce new ways of engaging with their customers and even create a new customer base in the Metaverse, be it creating a virtual marketplace or offering novel experiences that take them away from reality.
- With Metaverse in the picture, customers can now experience their favorite more precisely based on their choices in the Metaverse.
- Metaverse will help the brands to reach customers, hence, customers will have access to more brands that they previously couldn’t for reasons like geographic limitations or the scope of the brand’s sales and marketing team.
- Pandemic was one of the catalysts to increasing customers’ appetite for virtual experiences, such as online grocery shopping or attending virtual classes, or ordering food through apps.
This way customers’ demands can be met by the brands and hence, create new experiences in the Metaverse.
Creating Unique Experiences and Staying Focused
All kinds of new technology have opportunities for improvements and the Metaverse is no different. Brands will map this customer journey, capturing insights about where the gap occurs and taking action to provide a smooth and seamless customer experience.
Brands’ top priority is enhancing the customer experience in the Metaverse impacts the employee experience. The Metaverse will increase the importance of understanding their connection — inclusive of how employees will support consumers’ requirements in an always-on, avatar-driven world.
Metaverse will be a positive experience to induce new and creative experiences, brands will tune themselves to customers’ changing needs.
Hence, the customers’ needs and wants will be fulfilled like never before!
Top Metaverse Projects that Exists Today
A lot of industries are jumping into the new horizon of the Metaverse. Some of the top projects in the Metaverse are:
Decentraland is a gaming-based Metaverse project that is designed to facilitate an immersive and realistic virtual world for worldwide users to explore, create, and trade NFTs.
This platform allows the users to buy land, host live events, play games, and do more exciting activities, which are also possible in the real world.
The platform is fully owned and regulated by its users. Users can vote for decisions like optimization and feature upgrades, participate in governance, and propose major changes.
Real Estate Metaverse—Upland
Upland is a blockchain-powered gaming Metaverse project designed to sell, buy, and virtually trade properties mapped to real-world addresses.
The properties on upland are represented via NFTs so users can become “digital landowner” and trade NFTs to earn profits in the form of UPX coins.
Upland seeks to build a digital economy that will blur the gap between the real world and the digital world, and thus, allows people to benefit from the utility of both the worlds.
Challenges That Are Likely To Occur in the Metaverse
Metaverse is one of the greatest innovations in the VR world, and for sure, it will change everyone’s perception of social media interactions.
However, social media is still in its initial stages and like every emerging technology, the Metaverse presents the following potential challenges.
- Contrary to the experiences in the real world, it has become a little challenging to identify people in the Metaverse. One will have to verify the users through the avatar’s voice, facial expressions, and other characteristic features.
- Bots or scammers might damage one’s reputation or they might pretend to be an avatar to accomplish an objective.
- One of the other main challenges is privacy concerns. The whole world of Metaverse depends on AR and VR devices, which can leak personal data as they are equipped with camera capabilities and unique identifiers.
It’s not about ‘first come, first serve’, but only those brands will be successful who understand the customer journey the best and how they will provide meaningful experiences and if they will triumph in retaining and attracting new customers in this new virtual world.
Even though brands will implement the Metaverse in their ecosystem, it will be their consumers that will benefit the most from this new technological innovation.