It was the 28th of October when Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s rebranding to Meta. After the announcement, Google search fired up, everyone wanted to know what the metaverse was. Expected!
But, what is the metaverse exactly? How does it work? How can a company use it? What are the benefits and challenges of Metaverse?
This metaverse guide for business will walk you through the basics of metaverse solutions, the benefits, the challenges and how a business can implement a metaverse experience.
What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse is not a new term, to be exact, the first time that the metaverse term was introduced was in 1992 by Neal Town Stephenson, an American novelist and his science-fiction novel “Snow Crash”. But, Mark Zuckerberg is the reason that the idea of metaverse was widely introduced and it boosted the popularity of the metaverse for business.
The metaverse was firstly experienced through video games such as Fortnite, the popularity of the game was another reason that helped skyrocket the metaverse idea.
Cambridge dictionary defines metaverse as an imaginary area without limits where you can meet people in virtual reality.
In the metaverse, users are able to interact with each other through their 3D avatars. Besides chatting with other visitors and walking around, metaverse enables the purchase of assets, digital (NFTS) and physical (eCommerce).
Due to the high engagement that a virtual experience offers, some companies have already started implementing the metaverse solution, such as Gucci, Alibaba and most recently Accenture.
What you should know before adopting Metaverse for business purposes
Like any new technology solution, the metaverse is a complex solution to implement to your existing business mix, but not impossible. Why?
A big challenge for business, if not the biggest, is how to train the employees to use new solutions efficiently. Processes, human resources, and capital investment are required by the companies in order to get familiar with a new solution and make it work. The implementation pipeline could be long and tiresome for the employees and management. Furthermore, the fastest Return on Investment (ROI) is another priority of an organisation that is highly connected to the implementation of new technologies, such as the metaverse. Therefore, companies will either choose a fully customized solution; however, this choice brings us to another challenge of implementing metaverse for business.
Feature customization, dedicated account managers, physical and virtual training for employees and turning expectations into reality add up to the metaverse investment and might cost an arm and a leg for a small company. New technologies are human capital intensive as software engineering expertise is required to build a stable and trusted solution. But, I will also say that it depends. There are many metaverse solutions, including iStaging, that can get you a jaw- dropping metaverse experience with minimal investment.
Another important challenge you should know before adopting metaverse for your business is the requirement of a strong internet connection and the ownership of the latest gear. As I mentioned earlier, the metaverse is the creation of a digital world where people can interact with each other, which needs a super strong internet bandwidth in order to have the best experience. High quality graphic content, chatting widgets and video calls require a strong connection to achieve the best performance.
Steep employee learning curve, high investment and infrastructure costs are a few of the main challenges that a business needs to consider before adopting a metaverse solution. However, these challenges in comparison to the benefits that a metaverse experience can bring a company are small.
Drag and drop solutions and an intuitive User Interface can create a fun and easy-to-learn environment for employees. A standardized platform solves the issue of high upfront investments and an upgrade to the internet bandwidth can get you a step closer to implementing metaverse for your company fast, easy and cost-effective.
Why does every business need a metaverse experience?
IKEA, L’Oreal, Accenture and others have already set the example on how to implement a metaverse experience in the business world: creation of a virtual buying journey, employee training, events and more.
These are a few benefits that the metaverse offers to business:
- Enables fast and less-cost intensive employee training and. onboarding.
- Builds a stronger customer-base through engagement
- Achieves strategic customer segmentation and discovery of new buyer personas.
- Accomplishes shorter and low-cost product development process
- Increases sales and ROI.
Business models and opportunities in the Metaverse
The metaverse could enable business opportunities and a new business model that sounds impossible in the physical world or it can actually replicate the physical business environment.
Some of the opportunities that business clients will be able to experience in the metaverses include:
- Presenting off-plan houses, hosting virtual open houses, decorating newly bought homes or even buying digital land through the metaverse.
- Buying outfits and accessories and hosting VIP buying sessions.
- Training employees through role-play and virtual scenarios, interacting with customers virtually for customer service, sales and other business operations.
- Participating in virtual social occasions, such as online classes, work meetings and entertainment events.
- Showcasing your artwork and designs and allowing digital visitors to buy them.
How to get started in the Metaverse?
If you’re still reading this Metaverse guide for business, it means that you are already excited and serious about adopting a metaverse experience for your company. Here’s a list on how to get started with metaverse for business:
Identify the challenge you’re trying to solve or the opportunity you’re trying to achieve with the metaverse.
Assign the department/team/employees responsible to implement/research the right metaverse solution for your business.
Know your budget, capabilities and your timeline.
Do your research. Identify metaverse solution providers that are flexible, adaptable and have a solid customer base. Metaverse platforms that have already worked with your industry competitors will be the best option as their market expertise will guide you through the implementation.
Allow your imagination to take you to the metaverse. In the metaverse, everything is possible. However, certain limitations should be taken into consideration. Always remember for whom you are building the metaverse solution and their needs.
You’re ready to go! The promotion of your metaverse solution is one of the most important steps. Highlight the benefits that your target group will get out of the metaverse (knowledge, special offers, exclusivity, minimizing environmental impact and more).
Evaluate and adjust! Make sure you use analytics and data to evaluate the performance of your metaverse experience, adjust and repeat.
“In the end the only people who fail are those who do not try” - David Viscott
Start exploring the best Metaverse solution for your company and business, watch our latest training sessions on how to create your first metaverse experience and get inspired!