The top 5 ways the metaverse is set to transform your business
The metaverse is often touted as the future of the internet. It is the next stage in digital transformation in both our business and daily lives. However, many people still don’t fully understand what the metaverse is or how it will impact them. The virtual worlds created on gaming platforms are the most obvious use case for the metaverse today. Yet the metaverse can and will be used for so much more. Rather than being solely experienced by keen gamers, the metaverse will transform our businesses. It is up to us to fully embrace these transformations and prepare our businesses for the metaverse revolution.
1. Do we really want to work from home?
Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have been working from home. As a result, much of our interaction with our work colleagues has been through a 2-D screen. Video calls and emails have meant that we have been unable to connect with our colleagues in person. But we will not be stuck like this forever.
The virtual world that gamers currently occupy will be transported into the business world. Here, we will be able to create our virtual avatars to represent ourselves in a 3-D virtual environment. Instead of being confined to a 2-D image, we’ll be able to walk around and interact with our colleagues as if we were in the office. While this may seem strange at first, it will help to combat the increase in social isolation felt by many since the transition to working from home. One report found that as many as 70% of workers felt isolated working from home. Moreover, 63% felt less engaged with their colleagues.
The metaverse will help to solve this. It will help workers to better define the boundaries between home and work lives. It will also help interactions with colleagues seem more natural, as if they were in person. While it is not a complete replacement for the real world, it is the next best thing.
2. More and better training.
The metaverse will also help to transform training and onboarding within the workplace. Instead of learning directly on the job and requiring intense supervision, workers in industries with increased risks in the real world will be able to learn their craft virtually. For example, those in the construction industry will be able to learn new techniques and skills without the costs associated with real-world practice. This will mean that workers can start training, knowing that they already gained previous experience in a virtual environment.
Moreover, for those at the start of their career, the metaverse will make onboarding and education more easily scalable, allowing individuals to meet team members from all over the world. It will make training more accessible, helping to break down the geographic barriers that prevent many from climbing the social and economic ladder.
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3. Travelling less, selling more
Beyond just an internal tool, the metaverse has the potential to also change the way businesses interact with their clients. Specifically, it will reinvent the role of the travelling salesperson. Rather than having to travel vast distances, salespeople could pitch to clients all over the world from the comfort of their homes.
In a study by Salesforce, 51% of salespeople expected to travel less post-pandemic. A further 47% agreed that most selling would be done virtually, rather than in person.
They will be able to create a virtual environment where they can demonstrate their product to their clients without having to bring the product to them in person. Additionally, through the use of augmented reality, clients will be able to picture virtual products within their workspace through a 3-D model. This will reduce the burden on the heavy financial and time commitments often needed to chase sales.
4. Exploring the virtual mall
The metaverse will not only change the sales experiences for businesses, but also for customers. Instead of having to travel to an out-of-town mall, it will allow customers to explore their favourite shops virtually. This will mean that they can browse all of the latest styles and product ranges in an instant. Far from being just a 2-D image on the website, these products will be 3-D models that will give a much better representation of the real thing.
It will also not be confined to products that are based entirely within the real world. Businesses will be able to diversify their product ranges to transport their catalogue into a virtual world. Many fashion brands are already doing this, allowing customers to purchase licensed products for their avatars. This itself represents a broader shift in the market that the metaverse will bring. Businesses will be able to reach new audiences and create new revenue streams in the virtual world.
5. Rethinking events and exhibitions
Far from just transforming business on an individual scale, the metaverse will also allow companies to transform how and where they conduct events. Instead of the intense costs and planning that goes into real-world events, businesses will be able to create and plan exhibitions in the virtual world. This will mean that people can attend the event no matter where they are in the world.
The metaverse will give businesses the chance to reinvent how they pitch and communicate their products to individuals. It means they’ll have the ability to offer product demonstrations during events and connect with people that otherwise would not have attended.
Therefore, far from being a technology exclusively used by gamers, the metaverse will transform the business world. This includes changing where we work, how we are trained, and also how we interact with customers. This will affect both the internal and external processes of our businesses. While this has been a list of the more obvious transformations, it is far from an exhaustive list. Indeed, we may not yet be able to imagine the transformations that the metaverse will bring. What is clear, though, is that business leaders need to make clear and committed strategic decisions ahead of the next step in digital transformation. Only then can the promise the metaverse brings be realised.