Metaverse: What it means for businesses?

Metaverse

What is Metaverse?

Meta Universe or better known as Metaverse is a futuristic vision of the internet. In simple words it is a comprehensive reality that is an amalgamation of augmented and virtual reality. It has been loosely defined by many experts, however, the best way to understand is that it is an extensive world built on the internet wherein people interact with the help of their own digital avatars. 

Brand and global organization leading the space in technology, Meta Platforms Inc, formally known as Facebook, has been deeply invested in building products, spaces and hardware to develop metaverse experience even leading them to change their name to Meta. Microsoft, Accenture to leading entertainment and gaming brands like Roblox and Epic Games are all working towards building business innovation models working towards establishing their own metaverse spaces.

Unity Softwares explains that space that the Tech companies are aspiring to create in the Metaverse will allow people to view a UFC fight from any angle including the direct view of the fighter himself.

Roblox Corp. and Epic games have already immersed deeply into the metaverse where they have held concerts with the likes of Ariana Grande offering many types of immersive entertainment experiences. 

Microsoft believes that eventually people will be able to do virtually anything on the metaverse including education, shopping, work meetings and much more using their avatars and virtually built an extensive meta universe. 

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How can you visit this Meta Universe?

While your laptop to mobile screen can offer you an experience to build your own avatars from the technology at your hand, virtual reality headsets offer a deeply immersive experience. These headsets have been a boon for the gaming industry as it lets you experience the online universe only with no other distractions. Brands like Meta offer oculus- branded virtual and augmented reality headsets while Snap Inc. and Microsoft Corp. offer augmented reality glasses built for consumers and businesses. 

Brand will be working with existing technologies in the video gaming industry who have been the leaders in the AR-enabled experience offerings for close to a decade now. Their innovations will be used to build on further technologies for the Metaverse. 

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What does this mean for businesses and how will it change the way you do business?

With Industry 4.0 evolution and transformation, technology has taken over every sector, which if anything is a bold and bullish signal that virtual reality will soon be the go to way to conduct your business. Hence, it is only wise to stay connected with the change and understand how this impacts your advertising, marketing, sales, consumers connect and much more. 

  • Advertising and selling in the virtual world

A Head of Metaverse has already been appointed by Nike, a brand focused on technology innovations for decades to offer the most competitive sports gear and merchandise in the market globally. However, this isn’t the Fashion sector’s first attempt into the AR-VR enabled experiences. 

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GUCCI has already built AR-enabled experience with Snap Inc. to launch their new shoe collection. A virtual try on and a direct-to-buy after their experiences was available to its user base. The brand further also worked with gaming brand Roblox to celebrate its 100th anniversary by holding a virtual event. With Roblox virtual gaming platform, GUCCI built and sold virtual products used within the gaming experience like artifacts or virtual tools, some sold more expensive than products in stores. This shows how metaverse can become a highly lucrative space for businesses to expand their base at a global level. 

Puma, Adidas, Micheal Kors, Shein to many lifestyle and accessories brands have used the platform to drive awareness, ROI’s and direct sales to their popular products using AR experiences. 

This technology has also worked well for travel, beauty, retails, fitness, apps, consumer goods and many more sectors, especially with product offerings discounts, direct customer benefits on purchase, ads on limited series edition or a collectors item tag to it. 

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  • Virtual Properties ( for rentals and purchase)

The Meta universe will also get its own property sector. Brands and owners will be able to build hotels, restaurants, casinos, co-working spaces, offices, homes, housing societies, art galleries, stadiums and much more. These will become rental properties or available for sale and purchase in the virtual world for their marketing and advertising spaces. The more visited a particular hotel is, the more the owner will be able to charge as admission fee/ entrance fee from the avatars entering the hotel to also charge brands and businesses for marketing within the premises of the hotel that will be visible to all inside the hotel in the AR-VR- enabled world. Owning a virtual property will become an investment in the near future. 

  • New ways to earn a living

One can build their own avatar and be an influencer in the virtual space. Brands will be closely following influencers who are able to gain a large number of people to follow their avatars. These brands will hire and pay a substantial amount to these popular virtual beings to become their brand ambassadors and spokesperson in the virtual world. With the tech giants fighting over the most numbers of users in their built Metaverse, and users having the choice to hop from a music concert to a film viewing to a football match within a matter of seconds, virtual influencers will play a huge role in engaging with audiences and building a loyal fan base. This redefines how brands can engage with its customer base, reach and connect with a global audience.

 

While the pros have been largely advertised by the giants globally, analysts from various sectors and fields stay divided on the pros and cons of the Metaverse. There are credible data privacy issues, cyber security threats, technical hurdles, costs incurred and resources required that make this questionable to many across the globe. In the present, we know that the Metaverse is here and that businesses reluctant to strategize and move their offerings to the virtual world will be left behind. Agility is key to growth in the future, a future that will co-exist within the virtual space. 

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