This article aims to explore the changing B2B technology landscape due to the growing adoption of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality (XR) technologies and their ability to create digital environments known as Metaverses…
But, what is a Metaverse…? Well, unless you’ve been hiding under a metaphorical rock for the last few months, you’ve probably heard a bit about Metaverses. For those of you who haven’t, a Metaverse is, in short, an immersive virtual reality space in which people can interact with other people and brands.
A recent MarTec study found that AR, VR and XR are currently used by 46% of technology business respondents, with a higher percentage planning to harness and implement these technologies in the next 12 months.
With behemoths like Facebook and Microsoft introducing Metaverse elements into the fabric of their business models, it’s time to start considering how the concept of Metaverse experiences will affect your own business now and in the fast approaching future.
Profit: A New Research Frontier
Harnessing a Metaverse for market research could result in findings being more reliable and valid, as participants are likely to feel more comfortable expressing their true feelings surrounding a product or service from the comfort of their own home, compared to traditional in person methods of data collection.
Through a Metaverse enabled research experience the result is more valuable data which can be utilised to bring products and services to market which are closer to solving the challenges your customers are facing - leading to increased demand, consumer advocacy and ultimately a stronger stream of revenue.
In addition, a Metaverse could be utilised to gain a deep understanding of a specific market's viability. For a relatively low cost, businesses could conduct market research at scale to collect large amounts of data to ensure they're making informed decisions on market entry, strategic targeting or even product diversification strategies.
People: A Catalyst for Creativity
With the global pandemic pushing the majority of workplace interactions onto digital platforms such as Slack and Zoom, the way in which we communicate with colleagues and peers has shifted and it doesn’t look likely to revert anytime soon, if ever, to pre-pandemic norms.
Adoption of metaverse experiences therefore feels like the natural next step for these types of relationships and interactions. Consequently, with workforces being increasingly remote, an opportunity has arisen for Metaverses to provide environments which enhance creative confidence and improve ideation among colleagues who may have never met in person - allowing teams to drive creativity despite being faced with geographic constraints.
Further, businesses are likely to explore the use of VR meetings to augment collaboration and build trust whilst also taking training and inspiration to the next level with fully simulated environments.
Planet: Sustainably Suitable
With sustainability at the forefront of global agendas, smart businesses will take advantage of Metaverse capabilities to explore new innovative methods in which they can reduce their carbon footprint and gain a competitive advantage in the sustainability arena.
For example, a business with employees spanning multiple geographic regions could choose to host meetings, events, trade shows or even large conferences within a Metaverse. This tactic has the ability to reduce environmental costs incurred through travel - especially air travel and also emissions from commuting.
Additionally, digital events mean there is no need for the production of physical assets which use resources and end up in landfill once the event has finished.
Product trial and testing often accounts for a large proportion of a business's carbon emissions. Take car manufacturers, for example, they’re increasingly under pressure to reduce their environmental footprint, so harnessing a Metaverse where product testing can be completed digitally, before arriving in the real world, holds significant value and can also lower production costs - providing competitive advantages outside of sustainability.
The Metaverse, once considered a futuristic dream of sci-fi fans, is quickly becoming a reality and it’s not going anywhere.
From work meetings to eCommerce, travel experiences to basic social interactions with others, it will challenge every belief we’ve developed about the limitations for humanness through the internet, social media and everything digital.