An SHI guide: How to successfully join the metaverse in 7 easy steps
Late adoption of the metaverse can significantly affect your customers, revenue, brand image, and, ultimately, your bottom line.

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The metaverse is the next frontier for businesses. Just look at the numbers.

According to Grand View Research, the global metaverse market sat at $65.5 billion in 2022. That figure is projected to soar to $936.57 billion by 2030 — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.6%.

Right now, there are 400 million active metaverse users. By 2026, 25% of people worldwide are expected to spend an hour a day minimum in the metaverse for work, shopping, social media, and entertainment, per a recent Gartner report. During the same period, at least 30% of businesses will offer products and services in the metaverse, while over 50% of respondents in a Tidio survey say they plan to join the metaverse for work.

While this all seems very exciting, it can be intimidating — especially if your organization lacks technical expertise and is wary of this emerging technology. Waiting for safer bets might seem like a smart move, but it also comes at a cost.

The problem with being late to the party

Late adoption of the metaverse can significantly affect your customers, revenue, brand image, and, ultimately, your bottom line.

You’ll miss out on crucial learnings and talent acquisitions needed for building competitive products. Moreover, as the novelty fades and public expectations rise, the margin for error becomes razor thin.

Early adopters, on the other hand, enjoy a distinct advantage. They can establish themselves, build customer rapport, and seize unchallenged opportunities. The metaverse serves as a redemption chance for organizations that missed the technology waves of the previous generation.

Therefore, if your organization is still in a holding pattern, you must act swiftly and make a strategic move. Here’s a seven-step approach to getting your metaverse project off the ground.

  1. Identify and address core challenges

Before doing anything, you must unearth your organization’s real challenges and the root causes. This not only ensures effective problem-solving, but it prevents the premature project termination often seen with tech-focused hobby projects.

Embrace diverse perspectives and creativity by organizing cross-team brainstorming sessions. Engage all relevant stakeholders, including internal innovation teams, business leadership, subject matter experts (SMEs), lines of business, and frontline workers. This collaborative approach ensures comprehensive evaluation and prevents overlooked factors.

Evaluate each pain point with an open mind, considering all relationships and drivers. Categorize and prioritize the issues using a severity scale, such as critical, serious, high, moderate, and minor.

  1. Align business outcomes to a metaverse opportunity

Before you can map a metaverse opportunity to your business initiatives, you must understand what the metaverse is, its real-world potential, its challenges, and the use case spectrum. As you learn the ropes, focus on how the metaverse can impact your employees, customers, partners, extended community, and industry ecosystem.

Evaluate short and long-term prospects, gather stakeholder insights, explore metaverse applications, engage with developers, study metaverse case studies, and consider regulatory implications.

Assess the impact of the underlying technology stack on your existing products and services and allocate time effectively — the early mover advantage window only stays open for so long. Determine if the metaverse is the right solution for your most pressing pain points, weighing alternatives like system modifications or training.

Consider the risks of inaction, potential deployment challenges, and organizational change. Then, analyze data to categorize use cases based on complexity and benefit, focusing on top priority “must-do” and “need-to-do” cases for maximum business value.

  1. Define KPIs and capture baseline data

Successful metaverse projects always have well-defined key performance indicators (KPIs).

Specify KPIs for each of your must-do and need-to-do use cases and ensure that you have the proper infrastructure to record them. Multiple KPIs — like time savings, cost reduction, and increased efficiency, for example — can be tied to the same use case.

Other common metaverse KPIs include improved safety rates, higher productivity, enhanced engagement, lower turnover rates, faster resolution times, improved operational efficiency ratios, increased sales, enhanced net promoter score (NPS), and higher profit margins. Additionally, consider capturing intangible metrics like sustainability goals, enhanced decision-making, and improved outcomes for employees, customers, and partners.

Once KPIs are defined, reevaluate must-do and need-to-do use cases based on their potential impact. Select a use case to proceed with and gather baseline data, including KPIs, current performance, and dollar values. Implement necessary measurement tools to track baseline data for future return on investment (ROI) comparisons.

  1. Identify your SMART goal criteria

Before launching a pilot for your metaverse use case, establish SMART goal criteria to help you manage expectations and keep your project on track. Here’s how:

  • Specific: Define the pilot’s precise scope and expected outcomes for effective planning.
  • Measurable: Establish measurable impact by defining business challenges, actions, and metrics before, during, and after the pilot.
  • Achievable: Set realistic objectives considering time, barriers, and measurement methods to increase the odds of success.
  • Relevant: To avoid misdirected efforts, align the pilot with defined KPIs, organizational vision, and values.
  • Time-based: Designate an end date for the pilot, allowing for adjustments and including time for preparation, testing, and evaluation.

Considering scalability and provider support, evaluate metaverse solutions that align with your use case and pilot objectives. Include digital products, marketing activities, projected sales, ROI, and satisfaction surveys for comprehensive results. Select project champions to promote the initiative, earn trust, and manage expectations.

Introduce the solutions to users in their daily work environment, provide training, and offer ongoing support. Throughout the pilot, encourage experimentation, validate assumptions, discover new opportunities for brand awareness, transform followers into community members, design utility into assets, and explore IP-related considerations and differentiation.

  1. Determine ROI

Calculating the total value of a metaverse project can be challenging due to its wide-ranging impacts. Factors such as digital transformation, as-a-service models, and agile development processes further complicate ROI analysis.

Collect KPI data from the pilot’s lifecycle and compare it with baseline metrics to examine changes. If multiple KPIs were measured, separate ROI calculations might be necessary.

ROI analysis shouldn’t be all-or-nothing, as some use cases may justify investment through cost savings or efficiencies gained, while others require more substantial justifications. Many companies choose a cost/benefit model instead of cash flow-based ROI or net present value (NPV) analyses, considering direct costs versus solution benefits.

For the best results, conduct a thorough analysis by quantifying process changes, impacts, limitations, and issues, while documenting the metaverse solution’s benefits and business differentiators. Through comprehensive evaluation, you can determine the ROI and understand the tangible and intangible value the metaverse brings to your organization.

  1. Gather feedback

Conduct interviews with stakeholders to gather qualitative data on the pilot, use case(s), evaluated metaverse solutions, and their personal experiences using the technology.

Distribute anonymous satisfaction surveys with open-ended questions to capture unbiased feedback and generate new ideas for demographics, use cases, intellectual property (IP), solutions portfolio, and revenue streams.

  1. Document takeaways and lessons learned

Compile KPI data, ROI calculations, interviews, satisfaction surveys, and metaverse-specific information into a report for decision-makers.

Include insights on successes, challenges, gaps, the value of project champions and vendors/solution providers, and the response from employees, customers, partners, and the community. Assess the pilot’s success and determine if the metaverse solution should be deployed at a larger scale.

If approved, document initial steps, standardize processes, and establish the necessary infrastructure and operations for the expanded scope.

Bring your metaverse project to life

The metaverse holds the promise of a bright future for businesses worldwide. By embracing early adoption and understanding its vast potential, companies can position themselves as pioneers in a transformative digital landscape.

Ready to take the plunge and bring your metaverse project to life? SHI can help.

Think of our experts as strategic consultants — eager and ready to work with you to discover the art of the possible, identify and build your business cases, evaluate the metaverse technology stack, vendor solutions, and ecosystem options, and develop strategies for where to play and how to win. You can join our Metaverse Foundations Workshop to dive deeper into this exciting digital space and discover how to make it work for your business needs.

As the metaverse continues to evolve, businesses that seize this emerging technology will shape the future of digital experiences and thrive in the new era of connectivity and immersion.

Contact SHI today to learn more about the metaverse, how to maximize its potential, and how to begin your first project.