How the metaverse can transform your business for the better
Why the metaverse is set to change the future of work and how companies can prepare
Society likes to throw around the term “game changer” to the point where it’s hard to tell the difference between something that’s actually changing the game and something that’s, well, just another flavor of the week.
There should be no confusion when it comes to the metaverse, however. It’s more than just a passing fad.
The global metaverse market was estimated to be worth $47.69 billion in 2020, according to PWC. By 2028, it’s projected to reach $828.95 billion — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.3%.
Companies of all sizes are already entering the metaverse, from household names like Walmart and McDonald’s to apparel and fashion brands like Nike and Gucci. The metaverse is expected to change how we transact, socialize, create, own, and experience things in ways we can’t even imagine yet.
But what exactly is the metaverse, and why is it important? Let’s break down what decision-makers need to know about this emerging technology and how they can take advantage of it.
What is the metaverse?
In the simplest terms, the metaverse can be looked at as the next generation of the internet. It’s an immersive and interactive space where people can engage in social and graphic adventures.
The metaverse has the power to replace some of our physical offices, reimagine education, and change how we conduct business meetings, attend concerts and weddings, and experience other in-person physical interactions. It has the chance to modify, even revolutionize, how we earn a living — through play-to-earn games and other extended reality (XR) business opportunities — while creating an economy that rivals our current system through things like cryptocurrency, blockchain, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
Eventually, you can expect the metaverse to be leveraged for everything from gaming, social experiences, and immersive commerce to real estate, travel, fitness, and esports.
Technologies that power the metaverse
There are three primary technologies responsible for powering the metaverse: XR, blockchain, and digital assets.
XR is an umbrella term that encompasses all immersive technologies, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). These technologies allow people to access and interact with the metaverse through a variety of hardware like headsets, mobile phones, haptic gloves, and more.
Blockchain is an immutable distributed digital ledger that has many use cases, including cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, decentralized finance, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In the metaverse, blockchain technology is used to record transactions and create trustless digital relationships. This shared, immutable record provides transparency and security for all activities in the virtual world.
Digital assets are a form of virtual currency that often reside on their own blockchains and represent an asset or utility. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a medium of exchange created and stored electronically within the blockchain. Digital tokens, on the other hand, represent a specific number of digital resources (like airline miles or loyalty points) and are either intrinsic or created by software.
The benefits of the metaverse
The metaverse can change the way businesses connect with customers, improve internal processes, and fuel refinements to business strategies.
For instance, companies can use it to reach new audiences and markets, enabling them to establish cultural relevance around the world. They can develop new marketing initiatives and digital revenue streams, create meaningful customer engagement, and reduce friction between online and offline experiences.
The metaverse can help businesses improve their existing processes and performance. For example, they can use VR simulations to train employees on complex tasks or dangerous environments without putting them in harm’s way. This can not only increase safety but also save time and money. Companies can also create virtual showrooms that let customers experience a product before purchasing it, or they can also use the metaverse as a platform for advertising campaigns, events, and promotions.
Organizations can achieve sustainability goals through better climate practices and supply chain management, and reward loyalty in a more secure way than traditional intellectual property (IP) systems often allow for today. And, lastly, since digital assets are fully traceable because of the blockchain, organizations will be able to generate actionable insights from all the data they collect.
How to take advantage of the metaverse
The metaverse presents a wealth of opportunities. Here are just a few:
- Digitized products. Virtual merchandise and virtual experiences will form the backbone of product offerings in the metaverse, providing consumers with unique and immersive digital experiences.
- Virtual business locations. Just like physical offices or websites, you can use virtual storefronts in the metaverse. Here, consumers can view and test digital products such as NFTs before buying them or purchase physical items. Businesses can also create virtual offices for their employees to hold business meetings, collaborate, engage in team-building exercises and more, all reducing the need for a physical location.
- Subscription-based revenue streams. Companies can offer metered consumption or rental-based models, where consumers pay based on how much they use or consume. This approach provides an alternative to NFT ownership and focuses more on the utility of the asset while it’s in their possession. This will consist of renting, utility-based consumables, and subscriptions.
- Advertising. Advertising, including sponsored content and product placement, will play a significant role in the metaverse economy. Companies can also use suggested materials, like NFTs, to track engagement and promote their products and services — like how companies gate whitepapers or other high-value material to obtain email addresses.
- Meta-education. The metaverse has enormous potential as a platform for online learning, providing students with greater access to educators and contextual content. Metaverse universities, infotainment, and forums will offer new ways of engaging with educational material.
Making the metaverse work for you
Despite all the possibilities the metaverse presents, decision-makers who aren’t familiar with this technology may be unsure where to start and how to integrate it into their business strategies.
That’s where SHI — and its Metaverse Foundations Workshop — comes in.
Attendees will learn about the potential metaverse market size, the different layers of the metaverse, evolving technologies powering it, and how content and interactions will change in this new environment.
They will explore common myths versus facts about the metaverse, examine centralized and decentralized metaverses, evaluate early adopter advantages, and study business models that are unfolding in this space. Moreover, they receive tips to help future-proof their business by reviewing the adoption framework of the metaverse. This includes assessing business capabilities required to succeed in the metaverse and evaluating how companies are using it today to get a competitive edge.
The metaverse is not just a buzzword or hype; it’s a transformative technology that offers endless opportunities for businesses of all sizes. From creating a virtual office to improving processes and performance, attracting top talent, eliminating workplace bias, and developing strategic partnerships — the possibilities are endless.
As we move toward this new digital reality, decision-makers must be willing — and able — to embrace this technology and take advantage of all it has to offer. If not, they risk falling behind.
If you want to learn more about the metaverse, how it’s shaping the future of business, and what you can do to maximize its potential, contact SHI today.