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Metaverse. The buzzword of last year.
71% of business executives believe the Metaverse is business-friendly, which may be why business giants are already involved.
But what does the metaverse mean for small businesses?
In a literal sense, the metaverse is a digital replacement for the real physical world. This is an area where the digital and physical worlds combine to provide people with new, immersive 3D experiences.
Regardless of its glitz and glamour, the Metaverse is still surrounded by a lot of skepticism, and people even call it fashion. But years ago, the internet was also labelled a fad.
Look where we are now.
The Metaverse could be the revolution we look forward to in the future. And the revolution may have already begun. So this might be a good time for a business to understand its promise, understand its benefits, and roll up its sleeves.
Related: Metaverse: Game-Changing Innovations for Entrepreneurs
How will the metaverse affect small businesses?
Retail and e-commerce are among the industries that benefit the most from the metaverse, even if it’s still in its early stages.
Here’s how Metaverse is expected to revolutionize or at least evolve the current business scene:
A new look for the shopping experience
Metaverse promises to blur the lines between digital and physical, blending online and offline shopping experiences to create a more immersive e-commerce ecosystem.
If the big tech companies can realize their vision, customers will be able to put on their AR/VR headsets and enter a virtual mall, browse virtual stores, talk to digital salespeople and enjoy an outdoor shopping experience, all while staying in the comfort of their home.
With the introduction of AR in retail, a small part of this “future” has arrived. Online furniture retailers Wayfair and IKEA are starting to offer AR experiences to their customers so they can try on furniture before buying.
So for small businesses, the early wave of the metaverse presents an opportunity to get into AR and meet current customer expectations — enabling them to “try” something before shopping online.
New ways to engage with customers
Metaverse may take current digital marketing methods to the next level, offering brands new opportunities to engage and communicate with their audiences.
With the Metaverse approach, community building could take an exciting turn, with businesses organizing live, immersive and more engaging events such as virtual tours and 3D webinars. This could be a local gathering where audiences have the opportunity to meet and engage in a highly interactive way.
With these personalization features, businesses can try new ways to engage their audiences and keep them engaged, potentially creating more substantial and profitable partnerships.
Related: Unlocking the True Potential of Metaverse
A new form of advertising
With the advent of entertainment content in different fields such as virtual games, businesses can post advertisements for people to view. Similar to physical billboards, virtual signage may also increase exposure.
With Metaverse’s immersive content offerings, businesses can try new ways to capture audiences’ attention and leave a lasting impact through 3D interactive advertising.
Increase exposure to a large audience
Even though e-commerce is easy, people still prefer to visit brick-and-mortar stores in person. Metaverse is not geo-restricted, which means you can offer your customers a face-to-face store experience. As a small business, Metaverse Store can lower its investment in real estate.
Customers can have a great experience in a fantastic store through personalization. Let avatars act as your sales assistants to reach and influence more people by delivering a personalized experience.
In addition to salespeople, Metaverse lets you personalize your virtual store based on each person’s moral, social, and cultural beliefs, and takes web personalization to the next level.
First mover advantage
The Metaverse could be the next internet. This could be the turn of the century. It might be closer than you think.
This means that those who embrace the metaverse as a possible future and take an incremental approach may be able to enjoy a first-mover advantage.
They might get the hang of it earlier, understand the nuances, and find solutions before competitors arrive. These businesses may be able to establish their authority in front of a digital audience before anyone else. What’s more, they may have a say in how technology advances and how laws are made.
The Metaverse as we know it offers unprecedented opportunities for businesses of all sizes. From allowing higher levels of personalization to introducing new business models, brands may benefit a lot from this futuristic ecosystem.
However, the Metaverse is the product of ambitious goals and huge promises, and its realization depends on some notable technological marvels yet to be seen. So while the metaverse continues to light the horizon, its rise depends on how technology develops.
Regardless of how the future shapes the metaverse, we are standing on the threshold of a new era, one driven by augmented and virtual reality, and businesses looking to stay relevant need to prepare accordingly.