Despite the concept of the metaverse having been around for two decades, after the term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, the idea has only recently become popular across the world with major companies like Microsoft and Facebook announcing related projects.
While most are likely aware that the metaverse offers opportunities to interact with others in a virtual reality, what this actually means for businesses is not quite so clear. The metaverse does have several applications for businesses that will allow them to optimize processes in ways that were previously beyond them, which we will explore below.
Learning and working in virtual spaces
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted a need for digital communication and conferencing platforms when remote working became the norm for most workers across the globe. At the outset of the pandemic, video conferencing and communication platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams soared in popularity as they presented a solution to achieving collaboration while everyone was working and learning from home.
Such platforms are limited in their ability to provide compelling and engaging experiences for workers or students due to the innate restrictions of audio and video in that it is difficult to engage someone with a 2D video. The metaverse does not have the same restrictions due to its graphically rich virtual environment and allows collaboration and engagement in a 3D space, similar to how it would be done in person.
In the metaverse, business processes that support remote teams or education and allow for unprecedented engagement will not be difficult to achieve. Businesses will be able to enable remote collaboration without sacrificing on the engagement that comes with interacting in-person.
Risk-free testing and training
The metaverse offers businesses more than just a place for teams to collaborate and engage with one another, it also provides an opportunity to transform training and testing processes, completely removing any of the risks related to failure.
For example, a virtual reality training platform was used this year by surgeons in Rio de Janeiro to prepare for the separation of conjoined twins. Training applications like this can be hosted in the metaverse to give staff an opportunity to try new skills in a safe environment where failure is not an issue.
Businesses will be able to use these virtual spaces to test almost anything, such as a new factory layout before implementing it or a new piece of expensive equipment before buying it. In this way businesses could cut costs and improve performance in many areas by running multiple tests until the optimal solution is found.
Transforming sales and marketing processes
The metaverse could be the catalyst which transforms the way we look at sales and marketing forever. Businesses could utilize a billboard that can tell you how many people have looked at it, how long they looked at it for, what part they focused on and whether that person went on to buy the product.
This level of information is a dream for marketers as they would not have access to this in the real world. Marketing departments will know exactly what is or is not working with regard to their efforts due to the extremely granular data that virtual advertisements will offer.
Marketing campaigns in the metaverse will be backed by enormous amounts of data from previous campaigns so that the likelihood of them missing the mark will be drastically reduced.
Has your business given any thought to the impact of the metaverse? Let us know in the comments below.