Transforming Business: The Enterprise Metaverse

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In a Nutshell… 

  • Technologies such as AR, VR, IoT, 5G, blockchain, and cloud computing are prompting the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, which will have significant implications for the future of business.
  • Customer service 2.0 will use the metaverse as a hub for smart communication on a mass scale, allowing businesses to engage with customers in new and innovative ways, strengthen internal capabilities, and expand brand innovation.  
  • Engineers, designers, and architects who work collaboratively will reap the most benefits from the metaverse. They’ll use VR and AR to interface with customers, exhibit remote models, and eliminate travel requirements.

According to a new PwC survey, more than two-thirds of organizations already use technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and NFTs. Technologies associated with the metaverse are starting to deliver significant benefits, with 60% of executives reporting active engagement in the metaverse

Early adopters are developing proofs of concept, testing use cases, and generating substantial revenue from the new and emerging technologies that make up the metaverse. 82% of those who aren’t actively involved in the metaverse say they expect to embrace it within the next three years.  

Enterprise blockchain is another area receiving increased attention from the business world. Gartner estimates that blockchain will generate $3.1 trillion in new business value by 2030. Moreover, two-thirds of C-suite executives have already moved beyond the initial testing phase and expect full metaverse integration within the next two years. 

Technologies such as AR, VR, IoT, 5G, blockchain, and cloud computing are prompting the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, which will have significant implications for the future of business. Top use cases for the enterprise metaverse include onboarding and training, with 42% of business leaders believing it will be a breakthrough or transformational

This creates enormous potential for B2B facing operations that could use the metaverse as the basis for SaaS delivery, integrated digital adoption platforms (DAPs), and in-app guidance solutions. A survey by the World Economic Forum found that 71% of corporate leaders believe the metaverse will be good for business

In this article, we will look at what the metaverse means for the future of business and the functional areas within the enterprise that the metaverse will likely transform. 

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Customer Experience & Support 

Digital-first channels such as automated chats for customer service functions can use the metaverse to pivot to a new virtual-first model. These models enable digital twins of customer service agents to perform their duties in a shared, immersive space. Metaverse-powered customer service agents can seamlessly construct, rebuild, or replace products in real-time. Technology integrations such as these encourage long-term trust between businesses and customers by streamlining communication and offering a consistent customer service experience. 

Enhanced customer service in the metaverse presents opportunities for businesses wishing to create immersive experiences. Businesses that have their finger on the pulse and invest early in technological solutions such as the metaverse are better primed to withstand sudden and unforeseen disruptions such as the Covid-19 pandemic or shortages in the supply chain. 

Examples Of Metaverse Customer Service: 

Customer Inquiry Resolution 

In the digital age, customers expect great experiences. With more businesses entering the market daily, we’re experiencing heightened demand and an unprecedented level of market saturation. This means it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd and develop a customer-facing strategy that utilizes technology to thrive. 

Businesses will soon be able to exist in the same virtual space as customers, helping them troubleshoot all manner of technical issues with either human or AI-powered assistance. The metaverse could provide seamless product demonstrations, guided walkthroughs, and step-by-step instructions without the inherent detachment of being connected to a telephone or live chat.

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Helpshift is already making waves in this area and has developed the Metashift platform; a customer support solution designed explicitly for the metaverse. It allows game developers to support their customers inside the metaverse in real-time. Phase one of the project will enable businesses to receive customer feedback and bug reporting in an augmented reality (AR) setting. 

Omnichannel Support 

Omnichannel support merges physical and digital shopping experiences and requires businesses to meet customers on preferred channels at every level of interaction with your business. The metaverse offers limitless possibilities for social and personalized consumer engagement. As new channels are introduced, brands are increasingly expected to integrate all of their services into one convenient place.     

In the metaverse, users can interact, shop, and engage with businesses on multiple levels, in an environment run on Web3. Omnichannel support in the future is about following the customer journey from start to finish and finding the right tools that provide the least friction. 

In this regard, omnichannel support in the metaverse should be considered an extension of the real world and the multiple, layered interactions we experience daily. In the future, metaverse experiences will be omnichannel and allow customers to move easily between your business and the rest of the metaverse. For example, businesses that expand their omnichannel journeys by selling virtual land are best placed to shape and determine future customer experiences. 

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Marketing & Sales 

Marketing in the metaverse represents an opportunity for innovation and experimentation on a mass scale. True to life, real-time communication and visualizations can be leveraged by marketing executives to pitch new products and services to potential customers. This can all be done in-verse and will soon become a part of the wider virtual experience. 

How businesses communicate with customers will undergo a major transformation as the metaverse takes hold. Lifelike avatars that understand the nuances of body language, tone, and visual cues ensure personalized and effective communication. Customer service 2.0 will use the metaverse as a hub for smart communication, allowing marketers to engage with customers in new and innovative ways, strengthen internal capabilities and expand brand innovation.  

The long-term evolution of metaverse marketing is yet to be defined. However, some important questions have savvy marketers thinking about the future. How will interoperability work in the metaverse? How will the evolving social contract and legal framework for the metaverse unwind? And how will first-party consumer data be held, organized, and guarded? 

Businesses must also comply with the metaverse's various laws surrounding data practices. Read our article, “Defining The Rules Of Data Privacy & Protection in the Metaverse,” to find out what existing data privacy and protection laws mean in a live, synchronous environment such as the metaverse.  

Gartner predicts that the rate of innovation and consumer adoption will accelerate dramatically in the next five years. Metaverse applications are evolving at breakneck speed, with new use cases emerging every day. Brands and marketing executives have a positive incentive to continue exploring, testing, and learning. It’s also important to understand that new engagement metrics will be defined as fiscal behavioral patterns are shaped in the metaverse economy, giving marketers ample room for experimentation. 

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Advertising 3.0 

As the digital revolution continues to unfold, brands are beginning to test and experiment with advertising in the metaverse. It’s more important than ever that advertisers align their strategies with the virtual worlds they inhabit. Gamification plays a crucial role in the future of advertising by making ads more compelling. In the metaverse, brands can use gamification advertising techniques and design new elements to attract and retain customers. 

Imagine building ads using a digital model that targets specific metaverse users who have shown interest in your brand. In gamified advertising, consumers are encouraged to perform a given action based on competition or reward. Gamification is great for creating new ways to interact with customers and also provides valuable data that can be used to create more targeted campaigns. 

Advertisers and brands entering the metaverse should ensure they target users in contextually relevant spaces. Open interoperability will facilitate this. There are several big metaverse projects in development right now, and ensuring advertisers develop their activations based on contextual environmental intelligence is crucial. Respecting the social aspects of consumer-facing virtual worlds is equally as important if advertisers want to get in front of hard-to-reach audiences. This indicates that advertising interactions in the metaverse should be enhanced and not interrupted. 

Because metaverse users tend to wear headsets, advertising and messaging should be subtle, smart, and interactive. And as developers move toward Web3, privacy-safe, contextual targeting will replace outdated methods based on demographics and audience behavior. Businesses can even influence the creative process in the metaverse by helping build worlds promoting brand values. 

Advertising will be more intelligent within decentralized spaces such as the metaverse because execs won’t have as much access to information. But, if brands take a more agile approach and focus on curating functional, interactive, and innovative environments, they stand a better chance of making a distinctive impact. The businesses that can effectively create a connection between their brand and the virtual environment will likely shape the future of advertising. 

The retail sector is also undergoing an industry-wide transformation and adopting new technologies that enrich and enhance the customer journey. Read our article, “Retail Digitization in the Metaverse,” to discover the metaverse's effect on the retail sector and its associated implications for future shopping experiences. 

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Workforce Training 

Skill development and ongoing training are one of the most poignant applications of enterprise metaverse solutions. Industry 4.0 conceptualizes rapid change to technology, industries, and societal patterns due to rising interconnectivity and smart automation. Workers must be adequately trained and prepared to manage crucial processes in the ever-changing technological landscape. 

SaaS companies stand to benefit immensely from the metaverse. Businesses can seamlessly integrate software products such as digital adoption platforms (DAPs) with the metaverse to provide real-time, interactive user support in a virtual environment. Digital twins can further enhance workforce training by providing employees with synchronous 3D replicas of real-world environments and products, improving learning and development. 

The metaverse is a realm of new opportunities and innovative ways to leverage eLearning solutions into a broader ecosystem. Corporate learning and development in the metaverse will empower employees to govern their own learning experiences while collaborating in new and exciting ways. Workforce training in the metaverse offers the same advantages as digital training, such as convenience, remote collaboration, and datafication, while eliminating any elements deemed non-immersive. 

The educational metaverse has multiple enterprise applications and justifiable use cases that could revolutionize the entire industry. A whole new generation of businesses, universities, and schools will soon equip themselves with the means to use the metaverse as an enhanced educational device. 

Read our article, “Virtual Learning Experiences In The Educational Metaverse,” to discover how the metaverse is poised to be the most important educational tool since the birth of the internet.   

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The emergence of digital twin technology will majorly impact the fields of engineering and development. Real-time, integrated data from built assets with digital representation creates insights across entire project lifecycles. Digital twins provide a range of benefits to the AEC industry, including accelerated risk management, predictive maintenance, and remote monitoring. Engineers, designers, and architects who work collaboratively will reap the most benefits from the metaverse. They’ll use VR and AR to interface with customers, exhibit remote models, and eliminate any travel requirements. 

The metaverse will also have a significant impact on design prototyping. Engineers can render photorealistic, 3D representations of tangible objects such as products or buildings within the metaverse to offer an unparalleled level of immersion. Faster innovation cycles, immersive product testing, decentralized production, and connected physical and digital worlds will change how the fundamentals of engineering are applied in the metaverse. While it’s difficult to predict the exact trends that will catch on, consumers will contribute significantly toward developing, designing, and modifying future products. 

The ability to democratize production in the metaverse gives consumers a hand in creating the products they want and need. A decentralized approach helps engineers better understand customers and create an environment backed by collaboration and globalized partnerships. However, it’s important to note that the metaverse is still very resource intensive and requires cross-industry collaboration to solve such issues. The rise of the metaverse in the engineering sector must ultimately fit within a sustainable framework to be considered a true feat of innovation.  

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New Opportunities  

The metaverse will enhance the mobile-internet-powered trend of user personalization, with consumers increasingly using metaverse platforms to enrich physical world experiences. 

In the future, the metaverse will be the preferred digital space for consumer engagement. Enterprises must scrutinize behavioral patterns to capitalize on emerging digital trends and avoid indecisive metaverse adoption. Much like the internet, the metaverse will steadily grow and develop with no clear line referencing the start of the metaverse era. 

Enterprise metaverse opportunities in today’s business climate:

Purposeful Connections

Meaningful connections are at the heart of any business and are used to improve relationships with customers, prospects, and other businesses. Digital connections that offer a sense of realism give enterprise metaverse users the ability to form more authentic and meaningful ties. Enhanced digital realism means that customers and businesses can communicate, connect, and partake in new and inventive experiences. 

Businesses can use the enterprise metaverse to track real-time consumer requirements and adjust experiences in-verse to meet ever-changing consumer demands. If the enterprise metaverse is free of technological and design constraints, it will provide clients with fully configurable and hyper-scalable experiences in the form of immersive, 3D virtual environments. 

Increased Engagement

The metaverse is an excellent resource for increasing and incentivizing human and machine interactions that create new value exchanges, revenue streams, and consumer markets. 

Gartner expects that a complete metaverse will be device-independent and not owned by a single vendor. The metaverse virtual economy will use personalized digital business assets (DBAs) to facilitate social exchanges that go above and beyond the point of interaction we experience with the current web (Web 2.0). Gartner also predicts that businesses who actively experiment with the metaverse are more likely to increase customer engagement and drive revenue. 

Global Reach

Global reach is one of the most significant advantages associated with the enterprise metaverse. The internet has enabled businesses to overcome geographical limits and reach new untapped markets. However, a substantial gap between the physical and virtual world still remains. Interactive and immersive 3D experiences can help to bridge the gap. The introduction of a decentralized Web3 will help, but the onus is on businesses to develop new and exciting experiences that capture the hearts and minds of the public. 

Investing in the metaverse and building new experiences enables businesses to access a worldwide roster of clients and make a positive impact. 

Much like regional companies, the metaverse offers enterprises the opportunity to take an interpersonal approach to customer experience, and Web3 enables these experiences to be more personal, fulfilling, and interactive. 

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The Future-Proof Enterprise

In the metaverse of the future, enterprises will be able to launch new products and services in a true-to-life virtual environment. Customers can immerse themselves in interactive virtual experiences and connect with their favorite businesses on multiple levels. 

The B2B arm of the industry will use the metaverse as a tool to reach new customers, provide metaverse-based solutions, and build value chains that go far beyond what is possible in a Web 2.0 world. And for B2C enterprises, the metaverse will house digital twins of storefronts, factories, products, and digital experiences that will drive engagement through the roof. 

But customers of the future will expect a much higher level of beneficial interactions from businesses. New approaches must be found for both internal and external facing processes, with innovation and adoption key priorities. Everything from advertising gamification to augmented reality (AR) enabled DAPs can benefit from the powerful metaverse technology currently in development. 

Businesses that capitalize on the metaverse experience and successfully introduce it to customers will gain a competitive advantage over those that don’t. Phygital experiences are also something that businesses are investing heavily in to secure their spot in the digital consciousness. 

Read our article, “Phygital: The Digital-Physical Bridge To The Metaverse,” to discover how the phygital metaverse will work and its potential applications for businesses, consumers, and metaverse users.