As the number of big tech companies and investors interested in the metaverse increase, it is becoming more apparent that the achievement of this platform, christened ‘the future of the internet, is inevitable. It does deserve the buzz around it, given its promises for
If you are a businessman or a corporate investor wondering how your organization will benefit from this new and upcoming technology that everyone seems happy about, we have something for you. We will help you understand what the metaverse means for your organization, how you can benefit from it, and some of the challenges you may also face. Let’s get right into it.
Metaverse and Businesses/Organizations
The metaverse promises an immersive environment for humans, similar to our everyday world. This means that people will conduct business as usual and even work in the metaverse like they do in the real world. Some platforms already have tokens that can be redeemed for physical goods in the real world, a mind-blowing concept.
Games such as Decentraland allow people to buy virtual spaces, which they can partition through the in-game tools, building structures for different purposes. This idea means that we will soon see organizations renting virtual spaces in the metaverse or buying land and erecting buildings.
While this sounds cool and mind-blowing, organizations need to evaluate its impact on their day-to-day operation critically. It is scalable, and what impact does it have on the customers? Luckily, we’ve seen a significant shift from traditional purchases to online acquisitions, with some companies even conducting virtual tours of their real estate offerings. Suppose the metaverse is the future of the internet, as everybody believes. In that case, organizations and brands should strive to capitalize on it earlier, just like the art and music industry that are already generating revenue from digitized arts and virtual concerts.
Here are some of the ways your company will benefit from this universe.
1. Reduction of Overhead Costs
It goes without saying that for organizations to continue running and making profits, they have to reduce the overhead costs. By minimizing expenses, businesses expand their profit margins, thus increasing their revenue. These costs are needed to keep the businesses running and cannot be directly traced to a given unit.
The metaverse promises to connect users from different parts of the world as the internet does. It will offer a better, immersive experience making them feel like they are together in the same space. Organizations will get a chance to meet their clients, suppliers, and stakeholders in the virtual world without necessarily organizing physical meetings or flying some of their representatives out for lobbying. This is a positive thing as it eliminates costs such as transportation. Everyone can organize and attend meetings virtually like they would in real life.
Some investors have even started building conference centers in the metaverse, which will be used to hold such meetings. Major stakeholders won’t have to fly from all over the world or book first-class tickets for their representatives to attend crucial meetings.
Having your organization in a virtual space where you can connect to all your clients means that you don’t need to constantly spend on office repairs, buying new equipment, and office maintenance. You may only need stores to house your goods in different locations once bought for a shipping company. You don’t need an entire three-story building to conduct your operations.
2. Increased Virtual Cooperation and Collaboration
The Covid-19 pandemic pushed businesses to rely on remote working, given the work at home policy passed by different governments and adopted by establishments to curb the spread of the virus, which left millions dead. Companies and businesses relied on Teams, Zoom, and Slack to conduct their operations and meetings.
The pandemic also made organizations that had never tried remote working adopt it and train their employees to make the best and deliver. Even though several people faced difficulties initially, it became the norm with some establishments sticking to this working model even after things started going back to normal.
Employees discovered that remote work creates more collaboration opportunities fostering growth and success, even though a good number were doubtful at the start. Even though the shift from widespread physical working and operations wi go down in history as iconic, the metaverse promises more.
It will better virtual cooperation and collaboration by making it immersive and more inclusive. It also promises a streamlined, efficient, and convenient world for employers and employees to interact, work, and profit.
The metaverse further guarantees the creation of virtual offices where employees will get to report to work every day and undertake their roles normally, just not in their physical form. One of the most significant contributors to the Metaverse, Microsoft, intends to better its Teams platform by making it a complete workplace platform with avatars and giving it an immersive feel.
However, for this to be successful, organizations will have to be more receptive to the metaverse and view it as a place to experiment, collaborate and increase productivity. Fortunately, there is hope given the excellent results of virtual working recorded.
3. Increased Brand Awareness and Market Reach
Even though we still can’t tell how the metaverse will be regulated and if users will be allowed to travel the world in the virtual spaces freely, it is a good innovation for organizations or brands that intend to increase their visibility.
We have already seen several organizations reinventing marketing in the metaverse. Companies such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Coca-cola benefit. For example, Burberry recently partnered with Honor of Kings, a popular video game, and brought its designs to the game for players from everywhere to have a glimpse.
Other organizations that have benefitted from this type of marketing include Balenciaga, which collaborated with Epic Games, one of the best NFT game developers and the creator of Fortnite, to have its collections on the game.
Several organizations can also follow suit and similarly market themselves. This method ensures that they widen their reach and, if possible, enter markets they have never served before.
We also expect investors and metaverse landowners to build malls and other landmarks, just like we have in the real world, which organizations can take advantage of by strategically placing banners and adverts. The metaverse is definitely going to change marketing and business outreach, just like the internet has done over the years.
Also, if the internet has done such a good job and allowed different brands and organizations to access new markets worldwide, imagine how impactful the metaverse will be, especially since it is considered the future of the internet.
Lastly, since the pandemic started, most people have preferred doing things online, including purchasing items, obtaining services, and booking appointments. The metaverse will help organizations obtain real-time insights that they can use to modify their business models or services. Therefore, it is apparent that establishments will gain a lot from this innovation.
4. Easier Access
Most people have termed the metaverse ‘phygital,’ meaning that it will bridge the digital and physical world. We expect the creation of virtual offices to adhere to a concept similar to the real world. How will it benefit organizations?
Clients will easily access these virtual offices and avoid wasting lots of time traveling from their homes to the stablishments. After booking an appointment, they can visit the virtual office and obtain services in record time. Those without appointments won’t have to physically queue or wait in the lobby as we do in the physical world. Organizations should therefore consider joining the metaverse once it is fully formed.
Real estate entities requiring clients to visit different locations to inspect products will benefit hugely from the metaverse. Their customers don’t have to view their products physically before a purchase. They can be taken on product tours while comfortably sitting in their homes, thanks to virtual and augmented reality, some of the technologies driving the metaverse.
5. Increased Revenue
This point is quite obvious as it summarizes some of the benefits covered in this article. The metaverse helps organizations save on overhead costs, such as the amount spent on furniture repairs and office improvements.
Companies such as Gucci have started recording increased revenue by selling digital bags with higher price tags than the physical world. This came after a partnership with Roblox, an online gaming platform known for hosting virtual concerts. It allowed the company to create a virtual garden exhibit for rare items. Gucci divided the venues into exhibition rooms based on themes, making lots of money.
Lastly, organizations can also buy land to set up their virtual offices and lease part of it to other investors or businesses, creating more income. More people are already buying land in the metaverse, planning to build their metaverses on different platforms.
6. Introduction of New Payment Methods
The metaverse plans to be a virtual world that allows users to interact and access everything they would in the real world. This means that there has to be a way of paying for things once it is achieved. What will you do if you want to bond with friends over coffee in this virtual world? How about traveling from place to place?
Different platforms already have tokens that players can use to buy virtual objects. Others also have NFTs that can be redeemed for physical goods. Thanks to Blockchain technology, organizations can use these tokens to pay for some services while operating virtually in a secure and transparent environment.
7. Better/More Efficient Operation
Can you imagine a world where you don’t have to worry about beating traffic to get to work early? A world where you can immersively report to work while in the comfort of your home, get instructions from the manager or supervisor and get on with your work? Well, that is what the metaverse looks like.
This creative world will reduce cases of employees giving excuses for reporting late to work. Employers will also easily monitor their employees, unlike the current remote working framework where only calls and videos are available. We also expect digital footprints and records detailing when everyone reported working.
Lastly, the metaverse will allow organizations to extend better services to their customers and accordingly attend to needs. They won’t have to queue or travel long distances to seek services and help. These organizations can also reach out to their clients faster.
8. Easier Sourcing of Talents
Given its immersive nature and capability, the metaverse will help organizations source talents easily, especially from other parts of the world. Companies are always looking for people who can think outside the box to help them make profits and contribute to their development and subsistence.
Interviewing new talents will be made easier in the metaverse, unlike in the current world, where companies have to rely on platforms with limited capabilities. This means that it will be possible to give potential hires a chance to showcase their talents before hiring them, just like in the physical world. This technology, which loosely means ‘beyond the universe’, is therefore worth waiting for.
Despite the benefits that this sophisticated yet creative world guarantees organizations, there are certain shortcomings that you should be aware of. Even as we anticipate and watch several brands and businesses incorporate it as early as now, it is not an entire bed of roses. It comes with financial constraints and raises several pertinent questions that should be answered before its adoption. We would love to introduce you to both sides of the coin so that you decide whether it will best serve your business.
However, note that change is inevitable, and if many organizations decide to establish or increase their metaverse presence, you may have no choice. To offer more perspective on this, let’s briefly talk about the Amazon and Walmart situation. Walmart managed to thrush lots of competitors during the 60s all through to the 90s when it even overtook Sears.
Jeff Bezos decided to start Amazon a few years later and ventured into e-commerce when Walmart was stuck on physical stores and groceries. Amazon currently has a net worth of $1.65 trillion, amplified by the Covid 19 Pandemic, while Walmart is estimated at $328 billion. Therefore, you might have to take the leap and try the metaverse if it turns out victorious soon.
Here are some of the challenges your organization will/may encounter:
1. Extremely High Initial Setup Cost
Even though we mentioned that the metaverse guarantees a reduction in overhead costs, it will require several technologies and devices to access. Organizations need desktops or laptops, VR devices, and uninterrupted routers or internet providers.
What does this mean? Simple. They will have to equip their employees when the metaverse finally becomes a complete concept. Remember, the employer has to offer all the devices and systems needed to handle the employee’s scope of work.
Change is normally expensive, made worse because it is inevitable. Good VR headsets that can be used in the office range from $500 to $1000, setting a company back significantly. Also, note that you will have to purchase tools to personalize your virtual office or build it as you wish.
As for VR and AR devices, we can hope that prices will reduce now that more companies invest in metaverse gadgets.
2. Potential Regulations
We are still not sure about some of the regulations that the metaverse will have once it is complete. We know that we can’t have a world, whether virtual or physical, that is not regulated. Calls for regulations have started trickling in from different factions, with some believing that these regulations should be as stringent as possible.
Therefore, we cannot know how these limits affect organizations, but businesses cannot survive in over-regulated environments.
3. Scarcity of Spaces/ High Rental Fees
We recently saw the virtual land rush, which made land value in the metaverse inflate. Whereas some experts believe that is short-lived, we are not yet sure of what the future holds since, just like crypto, this value can fluctuate. Some parcels of virtual land have sold for millions, with Republic Realm parting with an astonishing 2.4 million dollars for a piece of land.
Therefore, some businesses, startups, and small-scale organizations may be locked out, especially if we witness another land rush. The cheapest parcels are currently selling for $11,000, which may still be expensive for some organizations.
You can also be sure that early investors will rent out their parcels or office spaces for higher amounts to recover their initial investment and make profits. However, organizations can breathe a sigh of relief if we will not experience another land rush soon.
The metaverse is around the corner, meaning that you should be ready to embrace it. Please do not allow your organization to fall behind as others benefit from it. I hope this article has given you the perspective you need as you decide whether it will be a worthy venture or not.