The business world is on the verge of a transformation supported by the virtual world. Excitement builds as 59% of consumers look forward to spending their daily activities in the virtual space. A survey of 450 global leaders reveals that 95% expect a positive impact on their industries in the next decade. From consumer retail to healthcare, numerous sectors are preparing for a shift in approaches, with many already starting virtual projects.
NEXT GENERATION, NEW INTERNET
As of 2023, Gen Z represents nearly one-third of the global population and half of the consumer demographic. This generation, comprising more than a quarter of the workforce, also possesses a purchasing power of $740 billion, fueled by spending guided by their parents. This generation, raised in the digital world, is soon to make up the majority of the global workforce. It is expected that the majority of Gen Z and Millennials will spend approximately 4.7 hours daily on immersive digital experiences. Currently, 60% of metaverse users belong to Gen Z, and this group values experiences over material goods in their consumption preferences.
Growing up in the digital age, being constantly online, and seeking authenticity from brands, Gen Z emerges as the key generation that will dominate the future of the internet. In light of this information, the preferences and trends of Gen Z will play a critical role in shaping future strategies for businesses and marketers.
THE POWER OF VIRTUAL WORLDS: GENERATING INCOME THROUGH BUSINESS MODEL TRANSFORMATION
The integration of virtual worlds is starting a new phase for businesses. This integration offers an approach that enhances and improves existing structures without the need for a radical change in business models. Virtual worlds act as catalysts, easily adapting to business processes and providing the potential to generate income by adding an innovative dimension to these processes.The integration of e-commerce stores into virtual worlds and the analysis of consumer data through CRM solutions can lead to a change in the retail sector by enabling the virtual sale of physical products. This represents an opportunity for businesses to broaden revenue streams and enhance the customer experience.
Virtual world technology is transforming the internet into an immersive and interactive platform. Now utilized not only by leading brands like H&M and BMW but also by institutions such as the EU government, this technology extends beyond retail and media industries, enabling the manufacturing sector to enhance and test its products in augmented and virtual reality environments.
As highlighted by MIT Technology Review, virtual world technology is changing Customer Experience: Starting a significant transformation akin to the E-commerce Revolution of the 1990s and the Social Media Innovations of the 2000s.
This technological advancement promises enduring and positive changes in consumer interactions and business processes.
Utilizing metaverse technologies provides a more immersive and social experience compared to 2D shopping, offering customers an online experience and potentially boosting sales.
Metaverse not only offers more ways to reach customers but also has the potential to address real operational pain points. Hello says David Truog, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. He continues, “There are many experiences that benefit from three-dimensionality, from touching and manipulation, where the metaverse will be appropriate.”
VIRTUAL WORLD TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION INTO YOUR BUSINESS MODEL: STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
Before establishing your virtual world, clarify the primary purpose of this platform. Are you aiming to organize a brand event, or are you creating an e-commerce platform? Perhaps you are considering setting up a virtual space for educational purposes? Your goals will determine the structure of your virtual world and the technologies you will employ.
Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
Intelligently choose KPIs to measure the success of your virtual world. These indicators will assist in the planning of your project, the integration of necessary tools, and monitoring performance. KPIs can vary from customer engagement to sales volume, user interaction times to conversion rates.
Create a virtual space that reflects your brand identity and strategic objectives. To maximize the user experience, ensure that the design of your space is user-friendly and interactive. Shape the thematic structure of your virtual world based on your target audience and the experience you want to provide.
Develop strategies for the accessibility of your virtual world. Are you aiming for a public platform, or do you intend to offer a private experience? Your access strategy should align with your marketing and budget plans. Factors such as access duration and scope will be crucial in achieving your goals.
These four fundamental steps establish a solid foundation for successfully integrating virtual world technology into your business. Each step is crucial in providing your users with a unique and valuable virtual experience.
SHOULD I HOST MY OWN VIRTUAL WORLD ON MY OWN SERVERS?
There are different types of immersive experiences (or ‘metaverse’)—proprietary and shared. In proprietary worlds, you have more control over your brand’s touchpoints and the experience itself.
Shared experiences, on the other hand, are hosted by a third party, which integrates your brand into their virtual space, empowering it.
Each has its distinct advantages, so choosing between a proprietary or shared experience will depend on your needs, values, and how long you want the experience to last.
To help you decide, we’ve prepared an article comparing the advantages and features of shared and proprietary worlds: you can read more about it here.