2023 Developments in the Metaverse
The metaverse, a virtual world where users can interact with each other and digital objects in a shared environment, is rapidly becoming a powerful tool, if not the most innovative and ground breaking one… for brands seeking a global audience. It offers a number of unique benefits to businesses and 2023 will mark significant development.
One key benefit, the ability to create immersive and engaging experiences for customers. In a virtual world, businesses can create branded environments that allow customers to interact with products and services in new and exciting ways. For example, a car manufacturer might create a virtual showroom where customers can explore different models and customize their own vehicles. Fiat recently announced plans to market the 500 model within the metaverse. Fashion brands create virtual runway shows where customers view the latest collections and try on clothes in real-time. Gucci amongst others are leading the way here.
This makes it possible to reach a global audience with minimal costs. In the physical world, businesses invest significant amounts of money in building and maintaining physical stores, let alone marketing and advertising campaigns. In the metaverse, however, businesses create virtual stores and experiences that can be accessed by customers from anywhere in the world, together, at a fraction of the cost.
The metaverse affords brands the unique opportunity to build deeper and more personal connections with customers, communities. In the virtual world, customers interact with each other and with brands in real-time, creating a sense of community and engagement. This leads to increased customer loyalty, as well as valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviour. We just have to mention Nike and their outstanding Swoosh launch which is a enabling a community of creatives to develop with their own flair Nike products for use within the metaverse. Forecasts vary but are significant in any case with one Nike source optimistic for as much as 40% additional revenue from ‘meta’ products within the 20’s.
2023 will mark the continued growth of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Improved, lightweight headsets and wearable's are inevitable and as these technologies improve, the metaverse will become increasingly accessible and immersive, making it easier for businesses to create engaging virtual experiences.
We've already detected significant growth of decentralized, blockchain-based metaverses. These environments are built on decentralized networks, which means that they are not controlled by any single entity thus allowing greater freedom and innovation and a more secure and private environment for users.
Social Media already has a huge audience and it will be interesting to see how social media platforms will integrate the metaverse and how users will interact with each other in digital spaces.
As the metaverse continues to evolve, businesses will have to adapt their strategies to take advantage of the opportunities it offers. This will require a shift in thinking, as well as new skills and expertise. Businesses will need to become more agile and innovative, and will need to develop new ways of connecting with customers. The role of the consultant well versed in these technologies, balanced with business acumen and exemplary ethics is now more needed than ever as businesses able to adapt to these changes will be well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that the metaverse offers.
Technology Consultant & Founder at VINTEC Immersive, based in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK