The Metaverse: a game-changer for small and medium businesses
What if your customers could walk around your store/company and shop without physically being there? Or what if you could host an event that guests may physically attend from the comfort of their houses? Those scenarios are no longer just wishful thinking. They’re now possible with Metaverse. The Metaverse is an entire ecosystem that has the potential to revolutionise our way of life and work. They may use this immersive technology to tap into unique marketing opportunities while enhancing consumer experience. This article will talk about the Metaverse for small businesses and how they can benefit from this advanced technology.
What Is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is an interactive 3D space. It allows users to create unique identities and customise their avatars, homes, clothing, and other aspects. Users can also interact with other users in the virtual universe. So, the Metaverse is similar to Second Life but with more extensive features that allow you to control and share your virtual universe with others.
Here’s an example from the BBC. The journalist and his guest created avatars and virtual offices so they could converse even though they were in separate locations.
Users can join the Metaverse through virtual reality headsets and their phones, computers, and tablets.
The picture below displays the virtual reality headsets needed to access the Metaverse environment.
The Metaverse experience enables users to connect with like-minded people and work together in the same digital space. It is an exciting way to make new friends and collaborate on collective projects.
4 Benefits of Metaverse Adoption for Small Businesses
A Metaverse adoption for small businesses can lead to business profitability. These are some of the benefits of using the Metaverse for small businesses like yours:
1. New Sales Channel
The Metaverse technology allows business owners to create virtual storefronts, sell products (whether physical or virtual), accept payments, and track stock in a 3D environment. Thanks to the Metaverse, selling also becomes easier. It’s because potential customers can easily visualise themselves using your products.
Spotify's introduction of Spotify Island in Roblox's Metaverse shows the potential of Metaverse for sales. Through interactive games and quests, fans of artists can purchase exclusive merchandise from their preferred performers.
2. Tailored Advertising and Marketing
The Metaverse will allow small businesses to tailor their promotional efforts.
Thanks to Metaverse for small businesses, you don’t just reach more people. You also get to connect with them in a more meaningful way. The digital universe contains infinite amounts ofinformation and data. Within it, users share personal details such as their experiences, tools, locations, behaviours, and preferences. This is data you can use to craft effective marketing and advertising strategies.
In other words, thanks to the Metaverse, your marketing and advertising are precise.
Here’s an example from Netflix. They cleverly promoted the Netflix platform in a bike store Metaverse. We can assume Netflix chose this ad placement and type of ad according to data gathered in the Metaverse. So, according to that data, the people who visit this virtual shop are probably young enough to want to watch Cruella and hit that Get Premier Access button.
You can also adjust your Metaverse environment according to your customer's interests and needs. For example, you can recommend items based on their preferences as in the example below:
You can also get someone from your team to speak directly with your customer and address their specific needs.
These virtual experiences and direct communication with your brand don’t just encourage engagement. They can also help establish customer loyalty and encourage repeat visits.
3. Lower Costs for Physical Infrastructure
The Metaverse offers a variety of effective methods for reducing physical infrastructure expenses.
With the Metaverse for small businesses, you don’t need to engage in real-world infrastructure construction or rental, maintenance, and management. You also eliminate the need for human labour. As a result, you can save money.
But those aren’t the only expenses you can do away with.
When you create a Metaverse event, you don’t need to pay for equipment. You also don't need to offer food or hire staff to manage the event.
Your event takes place in a virtual space, so you have everything you need with just a few clicks.
4. Increased Customer Reach
The Metaverse allows for highly relevant 3D experiences that attract visitors from different parts of the world.
This means you can reach as many potential customers and customers as possible, notwithstanding physical and geographical barriers.
4 Strategies for Small-Medium Businesses to Succeed in the Metaverse
The Metaverse is a massive, interconnected 3D virtual environment with many different virtual worlds. It can be used for social experiences, entertainment, and business transactions.
But how do you get started? Here are a few strategies to succeed in the Metaverse for small businesses:
1. Build a strong online presence
It's essential to have a solid online presence if you want to succeed in the Metaverse. So, promote your Metaverse corner using traditional strategies like social media marketing,SaaS link building, and video campaigns.
Another way to establish a robust presence online is by producing content like games, videos, or music tracks that others can share throughout digital platforms.
Of course, promoting your Metaverse space isn’t enough to build a strong online presence. Your strategy to build one won’t work in the first place if your little corner isn’t visually appealing. You must prioritise your visuals and the customer experience for users to promote you.
So, create a captivating avatar with a cool name to boost your brand's appeal and recognition. When building an avatar, it's essential to consider your industry and choose one that represents and relates to your brand.
Louis Vuitton, for instance, designed this non-humanized Avatar to represent its brand. The available options are countless in the Metaverse.
2. Embrace Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) create a new, immersive digital experience for the user.
In VR, you wear a headset that blocks out your sight of the real world and places you in an entirely new environment. AR allows you to use your phone or tablet to see the real world but with extra elements added on top of it.
Small business owners must adopt these technologies to create more engaging and interactiveuser experiences. How will you ensure a good Metaverse user experience if you don’t know what constitutes a good one in the first place?.
3. Create digital assets
Digital assets are virtual versions of real-world objects. The Metaverse allows users to create virtual environments and trade digital items without relying on third-party intermediaries. This can revolutionise the digital asset market.
Take advantage of this feature to increase brand awareness and recognition. Your digital assets are excellent marketing collateral. Just think about it. You expose your brand to the millions of Metaverse users when you display your digital asset. When they start trading these digital assets, your brand gains even more exposure. Also, people will eventually associate everything about your digital asset—its colors, logo, and others—with you.
Coca-Cola is a great example of a brand that leverages digital assets in the Metaverse. It has created a digital bubble jacket available for purchase.
Apart from your products, you can create and sell digital assets such as avatars, clothing, furniture, cars, and marketplaces.
4. Foster sense of community
Being part of a business community can foster a sense of belonging. That, in turn, leads to brand loyalty, which you need for a successful small business.
Social media platforms are already a great way to find like-minded individuals. But the Metaverse takes it one step further. It allows those same people to interact with each other in 3D and in a more immersive environment.
So, host virtual events, create forums and chat rooms in the Metaverse. You can also invite friends to join virtual hangouts together. You can even encourage user-generated content, which you can, in turn use as part of your content strategy.
The Metaverse has been used in many industries, including gaming, education, and healthcare.
Here are some industry examples:
1. Education and training
The Metaverse presents an exceptional alternative to traditional online learning. In medicine, for instance, students won’t have to wait for a scenario in the physical world to “perform operations.”
They can immediately put into practice the theory they learned in immersive environments, which can help them once they start training in the real world.
2. Remote Work
The Metaverse allows users to invite others into their virtual office space and collaborate on projects.
Employees can walk over to their coworker's desks in the Metaverse and ask questions instead of emailing or scheduling a video call. They can also visualize presentations. This is particularly useful in remote work.
3. Real estate
With the Metaverse, potential customers can experience living in a home before buying it.
Here’s an example:
The result is that buyers can ensure they’ll get the value they’re looking for once they decide to buy the property.
The Metaverse empowers designers to bring their designs to life through virtual modelling and 3D graphics. This allows for a more authentic and lifelike portrayal of their creations.
Designers can also determine audience response to the creations if they haven’t been released to the real world just yet. This can help inform decisions about whether or not to push through with the launch.
The Metaverse is a new economy. It’s a powerful tool for small businesses to take their business to the next level. It offers a range of advantages, including new sales channels, increased customer engagement, and reduced costs for physical infrastructure.
To succeed in the Metaverse, prioritise these strategies:
- Establish a robust online presence.
- Adopt virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
- Develop digital assets.
- Foster a sense of community
Implement these tips and your small business will reap the benefits.
Nico is the founder of Crunch Marketing, a SaaS content marketing agency. The company works with enterprise SaaS clients, helping them scale lead generation globally across EMEA, APAC, and other regions.