What are the do’s and don’ts to consider before diving into this new virtual world?
Danny Stefanic, CEO of MootUp, Gavin Mee, Managing Director Northern Europe for UIPath, Ketan Makwana, Chairman of Seventy7 Ventures and Nimisha Brahmbhatt, Managing Director of Quantum Global Consultants, took to the stage for the second day of Elite Business on 12 March in the Digital Transformation panel, speaking about how to transition your business into the metaverse – and what key factors you need to take into consideration before exploring this new digital world.
Extending your business into the metaverse will allow you to deliver new experiences to your customers in many ways. However, it is important to translate your brand’s story into this digital scope effectively. Businesses need to think about different strategies to relay information to customers in a virtual way that ties in with their brand – and be careful not to lose their identity. Also, don't forget to consider your target audience.
Nimisha explained: “The most important thing I think you need to focus on is how to translate your brand’s story from this web world into this metaverse because you heard Danny say at the end, traffic and getting people into that space is ultimately what will return your investments. So, you really need to think about how you translate your brand’s story into this virtual space where people will experience and interact with it in a much more tactile way other than a physical presence. You have an opportunity to really change the way your customer perceives you. Ultimately, that success is in how you translate that brand story into this space.”
Many big brands are pouring huge amounts of money into the metaverse and are already creating a presence in this virtual space. With the metaverse becoming the new digital frontier, it’s important to think about your returns on investment. For example, Nike and Adidas have opened virtual stores where users can buy NFT real-life sneakers and sportswear. An investment in the metaverse is only as valuable as the demand for the technologies involved. Therefore, this is something you need to consider. Gavin said: “It’s about how we make it transactional. If you think of the metaverse and everything it can be, particularly I’m very interested in the business side of it.
“What can we do for our clients as we approach this? It’s definitely something that is accelerating forward very quickly. How do you make it transactional? It’s about how you bring service into it. For example, Nike has sold massive real estate in the metaverse... Companies like that are in the incubation phase. If you look at the demographics today, it’s clear that society is increasing towards digital. How can we take services and make them transactional? This is about how you go into a virtual environment, and how you then deploy that into the physical world of the goods that you may buy in that virtual world. You think about supply chain, you think about technology.”
The metaverse can seem overwhelming to some. Diving into a new world of digitisation can be scary especially if technology is not your forte. Before exploring the metaverse, it is important to know what you want to want to achieve in this space – rather than just simply jumping on the bandwagon. Ketan explained: “If you look at business five years ago, there was a whole push to getting your business online. Even the UK government was initiating this. You’re at that space again, now this is almost like building a new website or world within yourself, so don’t become so insular about it and become scared about the technology and jargon. What does the metaverse mean to you? It’s about how you would fair within this new world and what is it that you want to achieve out of it. I think that’s the most important thing that you should hold on to. Don’t hold on to what someone else is doing, make it about yourself.”
How can your business benefit from the metaverse? Aside from profits, there are many ways you can gain by investing in this digital space. The metaverse provides a more immersive experience for users by enticing a feeling of presence among them. In this way, you can create a more interactive space for customers, allowing them to better connect online. You can also collect data points along the way and observe how your audience interacts in the virtual realm. Danny said: “We work in the events industries, and there has been a huge shift in virtual events during the pandemic. The shift now has happened to now treating those events as a way to grow your community. So instead of people being event managers, they are community managers.
“They are building touch points with their audience that needs to happen on a consistent or semi-consistent basis. And that needs to be followed through, tracking and building on those communities. So, I think the virtual worlds, the metaverse, really lends itself well to engaging that community and bringing them in. I think anything that you’re doing digitally, you want to be able to track and see how it is going. Whether it is a customer journey or something else, you want to be able to see how that person is going through your experience. That for me is the transaction, and there are many in that journey.”