In the past year or two, a brand-new buzzword had cropped up. Everyone is talking about the metaverse. It’s like a flashback to the early 2000s when “the cloud” was the new big thing. Back then, people talked about the cloud, but they couldn’t completely predict what it would look like in 20 years. Today, SaaS cloud tools are standard in business, and most companies couldn’t operate without them.

The metaverse is at the same stage of infancy as the internet was over two decades ago. We kind of know what it is now. But what will it look like in 2040? Will everyone be living and working through a virtual avatar? We’re not there quite yet, but talk of the virtual metaverse world is only getting more intense. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook recently predicted that in just a few years, we’ll look back on our non-metaverse lives and it will be like looking back at life before smartphones.

Tech companies are certainly full steam ahead, afraid they may miss the boat. For example, Microsoft recently partnered with Meta (formerly Facebook), with the goal to make Microsoft 365 applications available in the metaverse. They want to drive the “virtual office of the future.” But hold on. What does this metaverse actually mean when it comes to YOUR business? You may not have the faintest interest in VR worlds, and prefer keeping your feet on the ground in this one. Well, just like social media use by consumers forced companies to reconsider where they reach their target audiences, the metaverse is likely to do the same. So you can ignore it if you want, but it will likely be a necessity to get involved with at some point.

Ways That Your Business May Use the Metaverse in the Future

More Immersive Employee Training

Companies expect some trial and error when training employees on new tasks. But certain jobs contain more risk than others. For example, no one wants to see a mishap during forklift training or when a surgery student is learning the ropes. The metaverse makes the perfect safe training ground. It creates a more immersive environment and can use AI-generated accuracy for things like movement, force, and gravity. Imagine being able to put trainees into a realistic situation and allow them to go through several training simulations. All without the risk of having them make mistakes that could impact you in real life.

Digital Metaverse Marketing

If you want to attract new leads and customers, you need to advertise online. You also need to post your marketing where people will see it. Facebook is one of the world’s largest online “hangouts.” It has approximately 2.9 billion monthly active users. That’s why pay-per-click ads on Facebook have become a mainstay of many business marketing campaigns. If your target audiences begin spending more time in the metaverse, then it will make sense for you to market to them where they are. You can stay ahead of your competition by brainstorming some rough ideas now for what that could look like. Possibly, you’ll be setting up a virtual storefront in 3D! Then, once that virtual world is picking up major steam, you’ll be ready to adjust your advertising accordingly.

Support for Customers Where They Are Online

Customers expect you to answer them, no matter how they reach out to you. Whether they fill out your website contact form or sent you a direct message on LinkedIn, they are looking for you to respond promptly. Fielding questions from leads and customers via social media direct message (DM) has become commonplace. Companies looking to improve customer experience and remain competitive make sure they are there when someone reaches out – no matter where in the online world that may be. As people begin using the metaverse more, they may expect to see an avatar with your company’s name on it assisting them with questions.

More Immersive Customer & Team Meetings

Meetings have changed since the pandemic sent everyone to apps like Zoom and MS Teams. We’re used to meeting with colleagues and customers via video chat, sharing screens, and seeing everyone’s face in a little box. What if you could actually share the same virtual space, “walk” around, and feel more like you’re in a real meeting room together? That’s what Microsoft is looking to create with its metaverse partnership.

Image source: Microsoft

Using the metaverse for client meetings can help bridge some of the gaps that video meetings leave when compared to meeting in person. You also have the ability to build any type of environment. For example, a replica of your headquarters, or a mockup of a design you’re building for the client. The possibilities are endless. The immersive feel translates to team meetings too. Do you have remote employees that feel they’re missing something because everyone else is in the same physical environment? Using a metaverse meeting space could extend that “in-person” feel to your entire team, no matter where they work.

Have You Thought About Technology Initiatives for 2023?

What technology upgrades should you make this year to improve productivity, lower costs, and stay competitive? ECN IT Solutions can help your Southern Arizona business discuss initiatives to expand your business through technology. Contact us today to schedule a chat. Call 520-355-7553 or reach out online.