Can you imagine entering a three-dimensional virtual store in the form of an avatar, where you can buy and try on clothes almost as you do in real life?
Technological advances are increasingly present in all areas of daily life and are on their way to conquering all digital channels.
The metaverse is one of them, giving users the ability to interact with different spaces through a fusion of what is known as virtual reality and augmented reality.
The ways people buy are evolving and today customers are looking for something different, virtual, but personalized, something that makes a difference.
The metaverse brings us a new way of shopping, very similar to real life, but totally virtual, where customers can interact in an immersive way with the environment.
It is an exceptional tool that could improve customer experience and help companies to stand out from the competition. In this article we will tell you a little about what it is, its advantages, disadvantages and its possibilities in digital marketing.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse, as we already explained, is a space where the real world and the virtual world meet, through the use of virtual reality and augmented reality tools. In this space, which is digital in nature, people can interact with other people who are in the same metaverse or with three-dimensional objects.
It is, in a few words, an extension of real space but in the virtual world.
To be more specific, users can, through elements such as virtual or augmented reality glasses and applications for devices such as computers or smartphones, enter a virtual world and take part in various experiences.
These types of activities, which can be, for example, playing, buying, trying on clothes, working, or interacting with other users of that virtual environment, can be done using an avatar, which is a virtual representation of the user.
A well-known example of a metaverse was recently presented by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who showed off a mixed reality headset prototype, in the context of his Cambria project.
This headset enables an enhanced mixed reality experience through interaction with virtual elements in the real world, such as taking notes, playing with a pet, or following a training class.
In addition, there are several video game platforms that started with the concept of mixed reality and today are in the process of developing their metaverses, such as Second Life, Fornite, Minecraft and Roblox.
How does the metaverse work?
It is important to take into account some of the basic characteristics that metaverses have or will have.
● Digital avatars are used to enter each metaverse. These avatars represent the user and will interpret whatever the user wishes to do and how they will look like in that metaverse.
● It is an immersive experience, blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds.
● It is collective and collaborative, since it is shared with other connected and active users in the same metaverse and who can interact with it at the same time.
● It has no borders or distances, since you can connect with places around the world without any limitation. In addition, you will be able to connect with other metaverses keeping the same avatar.
● It is stable and you can connect from different devices. You can go back and see how everything is going in that metaverse, what’s new, changes, etc.
● It has its own economy, based on NFT and cryptocurrencies. NFTs are unique digital assets that can’t be replaced. That is, you could convert a digital file into NFT which would be a digital certificate of authenticity. This will allow you to trade online, for example through cryptocurrencies. This asset is widely used to market works of art or other works that require authenticity and, combined with cryptocurrencies, they are very useful in the metaverse.
Possibilities offered by the metaverse in digital marketing
Now that we know the basis of the metaverse, let’s talk now about what really matters to us and that is how the metaverse influences and will influence digital marketing.
The metaverse will radically change the way people buy and sell products and services in cyberspace, giving users completely different and personalized digital experiences, very similar to those in the real world, and giving companies more brand recognition.
Although today there are some concepts similar to the metaverse, based on virtual reality and augmented reality, the fusion of both to provide a platform as similar to the real world as could be achieved in a metaverse is not yet developed.
So what different possibilities will the metaverse bring us for digital marketing?
● Digital versions of products or services may be purchased, such as demonstrations or gym routines performed by an avatar.
● It will be possible to buy in virtual 3D stores, where you can enter if you access a metaverse with your own avatar.
● It will be possible to offer a different customer experience, totally immersive, where they will be able to obtain the information they want about the product or service in which they are interested. In addition, you will also be able to do things that are not possible today in a classic virtual purchase, such as trying on clothes, discovering how the furniture will look in the house or viewing the menu of a restaurant live with the information you deem necessary.
● Unique products may be marketed as NFTs, giving customers a sense of belonging and exclusivity.
● It will be possible to meet a potential client in a metaverse, to have a remote but much more personalized and realistic meeting.
● It will be possible to organize product demonstrations in the metaverse and offer webinars or courses in real time, in order to generate an immersive experience for each customer.
● Many more forms of digital advertising can be exploited in the metaverse, considering that you have many opportunities and ways to sell a product or service. In addition, it will change the way marketers will advertise new products. Today we seek to reach as many people as possible, sending many emails, paying for ads in different places. In the metaverse, advertising will be available to all users who log in.
● Content marketing strategies can be improved from the generation of new virtual content available in the metaverse for all those who visit it, as well as working with a influencer marketing strategy, because influencers will create profiles and use their avatar to promote marketing campaigns and make money.
Advantages and disadvantages of the metaverse
Any technological advance, of course, is full of advantages, because it is the future and it is what is coming, but it also has disadvantages, because it is something new and that was not tested before.
That is why, today, we will talk about some of the advantages and disadvantages that we believe this new technology may offer, not only in digital marketing, but in all the spaces it can reach.
The classes can be more dynamic and educational, since the students will be able to travel to other places and get to know them in the first person, as well as learn concepts that are much more practical to visualize in 3D than captured on a page or on a computer.
Working from home
The concept of home office will change radically, since it will be possible to access offices and have meetings in virtual places, where you will be able to meet other people and interact in a virtual environment very similar to the real world.
Doctors will be able to offer much more effective virtual medical appointments, where the patient and their symptoms can be much better evaluated.
It is the most well-known advantage, since they are the pioneers of the metaverse. But the possibility of playing with people from all over the world in a virtual reality environment is remarkable.
The purchase and sale of products and services in the metaverse can be totally personalized and realistic, and a better customer experience can be provided than with classic online purchases. This will improve the reach of your brand
Diversified technology and compatible with different digital formats.
Community and cooperative
Possibility of easily creating connected communities with members from all over the world.
In some respects, it can reduce pollution, since more remote activities will mean the consumption of unsustainable resources will be reduced. If you don’t have to travel to talk about your business, you would be saving money and reducing the number of people who need transportation.
Possibility of connection between the different generations.
The high cost of technology will inevitably produce an increase in socioeconomic inequality, not only for companies with fewer resources to invest in digital marketing, but also for those consumers who don’t have easy access to this type of technology.
Less physical relationship between people. People will spend too much time in the virtual world, due to its resemblance to the real one.
As there is no specific legislation or clear rules of behavior in this universe, some spaces could be unsafe for users.
Fragility in the protection of personal data and privacy.
Insecurity in financial transactions through virtual means of payment such as cryptocurrencies, which makes it a good target for scams.
Although at present the metaverse seems to be more oriented and developed for video games, it is clear that the continuous growth of the use of augmented reality and virtual reality tools will open more and more possibilities in the virtual world. That is why many companies are starting on this path, to take the next step towards the fusion of realities, which is the metaverse.
This will directly impact those brands that market their products digitally, as they will have to update if they want to stand out and offer the customer a fully personalized and realistic experience, in which they can obtain all the product information they want, at the time they want. without having to go to a local store.
Offering a good customer experience is a necessary differentiation strategy for any company and the use of new technologies in digital marketing will be more and more relevant. — Article translated by Micheli.