By Jieke Pan,VP of Engineering and CTO, Mobiquity EMEA & APAC

However, what will be a game changer in the weeks, months, and years to come, is how companies will utilise it to optimise business models and drive greater customer retention and future business prospects. 

Presently, early Metaverse adopters are ahead of the curve, setting industry trends and identifying new ways to integrate technology into their activities. The Metaverse can bring its users greater immersion. When integrated into business strategies, this increases convenience for consumers and employees alike. Thus, as the Metaverse shifts from entertainment to other industries, companies must redesign business models to expand into the Metaverse.

Beyond gaming and brand advertising, the Metaverse's most noticeable impact is in retail. The possibility of providing consumers with immersive shopping experiences, challenges retailers to rethink their engagement with technology. While some gravitate towards entirely virtual events, harnessing the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their homes, others move towards redesigning the in-store experience, bringing added value. 

Metaverse technology's borderless nature will generate sensorial considerations, with consumers able to sense products' textures and smells virtually, engaging closely with products from their home. At the same time, the Metaverse has redesigned retailers' products offerings. The creation of a virtual economy has led to the advent of digital avatars, travel, entertainment and even real estate. Consumers have become increasingly keen to purchasing virtual experiences, such as concerts or holidays, NFT artwork to decorate their virtual houses or virtual designer clothes to dress their avatars. These developments challenge retailers to re-analyse consumer habits, rethinking their products and business models, and how they can accommodate those within new technologies.

Moreover, the Metaverse has introduced new ways of conducting business internally. With the proliferation of remote working, some employers have shifted from traditional teleconferencing platforms to the Metaverse. Reasons include enhanced focus with fewer distractions within virtual reality (VR) and heightened data sharing capabilities that facilitate coworking. Companies have also adopted VR for training purposes, notably when dealing with dangerous or delicate machinery, from automotive manufacturing to luxury watchmaking. This reduces the risk of potential incidents and increases the practice available to employees, allowing them to become more specialised. 

Similar to retail, these developments have challenged companies in traditional sectors to rethink how business is conducted. While the shift from in-person to remote working challenges employees to engage virtually, a further change occurs when employees begin working together through avatars rather than webcams, or handling equipment digitally.  

Ultimately, for companies to interact with the Metaverse successfully they need to review the impact it will have on business outcomes. A Metaverse strategy must focus on improving methods of engagement with customers and employees alike - aiming to bring greater immersion and convenience rather than adopting technology for the sake of it and potentially causing frictions. There's no doubt that the businesses who incorporate the Metaverse at this early stage will be the ones that have a competitive advantage within the marketplace