All the opportunities behind a metaverse customer experience
The metaverse customer experience is the new frontier of the interaction between brands and customers
The metaverse has been growing in popularity for its ability to create immersive virtual worlds, and companies are quickly catching on to its potential. Creating a metaverse customer experience is one of the most interesting ones.
What is the metaverse?
In simple terms, it is a three-dimensional digital universe that people can explore and interact with.
To enter this digital world, users need different tools: augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices, super-fast internet connections, cryptocurrency wallets, and so on. Furthermore, they have to choose one of the various platforms available, such as Decentraland or Meta. Within the platforms, users are represented by avatars. Each platform has its own rules and structure, so an avatar in a platform may not be compatible with other platforms. In any case, the Metaverse Standard Forum is working on the definition of common rules to favour interoperability.
In the metaverse, people can explore different virtual places, interact with other people from around the world, work, go to the doctor or visit a bank, and participate in many different leisure activities. Of course, they can also go shopping in brands' virtual shops. The particularity is that users can buy:
- totally virtual objects (for example, digital fashion for their avatar or NFT),
- digital twins of real objects,
- real objects that they would find in the brands' brick-and-mortar stores.
In the same way, brands can build imaginative virtual stores, or digitally replicate the real ones.
The metaverse goes beyond the limits of the physical world
Those who work in marketing know how important customer engagement, customer loyalty, and customer satisfaction are. To reach them, brands focus on the personalization of both products and communication through an omnichannel approach that includes a websites, social networks, newsletters, push notifications, and any effective channel. Furthermore, brands are aware of the importance of customer service and after-sales support. However, the management of all these activities is complex, since each of them requires its own tools. Instead, the metaverse allows for a holistic interaction with the customer through a single portal. Does a customer want to shop? They go into the metaverse. Do they want to participate in a game challenge to win a coupon? They go into the metaverse. Do they want to contact an assistant to solve a problem? They go into the metaverse. The customer doesn't leave the house but, at the same time, they can interact with the brand’s employees face to face, without using apps, visiting websites, sending emails, or phoning. In other words, the metaverse is a mixed reality that combines the best aspects of the real world and the digital technologies.
The metaverse customer experience
Beyond ease and convenience, the metaverse customer experience is more effective in engaging customers because it is immersive and it is fun. It generates emotions. And people are hungry for emotions which, moreover, are at the base of purchases and brand loyalty.
So, what should a brand do to build a metaverse customer experience?
When designing their metaverse customer experience, brands must take into account the target audience they want to reach and what type of interaction they want to create with them. For example, if companies want to reach a young audience, they may want to design an experience that is more video game-like. On the other hand, if companies want to appeal to a more mature audience, they may want to design a metaverse customer experience that is more realistic.
In any case, it is important that companies design an experience that is in line with their brand identity. For example, a luxury fashion brand would not want to design a metaverse customer experience that is too cartoonish.
Of course, metaverse customer experiences must be designed to be as user-friendly as possible. Indeed, if they are too complicated, users will quickly get frustrated and leave.
Some examples of customer engagement activities are:
- metaverse treasure hunt in which people have to find objects hidden in the brand's virtual space;
- metaverse challenges that offer coupons or discounts as a prize;
- virtual events, like the Metaverse Fashion Week.
What are the benefits of a metaverse customer experience?
Let's summarise the main benefits of a metaverse customer experience.
1) It allows companies to create a deeper connection with their customers. Indeed, customers can now interact with brands in a more immersive way and they are no longer just passively consuming content.
2) It is useful to improve brand awareness. By creating an interesting and engaging experience, companies can make sure that their brand is top of mind for customers.
3) Companies can reach new audiences that they would not have been able to reach before. For example, people who are not comfortable leaving their homes or who live in remote areas. People can now access brands' virtual shops from anywhere in the world.
4) The customer experience becomes smoother since customers can interact with the brand through just one channel, face to face, without leaving home.
5) It helps increase sales. Companies that create good virtual worlds and shops will see a significant increase in the number of items sold. Moreover, these virtual shops are open 24/7.
6) It opens new business opportunities. Indeed, brands can sell new categories of items: virtual items and digital twins, which can be easily personalised.
8) Brands can use metaverse data (and Artificial Intelligence) to improve customer segmentation and personalisation. In this way, they can obtain a competitive advantage.
Are you wondering if it's really worth it? Well, according to Gartner, in the next 4 years 25% of people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse, which is only in its early stages. As technology evolves, the number of people and time spent in the virtual world will increase, impacting our lives in ways we cannot anticipate.