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Metaverse To Become Fulcrum Of Experiential Economy

The Metaverse is an $800 billion opportunity there for anyone who can attract and engage users with an exceptional holistic experience that improves sales, augurs brand loyalty and repeat business.

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The dawn of the digital age has marked a new era across the globe, one where consumers’ have cemented their place as ‘Kings’. The royalty these kings and queens demand is not limited to just quality and competitive prices of products and services but also experience. We are all now part of the experiential economy dominantly making decisions influenced by the experience we have had of a product or service. Digitally morphed, our lifestyles as a whole crave superior experiences across social interactions seamlessly integrated and served across the myriad touchpoints.  

It is this craving for experience, our growing digital maturity, and a growing set of digital-native users called the millennials that have given shape to the idea of ‘Metaverse’ a virtual rendition of lifelike environments, that is built on the premise of experience. It is presumably the next stage of digital transformation. Realization of a virtual world where users can meet, greet and do a whole lot more just like they do in real life.   

The Metaverse is an $800 billion opportunity there for anyone who can attract and engage users with an exceptional holistic experience that improves sales, augurs brand loyalty and repeat business. These experiences are centered around three key themes that are shouldering the evolution of the Metaverse. 

Immersive and progressive technologies 

As is the case with every innovation and development taking place in the present day and age, technology is the harbinger driving the evolution of the metaverse with AR/VR emerging as the strongest propellers. These are the technologies that are enabling imagination to take shape digitally. AR/VR adoption in India has been pretty strong in the recent past. Data from Research and Markets, states the total market size of AR/VR in India is expected to advance at a CAGR of 38.29% to US$ 14.07 billion by 2027 powered by increasing smartphone penetration and improving internet networks. The evolution of metaverse has been buoyed by the strong adoption of AR/VR technologies and solutions. 

Other technologies that are set to play a major role in driving distinct experiences across the metaverse include performance improvement in avatar movement and environment rendering. Interoperability to enable users to seamlessly move from one digital environment to the other and interact with the various digital elements available, improved accessibility across devices and more. 

Playing supporting roles will be technologies such as blockchain that will back the fledging Non Fungible Tokens or NFT space. NFTs a quickly growing phenomenon are digital tokens that represent ownership of specific digital assets. Blockchain or digital ledger is expected to power transparency and governance for these NFTs. Cloud will also be integral to the evolution of metaverse providing expansion and reach while technologies powering data and analytics will be pivotal for learning about user behavior and the evolving metaverse. 

Digitally driven indigenous economy 

Businesses across the globe have a unique opportunity to set up storefronts, virtual offices, experience centers, and a lot more within the metaverse. The transactional value within the metaverse is expected to reach $42 billion by 2026 as stated by research firm Strategy Alliance.  Metaverse is also a gold mine for branding opportunities. You can choose to buy your own virtual real estate to showcase your brand or rent out space from others. There is also an immense potential for The metaverse space is also ripe for entertainers and entertainment agencies as they can treat global audiences to a totally new experience. Daler Mehndi became the first Indian artist to perform in the metaverse attracting around 20 million participants from around the globe. He also threw in some NFTs to commemorate the occasion. Non Fungible Tokens based on blockchain technology spoken about earlier is another opportunity that gives individuals, creators, and artists options to trade digital assets. An NFT that attracted quite a bit of media attention and sold for $69 million was from Beeple, a digital artist. The records are being rewritten in the space with the most expensive as in April, 22 selling for $91.8 million. 

Data to propel experience to another strata 

Stating that data is the new fuel will be an understatement as there is hardly a sphere in the context of a business where data cannot bring about a difference. The Member-driven Metaverse is expected to generate very high volumes of data. In the present day and age, this is music to the ears of data connoisseurs as prevailing data regulations such as GDPR and the CCPA put a heightened focus on safeguarding consumer privacy. The legacy practice of capturing data through third-party cookies that generated good volumes of data in the past is also on its way out as users can easily opt-out of being tracked.  

The data generated within the metaverse holds special value as it is shared by audiences knowingly and voluntarily. Zero Party Data or ZPD shared voluntarily by users is going to be a treasure trove for businesses giving them an up-close and personal view of prospects and existing customers.  the foremost impact of ZPD f will be able to achieve hyper-personalization by way of very personalized recommendations. As per data shared on Forbes, 71% of customers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal stressing the importance of a personalized experience in the digital age. ZPD which is a direct reference to the customer and shared by the individual herself will be a quintessential element that will make delivering a superior experience possible. 

What lies ahead? 

Experience is going to be the driving force behind the evolution of the metaverse. Businesses that want to have a considerable presence and impact in the metaverse should reverse engineer their offerings. They should deconstruct the backward journey from identifying the reasons enabling superior experiences to design solutions and products that can aid the delivery of such elevated customer experiences.  

The evolution of the metaverse will bring to the fore new standards and practices that are all aimed at elevating experiences. As new-age business leaders, we will have to make note of these changes if we wish to play a role in this fast evolving virtual world. We will have to conceive, design and execute products and solutions that not just promise unmatched experiences but are equally engaging and engrossing across platforms, channels, touchpoints, and devices. 

The next stage of evolution for businesses wishing to have an impact in the metaverse and elsewhere in the digital world will be to treat users as the kings and queens and ensure every experience is supreme.

 The author is CEO and Co-Founder, Innover 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Metaverse economy

Amit Gautam

The author is CEO and Co-Founder, Innover

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