With the metaverse continuing to disrupt the current technology landscape, businesses and marketers are reconsidering their current and future customer experience strategies to adapt to the new, virtual world.
According to a 2022 Gartner research, by 2026, 25% of individuals will spend at least an hour every day in the metaverse — engaged in shopping, work, social activities, entertainment, and education. Moreover, by 2026, 30% of enterprises globally will have metaverse-ready products and services, according to the report.
What should marketers be doing in terms of consumer experience as they transition to the metaverse, and how will this alter marketing?
Many brands have recognized that their target audiences, particularly the younger generation, want shared social spaces as well as larger-than-life virtual experiences. It’s not about entering an existing realm in the metaverse for brands, but rather about creating these interactive spaces. Businesses develop not only a relationship with the customers, but also a sense of trust, loyalty, and ownership in the process.
To attract hesitant customers to the metaverse, businesses should offer a value exchange. They can provide something of value in the form of rewards, discounts, or special offers, for example. They should think about how to use the metaverse to better and enhance consumer engagement. This could be in the form of a new virtual product, or program being launched.
As the metaverse develops and expands, it is critical to continue to explore, iterate, and improve. Businesses can form dedicated teams and responsibilities to support and enable the metaverse. This can be used to welcome customers to a company’s metaverse presence and teach them how to participate and interact, essentially acting as a virtual tour guide in the shape of an avatar. Many businesses have already started hiring for these positions.
However, the metaverse must not be viewed as a separate entity from the perspective of customer engagement, but rather as an immersive, experiential layer to an expanding digital environment.
Data transparency is essential
Data sharing, integration, and security should be top of mind as consumers become more acquainted with the concept of the metaverse. Consumers will be curious about how their data is shared, stored, and secured.
Brands should be open and honest about how they use first-party data, and they should do so early and often. They should inform customers that data interconnectedness will be essential for compelling digital experiences between the existing environments and the metaverse.
Customer experience challenges in the Metaverse
Every new technology has flaws in its early stages, and the metaverse is no exception. To begin with, the technology is still in its infancy, and there is no guarantee that investments of businesses in a VR-first CX are certain to pay off.
Second, because consumer adoption of virtual reality is currently low, brands will be able to engage with a small audience at first. The benefit is that, due to the hands-on and immersive nature of VR, engagement levels will be substantially higher, compensating for a smaller audience. Finally, launching a metaverse-friendly CX necessitates enormous financial and technical resources. Despite the democratic nature of the platform, there remains a barrier to entry regarding risk appetite and technical skill.
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