In this article, we’ll talk about a metaverse and what brands should consider when thinking about providing a quality customer experience in a new virtual environment.
What is a metaverse?
Metaverse is a virtual or hybrid (connected through some touchpoints in the physical world, like tracking Apps) 3D environment with a high level of interaction freedom. People are represented there in the form of virtual avatars with customizable and evolving characteristics.
In a metaverse, there are:
• virtual objects,
• the ability of individuals to co-create digital assets (NFTs),
• own economy connected to the real world through cryptocurrencies.
You can try getting into the metaverse right now – for example, in Sandbox, Silks, or Decentraland.
Why is the metaverse a future?
Today, existing metaverses look and behave more like a game, but 30 years ago, the internet looked more like fun than an essential part of life.
Why metaverse matters. Millions of people escape reality by playing games; Roblox in 2021 had 202 million active users (this number equals almost 67% of the USA population), and Minecraft had 141 million.
Now imagine that in such a virtual environment, you can not only play but also create, get income feasible in the real world, visit different places, master new professions, and try anything. Basically, you can create your new virtual life with limitless possibilities.
You should also consider another trend. The population of the Earth is growing, but on the other hand, businesses tend to process automation, replacing workers with AI, robotics, and outsourcing processes. Even if basic needs are met, it will become more and more difficult for people to realize their potential every year.
A metaverse is a new form of reality where you get an opportunity to be who you want. And for the digital native generation (your future customers), such an environment would be essential and natural.
Metaverse for brands and businesses?
As we said, a metaverse is an interoperability environment with the physical world. You can transfer the experience users get there to real life, so thanks to the digital currencies, metaverses must be considered a new revenue channel for business. Users and brands can create digital assets and sell and purchase them; based on experience, they order them with delivery in the real world. It is a great showcase and advertising platform for brands, especially early adopters of innovations. Look at Nike metaverse in Roblox.
It’s a great example of brand positioning, advertising, and co-experience tool for the next active buyer’s generation. They get a first-mover advantage.
Some scenarios of interaction:
- Advertising on digital touchpoints
- Buy/sell NFTs
- The digital assets market (boots, t-shirts, art, in-world artifacts, etc.)
- Purchase products and merchandising with real-world delivery
- Services and entertainment like insurance, credits, digital assets, virtual concerts, etc.
- With the development of technology (AR, VR, computational power), the capabilities will only grow.
Design of metaverse customer experience
The new territory gives many options for creativity and innovation, but we shouldn’t forget how our customers will feel interacting with the brand in a new environment.
What do you need to keep in mind when discussing CX design for metaverse?
1. Metaverse persona profile
You should design a metaverse experience based on a deep understanding of the real-world user persona. Personas in the metaverse are usually Crypto enthusiasts, gamers, innovators, and digital native young people, with their expectations, fears, privacy expectations, behavior, and decision-making models in digital and physical worlds. We highly recommend deep Customer research in the initial stage.
Delivering some experience in a metaverse, we need to think about and design touchpoints with the real world to get the best ROI on our investments. Let’s consider you a fashion brand or a digital Shopping Mall. Imagine that in a metaverse, you give the user the ability to create a personalized look and make it desirable in the real world.
Could you offer the ability to order it and get it in-store or delivered home? What about co-creation? Can we design and offer an NFT marketplace to help customers get maximum value from investing their time in interaction with our brand? What if real-world actions drive benefits for the person in the virtual environment? Let’s connect offline loyalty programs with metaverse experience and digital currencies. They are driving real-world consumption in exchange for virtual benefits
Metaverse itself is a gamified environment with many visual stimuli for its habitats. The fight between brands for attention would be tough. In the design of representation of your brand there, you should give an essential role to engagement and retention strategies and connection to real-world events.
4. Customer support
In the real world, customer support in the metaverse experience should be an essential part of Brand CX’s strategy. From a process design and legal terms and conditions to employee training to work with online and offline claims in physical touchpoints.
5. Interaction design
The metaverse gives a high level of interaction freedom between “avatars,” so we see the exact expectations from the brand experience. We can try to digitally deliver what we could not offer in the physical world. Co-creation and co-cooperation are a part of this opportunity. What if users could be involved in the product design process, become virtual brand ambassadors, work as a sales staff in your shop, create art for advertising campaigns, etc.? It’s a huge opportunity.
Should a brand invest in a presence in the metaverse?
Currently, there is hype around a metaverse idea. But the trends you could see around in digital assets management, crypto adoption, growth dynamics of computational power, and quantity of digitally native consumers show that the concept is more than feasible. Brands ready to invest in innovative CX strategies will get first movers advantage in the newborn market.
Want to talk more about the design of the metaverse experience? Contact Craft Innovations experts via email at email@example.com.