Will the metaverse disrupt business as we know it? Is it really a thing?
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners I talk to are curious and excited – some fearful – about the next wave of Web3 technology, its connectivity, and how their businesses need to adopt. They want to know “what’s next” and whether they should plan another big pivot. After all, they survived the great shutdown by deploying and using digital tools, and they see more opportunities. Yet, they still have a lot on their plate. Uncertain economic conditions, cost and labor pressures, and staying up-to-date on consumer needs and preferences are all weighing heavily on small business owners. The good news is that there is no need for entrepreneurs to panic about an overnight switch to all things metaverse, but being a first mover could certainly yield massive benefits.
According to McKinsey & Company, the value of the metaverse could reach $5 trillion by 2030. So yes, the metaverse seems to be a “thing” and early-industry adopters, creators, and investors are plowing billions of resources and time into its development. Indeed, the metaverse is already here but it will be some time before we realize the interconnectivity of platforms and how technology develops further. Most certainly there will be surprises, and innovative technologies, uses and business models we didn’t even imagine.
I believe the metaverse will offer extraordinary opportunity for entrepreneurs and small businesses. But, again, there is nothing to panic about. The wider adoption of Web 3 technology tools and the metaverse as now imagined by many will not happen overnight. There is time for entrepreneurs to think strategically and thoughtfully about how they could design a digital store, presence and brand that will create unique and innovative customer experiences.
To help business owners and entrepreneurs through this, I am linking to several thoughtful pieces that will guide you through this emerging space, and what business owners should be thinking about and doing.
The Top 5 Metaverse Trends in 2023, Forbes
“Over the next 12 months, businesses will be going all-out to position themselves at prime virtual locations – whether that’s through building their own platforms or occupying existing arenas such as Meta Horizons, Fortnite, VR Chat, or Decentraland. No one knows for sure what the winning strategy will be yet, but one thing is for certain – you’ve got to be in it to win it.” Exciting developments possibly lie ahead in 2023.
What the Metaverse Means for Small Businesses, Incfile
“While the metaverse may seem like a foreign concept right now, the reality is that it’s fast becoming the new online world of the future. As a small business owner, major shifts and changes like this may seem daunting, but there’s lots to learn and embrace about the opportunities in the metaverse.” How do brands enter the universe and what can small businesses do to take advantage of the opportunities it presents? Read more here.
5 Key Ways the Metaverse is Disrupting the Consumer Experience, Spiceworks
“Yet, even in its infancy, the metaverse is changing the possibilities provided by the internet – and disrupting consumer interaction with businesses and organizations across the gaming, retail, luxury, events and hospitality industries.” Here are key areas the metaverse is disrupting and insights needed to drive widespread adoption.
6 Tips to Prepare Your Small Business to be a Part of the Metaverse, ConcettoLabs.com
“In today’s business world, the Metaverse could offer the greatest opportunities since the invention of the internet.” Some ideas include: virtual events, social media, employer engagement, NFTs sales services, energetic and immersive learning experiences, engaging and immersive shopping experiences, gaming, virtual travel agency and more. Read more tips and ideas here.
The Value of the Metaverse for Small Businesses, IT Business Edge
“There are a few things companies should be doing to prepare for the opportunities the metaverse will bring. First, they should start thinking about how they can use the metaverse to improve their customer experience. Second, they should begin to experiment with creating metaverse applications. And third, they should think about how the metaverse can be used to create new business models and revenue streams.” Read about its benefits, potential use cases and how your small business can prepare here.”
Metaverse Shopping: Retailers’ New Reality, Venture Beat
“Successful brands have a vibrant presence not only in the physical world, but also online, on mobile devices and on social media. The metaverse is simply the next extension of that presence. By embracing virtual reality, retailers can enable customers to interact with their brand in a unique immersive environment that tells a brand’s story and sets it apart. Richly detailed, interactive 3D spaces encourage shoppers to linger longer than conventional websites or mobile apps ever have.” Access ways to navigate the new reality here.
While the arrival of the metaverse is slowly making its way into the economy and our culture, preparing for it now will make a small business more competitive both in the short and long-term. After all, businesses that excel are always looking for ways to attract new customers and offer those customers outstanding experiences.
Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.