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Oct 3, 2022

The Metaverse and The Physical World Can Work Together for Business

XR solutions is changing the way we do business.

By Bobby Carlton

Despite the evolution of the metaverse, it is still not the end of real-world human connectivity or even physical locations. Instead, it is an opportunity for brands, industries and all types of businesses to capitalize on the potential of their locations and develop strategies to maximize their chances of being successful.

Business
Image by Lowes

In developing their strategies, companies should consider the various channels that the metaverse and the physical world can use to engage with their customers, potential customers, and business partners. The metaverse is better at delivering large amounts of data, while the physical world is known for creating emotional connections.

Despite the various changes that have occurred in the way people work, the trend toward more concentrated economic activity and talent in larger and fewer star locations has not changed. Businesses are still going strong and are adapting to new marketing methods that use XR technology and the metaverse.

The metaverse is different from the physical world due to the combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Its innovations, such as the ability to work from anywhere, are expected to make the virtual world a more realistic alternative to the physical one. Some of the major advancements that have occurred in the way people work include the availability of virtual collaboration tools such as Mozilla Hubs, Horizon Workrooms, Virbela, and Decentraland

The ability to create a more realistic shopping, workforce, and social experience is expected to make the virtual world a more practical alternative to the physical one. 

Despite the various technological innovations that have occurred over the years, the metaverse is still not a replacement for the physical world. Instead, it is an opportunity for companies to capitalize on the potential of their locations.

It allows us to do more things online, such as expand our reach to rich content and talent pools, lower transaction costs, and enhance data-based personalization and decision making. There is also an emotional engagment, unfortunately, it is still not able to replicate the emotional cues and body language that are used by people in real places. But as hand tracking and facial tracking technology improves, we are moving closer to that type of experience in the metaverse.

It’s important to keep in mind that the metaverse is still not a replacement for the physical world, but it is expected to make the physical location of businesses more important than ever before. We are already seeing companies such as Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, and Walmart shift focus on the metaverse with their own branded worlds. This allows them to provide the ideal locations for brands to experiment.

Along with companies, we see a lot of traction with XR technology and digital twinning in industry 4.0 such as robotics, warehouse automation, automobile, aviation, and the future of work in general.

In addition to the location of their corporate headquarters, offices, and innovation hubs, businesses will also have to think about the various factors that affect their physical and virtual locations. These include the availability of talent, the design of their facilities, and the marketing of their brands.

Understanding the relationship between the physical and the metaverse is also important to ensure that businesses are able to capitalize on the opportunities that it provides. Both the physical and the metaverse can act as a channel for disseminating various types of information.

The metaverse is a digital channel that enables people to deliver and use a variety of information in a convenient manner. It is different from previous digital platforms such as social networks, email, messengers, and web browsers. It can deliver audio, video, and text information at high bandwidth.

According to a 2017 study from the Masie Center, VR is rich data that can be set across networks that are much wider than their existing digital platforms.

For many companies, the rise of the metaverse offers new opportunities to improve their processes and products. While virtual reality may be used in some cases, other modes such as augmented reality can also be utilized.

Despite the evolution of the metaverse, it is still not enough to replace the experience of being in the physical world. The physical world can provide a deeper understanding of people and their emotions. It can also influence the mood and feel of a room by using various methods such as body language and voice modulation. This type of interaction is very important to build social capital and trust.

The metaverse can help enhance the physical world by providing a more realistic and interactive experience. For instance, a museum tour can be enhanced by the use of metaverse technology. A person who is planning on buying a home can take a virtual tour of the neighborhood and its surrounding areas before making a final decision. Augmented reality glasses can also be used to overlay live stats on an event.

For instance, a company can use the metaverse to create a new shoe design by testing and modifying it using social feedback. Employees can then engage in the process online, allowing them to get a deeper understanding of the product and its physical characteristics. This type of interaction can help businesses act on their strategic goals in concert with the digital world.

One of the most important factors that businesses consider when it comes to enhancing their customer experience is the use of the metaverse. In the past, e-commerce companies were able to create a virtual channel that was integrated with the physical one. This type of interaction has allowed them to improve the customer experience.

Several companies, such as Microsoft, Pico, Lenovo, and Meta, are currently developing augmented reality headsets that allow consumers to participate in live events, such as sports games and conferences, and being used as part of Enterprise solutions for numerous industries by overlaying digital content and messages. These types of technologies will drive the next generation of personalization.

In addition to these, companies are also experimenting with new ways to enhance the customer experience by delivering exclusive experiences and rewards to loyal customers through the metaverse. For instance, they are currently working on bringing the real world into the digital world through creative metaverse marketing campaigns.

Despite the advancements that have been made in the digital world, the lack of a replacement for the experience of being in the real world is still a major issue for consumers. In addition to this, the rise of digital platforms has also shifted the consumer spending habits of millennials.

Companies are known for providing a variety of platforms that allow businesses to enhance their customer experience. They also create environments that are designed to reinforce the relationship between physical and digital channels. This includes websites and apps, and now the metaverse.

For e-commerce companies, particularly those that are digital-native, the use of physical stores in key areas has been a great way to reinforce their digital strategies. For instance, when it comes to promoting its brand, online retailer Amazon has been able to expand its reach by opening multiple physical stores in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

The combination of physical locations and metaverse technology can provide businesses with more opportunities to enhance the customer experience.

Amazon Business
(AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

The metaverse promises to allow people to work more efficiently and effectively by enabling new technologies that will allow them to interact with each other and with the world around them. However, this doesn't replace the need for people to physically come together. 

Despite the presence of several bands creating their own digital twin in the metaverse, those brands are still expanding their operations in cities all across the world. 

The metaverse can play an important role in helping companies find and retain talent pools by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to fill various roles. It can also help them connect with job candidates and manage mundane communication.

As the evolution of the social contract continues, companies will need to review their offerings to ensure that they are still able to provide their employees with the necessary opportunities to develop their skills and culture. This new social contract may also require them to reinvest some of the savings from lower salaries into programs that promote learning and cultural cohesion.

This means that companies will need to rethink their office design and location. While they may be able to save money by leasing office space, they will still need to have a physical presence in order to maintain their competitive advantage.

metaverse business office
Image from FS Studio

The office will become more focused on socializing and connecting in the era of the metaverse. Instead of doing work, employees will be more likely to spend their time socializing and connecting. Urban spaces may also function as portals that allow employees to use augmented and virtual reality technology in the office.

Instead of opposing one another, the physical office and the metaverse will work together to enable knowledge work.

This is because the rise of the metaverse has made location an integral part of business success. To be successful, managers need to put their corporate strategy around the importance of location. They also need to create a complementary strategy for the metaverse and business.

The importance of location should be elevated to a C suite priority. To ensure that the strategy is focused on the complementary advantages of both physical and virtual locations, the focus should be placed on the latter.

This should include addressing the various factors that affect the selection and retention of talent, such as the availability of key talent, the repartition of talent pools between the centers of work and the centers of life, and the new social contract.

The rise of the metaverse has made it clear that the virtual world will eventually become more like the real world. However, it will still require the presence of physical locations to remain competitive.

While the metaverse allows people and businesses to move to different parts of the world, cities will still remain as vital as they are today. They will continue to serve as hubs for innovation, collaboration, and in-person connection. Companies that are able to connect with their employees in these locations will be able to gain a deeper talent pool and lower their costs.

Humans are above all social animals. We need to be together in the physical world to maintain our productivity and connect with our colleagues. While the metaverse can help people access various aspects of work and consumption, it will not replace the need for face-to-face interaction.

Despite the evolution of the metaverse, it will not replace the need for physical locations. The two are complementary and can be used to complement one another.

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