Last updated: July 15, 2022 Metaverse customer experience: A world of new opportunities

Metaverse customer experience: A world of new opportunities


When Facebook made a splash last fall by changing its name to Meta—and announcing it was going all in on the metaverse—some people’s first question was, the meta-what?

Meanwhile, other technology companies—like Microsoft, the gaming platform Roblox, Epic Games (the company behind Fortnite), and chipmaker Nvidia—carried on with their plans to create their own versions of an artificial intelligence-laden world.

With Gartner predicting that 25% of people will spend at least one hour per day in the metaverse in the next four years, the metaverse promises to impact our lives in more ways than one.

What does this mean for brands? What will the metaverse customer experience look like? How can companies prepare?

Metaverse customer experience: Expanding omnichannel CX

Still largely conceptual, the metaverse can be generally described as an online, three-dimensional environment where people can communicate, collaborate, socialize, shop, and work.

The metaverse aims to recreate life-like interactions in a digital world using avatars, or three-dimensional characters, and artificial intelligence.

The avatars can interact with renditions of physical spaces, such as shopping malls or stores, as well as with each other.

As it stands right now, the metaverse isn’t likely to replace physical or even online customer experiences—but it’s poised to become an important new channel — much like social media did not too long ago.

Customer engagement in the metaverse

In the metaverse, customers will be able to interact with a brand much like they would in real life.

They’ll peruse storefronts; shop in a virtual store; select products off a shelf or rack; consult with a store employee about a product; “try on” clothes in a virtual dressing room; or add products to their cart.

And that’s just one example. While some brands may choose to recreate their real-life stores in the metaverse, others may opt to create an entirely new online experience.

For example, Nike has built Nikeland—a virtual world where customers can interact with the brand in playful and unique ways. Launched last September, Hyundai Motor Company’s Mobility Adventure is a shared virtual space where users can interact with the automaker’s products, and participate in various theme parks.

Maximum differentiation, greater reach

Customer experience today is all about creating personalized experiences that make your brand stand out from the crowd and keep customers coming back for more.

The metaverse provides brands with ample opportunities to do that. Consider the possibilities:
  1. Offer creative and unique experiences. Like the Nikeland example, brands have an opportunity to embrace entirely new ways of engaging with customers in the metaverse—whether it’s creating a virtual marketplace or offering VIP, novel experiences that transport them from reality.
  2. Take personalization to a new level. Brands can shape experiences more precisely, based on the choices customers make in the metaverse.
  3. Reach new audiences. Much like how the internet opened doors to new customers, so will the metaverse. Brands will be able to leverage this new channel to reach customers they previously couldn’t, whether due to geographic limitations or the scope of their marketing and sales teams.
  4. Build on the demand for virtual experiences. The pandemic accelerated customers’ appetite for virtual experiences, such as shopping for groceries online, ordering takeout through an app, and attending virtual education offerings. Brands can build on this existing customer demand by creating new experiences in the metaverse.
  5. Provide customer service and support. Customers already expect to get support via multiple channels. The metaverse would be another way to provide fast, personalized service to keep customers happy.

Creating unique experiences and staying focused

Of course, any new technology has opportunities for improvement—and the metaverse is no different. Brands will need to map this new customer journey, capturing insights about where friction occurs and taking action to provide a smooth, seamless customer experience.

Brands should also consider how the customer experience in the metaverse impacts the employee experience. The two don’t operate in silos; if anything, the metaverse will increase the need for understanding their connection—including how employees will support customers’ needs in an always-on, avatar-driven world.

While it appears the metaverse will be a positive environment to foster new and creative experiences, brands will need to continue to be attuned and responsive to customers’ changing needs.

It won’t necessarily be those brands who set up shop first, but instead, those who understand the customer journey and how to provide meaningful experiences that will be successful in attracting and retaining customers in this new virtual world.

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Jen Bailin

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