The Metaverse: The Next Evolutionary Stage of the Internet

With the Metaverse, the next evolutionary stage of the Internet is in the starting blocks. It combines the digital and real worlds and will significantly change customer behavior. Companies should react early.

The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we communicate, shop and interact. In our increasingly digitized world, we may now be facing the next stage of evolution: the Metaverse. A recent study by management and technology consultancy BearingPoint sheds light on the exciting opportunities the Metaverse presents for businesses and brand manufacturers, and how this could impact consumer behavior.

Overview of the Metaverse

The Metaverse is a virtual plane that brings together various digital technologies. It combines both digital and real worlds in an immersive experience space. In this way, it promises companies not only competitive advantages, but also the opportunity to create unique customer experiences. The combination of digital and real worlds opens up new dimensions for interaction between companies and consumers.

The Next Evolutionary Stage of the Internet

After Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, the basic requirements for Web 3.0 and a functioning metaverse are now emerging. This requires increased use of artificial intelligence, personalized interaction and decentralization of the Internet. However, it is important to emphasize that the metaverse is not a simple evolution of the Internet. It will not replace existing software systems or mobile applications. Rather, it will drive the development of new technologies and influence our user behavior.

Metaverse as its own consumer world

The metaverse is not another marketing platform, but a consumer world of its own. Generation Z and Alpha in particular place their own demands on products and interactions. They expect authenticity, more intense relationships, and prioritize personal experiences over material things. Companies that want to operate successfully in the metaverse must adapt to these needs. They must develop corresponding worlds of experience, communication strategies and digital products. However, it must be remembered that core experiences must continue to be experienced in the real world.

Advantages of the Metaverse for companies

The study shows that companies can leverage the potential of the Metaverse to offer their customers an easier and more effective online shopping experience. The immersive nature of the Metaverse can create virtual, personalized consultations and shopping environments. Omnichannel strategies, where customers can test and buy products in the Metaverse and later pick them up in physical stores, offer an exciting opportunity to link virtual experience and physical consumption.

Companies should act now

Companies that invest and adapt early are likely to be in the best position to benefit from the opportunities of the Metaverse. An agile approach is advisable when exploring its technologies and principles. It is worth forming working groups of cross-functional experts to actively explore the opportunities and risks of the virtual world. Above all, concrete starting points for active experimentation should be identified, such as launching one’s own NFT collection, sponsoring virtual events, or integrating AR and VR technologies into existing web stores.

Source: BearingPoint