The digital age has triggered a rapid convergence of the human experience across physical, virtual, and augmented realities. These realities now exist in what is referred to as the metaverse. What is not commonly appreciated, however, is that there are multiple metaverses or “verses” that represent communities where people meet friends, work, play games, shop, and watch movies. It is where they live. It is a huge mistake for business leaders to think about these verses as one thing.
To capture the breadth of this vision, we have adopted the term omniverse. The omniverse is the logical next step from omnichannel. Omnichannel is a frictionless customer experience across multiple sales channels including brick-and-mortar stores, social media, chatbots, and traditional customer service. It is a highly personal experience where customer data flows easily between points of contact.
If omnichannel means across all channels, then omniverse means across all metaverses. Your customer will flow freely between multiple metaverses. Will their data? Will their experience of your brand be consistent as they move from virtual world to virtual world and back to the physical world? Will the goods and services they buy be available for use on whatever plane of existence they are currently inhabiting?
This article reviews technologies that make up the metaverse, and what technologies companies need to invest in, or at least understand, to succeed in this new market. It looks at the most mature verses currently in the market, and some companies that are potentially going to grow into this space.
It also provides some advice to enterprises looking to succeed in the omniverse including:
- Think vertically and horizontally. The omniverse will be made up of many individual verses. You need to think about how your customer moves between them, and how they will interact with you. Will you buy an exclusive space in a single verse to build a flagship experience, or will you build a consistent experience across multiple verses? Verses will take on an individual look and feel. They will build customs and rules that are different. Much like selling to multiple countries, selling in multiple verses requires governance, compliance, on-the-ground knowledge, local understanding, and branding that can cut through some of this static.
- Data insights and customer knowledge are the kings of the omniverse. To turn omnichannel into omniverse, you have to invest in data that not only moves across channels but across verses and even planes of existence. Invest in customer data and break down any silos you have not addressed.
The business case for the omniverse has not been fully realized. Companies that have not yet even been founded will likely rise from nowhere the way Amazon and Google rose with the birth of the Internet age. But it is imperative you find your place in it. This is a disruptive change to the way customers will interact with businesses moving forward. How will you meet the disruption? Hopefully, as an opportunity to thrive, limited only by your imagination.
By: Kevin Parikh, Chairman and CEO, David Wagner, Senior Research Director, and Shael Roopchand, Associate Director, Corporate Strategy Avasant