Building a great customer experience in the Metaverse
More and more companies are using the emerging metaverse as an opportunity to reboot the customer relationship and incorporate more elements of interactivity, personalization and adventure into their interactions with customers. Simply put, the metaverse is essentially a collection of 3D virtual worlds where users can interact, socialize, and trade digital products and services in different environments.
The metaverse can help put consumers in control in at least three ways: 1) by creating new ways to discover and explore products, 2) by connecting physical and virtual product experiences in more meaningful ways, and 3) by restoring connections between people and brands through AI-powered bots called “digital humans” that can interact with users in virtual environments.
Creating new ways to discover and explore products
A new car, a new home, a trip to an exotic location—many costly purchasing decisions are difficult to make in a static online environment with limited opportunities for product exploration, testing, and advice. But many companies are already using the Metaverse to change that.
For Celebrity Cruises, a Miami, Fla.-based cruise line and part of Royal Caribbean Group, the Metaverse offers a way to reconnect with potential passengers following the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the travel industry. It’s started celebrity beyondthe first virtual Cruise ship in the metaverse. Potential passengers can take a 360-degree tour of the ocean liner before departure, enjoy a stroll around the heart of the ship, the Grand Plaza, or relax in the Rooftop Garden or Sunset Bar. Passengers can speak to AI-powered avatars of the ship’s captain and his designers to learn more about the ship’s design and capabilities. For landlubbers, Celebrity Beyond also offers virtual tours of many of its destinations, including Japan, the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe.
Buying a new car is another high-priced purchase that requires a lot of time for consumer exploration and product testing. The Fiat Metaverse Store puts the customer in the driver’s seat of a virtual version of its new 500 La Prima by Bocelli model. Customers can explore driving and infotainment features, personalize vehicle setup and take a virtual test drive La Pista 500a test track that meanders along the roof garden of the historic building lingotto Buildings in Turin.
In other cases, brands use the metaverse to help customers learn more about the origins of their products or the processes and technologies behind them. Global car manufacturer Hyundai has determined Hyundai mobility adventure, hosted on Roblox to help especially younger consumers learn more about advanced mobility solutions. Chipotle Mexican Grill, a global restaurant chain based in California, uses it Chipotle Burrito Builder on Roblox to provide customers with an interactive burrito-making experience. Customers can grill, season and mix a virtual guajillo steak with the grill simulator and earn money credits for real food. You can teleport back to the chain’s opening in 1993, talk to the Chipotle chef in a virtual kitchen, and try to roll a virtual burrito.
Connect physical and virtual product experiences more meaningfully
In contrast to traditional e-commerce, where consumers largely ordered physical items online and consumed them offline, the metaverse offers much greater opportunities for the merging of virtual and physical goods.
consider Charlie Cohen, a fast-growing fashion influencer and fashion brand based in London, whose business model focuses on the production of limited physical editions of clothing – sourced from sustainable textiles from Milan – as well as virtual counterparts used in gaming, virtual reality and metaverse -Environments can be used. Charli Cohen started in collaboration with the legendary gaming company Pokémon and the department store Selfridge Electric Citywhere customers can browse and shop Charli Cohen’s Pokémon branded physical fashion items or purchase limited edition digital wearables.
The bubbling bubbles in a Coca-Cola bottle are a symbol of popular culture around the world. On International Friendship Day in 2022, Coca Cola celebrated its second anniversary in the metaverse by organizing a airdrop of digital designs inspired by bubbles in a Coke bottle to its existing digital collectibles owners. Coca Cola has used more digital drops to celebrate Pride Month and Halloween. In 2022 it started its experiment starlight Offering physical soft drinks and a digital marketing campaign that allowed consumers to scan a code on the can to access a Metaverse concert by singer-songwriter Ava Max.
Digital twins – virtual replicas of people, objects and places programmed to have the same physical characteristics as the original – will play a key role in this physical-virtual merging. I interviewed Nathanael Lumbroso, the co-founder of Treedis, an Israel-based company that uses digital twins to connect the physical world with the metaverse in sectors like retail, real estate, hospitality and travel, manufacturing, and even museums and galleries. During the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, Treedis created a full digital twin of The City of David and the entire Old City of Jerusalem, which attracts over a million visitors to this immersive place each month. He told me, “With the digital twin, we can really begin to tell the story of the City of David in an immersive way, using historical music impressions, archaeologist interviews and animated characters, all in six languages.”
Brands are also turning to the metaverse to achieve more consistent, realistic, and personalized interactions through AI-powered customer agent avatars, also known as “digital humans.” Hanwa lifea major life insurance company in South Korea, has developed Hannah, a virtual financial planner that provides targeted advice millennials and Gen Z customers. Aimedis, an e-health platform, has an AI-powered digital assistant called Ava that can help patients, doctors, and other healthcare workers access counseling and support services on the Avalon medical metaverse platform. Voicehumans created Liaa digital personal shopper that helps customers make entertainment and shopping decisions in malls.
challenges and imperatives
While the metaverse may offer the greatest opportunity since the internet to reinvent the consumer experience, many hurdles remain. Basically, the metaverse changes the rules of the game around consumer experiences and CX strategies. The following commandments can help companies launch their own Metaverse initiatives:
Master the art of “dripping”
When it comes to consumer experiences in internet-based e-commerce, the focus was on the quality of the search and online advertising experiences. Social media was about the well-prepared tweet or the TikTok video. In the Metaverse, consumer marketing and promotion will be about how to manage “the Drop” – virtual collectibles such as art, designs and memorabilia that are sporadically flown into customers’ digital wallets to reward loyalty, encourage new product launches etc simply strengthen the brand values. For example for the “Keep It Real Meals” campaign Burger King launched a line of digital collectibles accessible via a QR code on burger boxes and featured by celebrities like Nelly and Huddy. Iconic fashion house Gucci organized a delivery of digital fashion items to 5,000 of its most loyal followers living on the island New Tokyo Website on the Metaverse platform Discord. Celebrity Cruises has auctioned off digital artworks by Brazilian sculptor Rubem Robierb. The Drop brings with it many new elements for CX professionals to consider: choosing the right time and place, incorporating elements of surprise and wonder, creating NFTs that strengthen brand values and identity, and creating new partnerships – Featuring Celebrities, Artists, Digital Characters, etc. Others.
play the game
Marketers have long used games and contests to engage customers: a quiz printed on a box of cereal or a golden ticket wrapped in a chocolate bar. But in the metaverse, games and competitions will be central to the consumer experience. In Gucci safePlayers can compete to earn Vault Boxes, giving them access to prize draws for digital cash and collectibles. In Electric CityCharli Cohen customers can equip themselves with a digital wallet, search for hidden Pikachu characters, and go on treasure hunts for the chance to win physical goods and digital collectibles. At Louis Vuitton The gameMillions of players competed to find 200 digital candles (which equals his 200).th anniversary) to take part in a raffle and win one of ten digital postcards from famous designers.
Follow the data trail
With the merging of the metaverse and physical environments, there is an opportunity to gain new analytical insights into consumer behavior and experiences. Treedis’ Lumbroso noted, “With metaverse-based applications, we can start to better understand consumers’ experiences, profiles, and behaviors.” We can see their path through the store or showroom, where their gaze lingers, from what angle they look at products and so on. All of this provides important new insights for strategic planners and marketers in business.” The ability to translate insights from the virtual to the physical world and vice versa is becoming key for marketers, product designers, store planners and CX professionals of all stripes to understanding the consumer behavior and experiences.
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New discoveries, new adventures, new consumer insights – the Metaverse offers a unique opportunity to reinvent the consumer experience across industries. Marketers, business planners and product developers of all kinds need to seize the opportunity now.