As the metaverse begins to materialize, many B2B industries are turning to this new technology to explore new ways to collaborate. But which companies will be able to benefit the most from the development of virtual worlds, and what’s the impact we can expect to see in the coming years? Let’s take a look at what we can hope for B2B in the metaverse (and go over some relevant examples!)
What Does the Metaverse Mean for B2B Companies?
Let’s start with the basics. What is exactly the metaverse, and why is it important for B2B (Business to Business) companies? The concept has been in circulation for a while. It's mostly been referred to as a new iteration of the internet made of one universal, immersive virtual world (or, what’s more likely, several 3D worlds connected to each other). You don't need much to join the metaverse; in most cases, a smartphone will suffice.
During the last two years, B2B vendors and buyers have been using zoom, webinars, and emails to find new ways to reach out to others. Many forward-thinking businesses are also now using VR and AR to enhance their marketing events. In short, many experiences are being moved to virtual worlds. So, are there any good metaverse B2B use cases, and does it make sense to get involved in the technology at this point?
How The Metaverse Can Transform B2B Enterprises
The shift to the metaverse is already happening. Just think about how many hours we all spend on social media or think about how more innovative brands use these same channels to promote their businesses. After all, success is about meeting your customers where they are. Well, the metaverse is offering a sort of elevated version of this. The key is to understand where the best opportunities are and how you can gran them to take advantage of some good metaverse B2B marketing.
Let's look at an example. One of the companies working towards creating an 'enterprise metaverse' is Microsoft. Their approach to workplace productivity includes moving video meetings, Microsoft 365 apps, and all Teams content directly into their metaverse using Meta Quest devices. This means you can already use Excel, Word, Outlook, and SharePoint using VR! Eventually, they want to offer their entire suite (including Windows) directly though the metaverse.
Agencies and marketers are gaining interest in the metaverse, so we can also expect more B2B businesses to join this movement. And what does this mean, exactly? For one, that companies organizing virtual events, brand collaborations, and advertising are already taking advantage of it. So, let’s take a look at some examples of B2B industries that can benefit from this change.
B2B Industries Where the Metaverse Impact is Going to Be Big
Many B2B businesses are evolving from offering products to offering products as a service (an explosion of MaaS, or metaverse as a service, not to dissimilar from SaaS - which revolutionized the IT industry). What matters the most now is to develop deep and ongoing relationships with customers - something that not just be done but also enhanced thanks to the metaverse.
B2B Marketing Use Cases in Web3 and the Metaverse
We've seen the metaverse is possibly here to stay, and it can provide companies with a unique opportunity to promote their products and services. Now, let's take a look at some Metaverse B2B use cases that show that using Web3 can already produce gains for your company.
1. Metaverse Brand Collaborations
Since the explosion of social media (or Web2), brands have turned to collaborations and influencer marketing to promote their products and services. Now, the scope is widening even more, especially when this type of marketing can be magnified with the use of NFTs and cryptocurrencies.
Some popular metaverse brand collaborations include:
- Nike’s NIKELAND: In November 2021, Nike launched an interactive Roblox world called NIKELAND. It features mini-games that could actually motivate people to get moving in real-life.
- Samsung’s Decentraland store: Tech giant Samsung partnered with Decentraland to launch its first metaverse store, which is modeled after its 837 Washington Street, NYC store. Since opening, the virtual shop has welcomed over 120,000 customers!
- Coca-Cola’s NFTs: In 2021, beverage company Coca-Cola launched an NFT collection through OpenSea to celebrate Friendship Day. The bidding winners also got a real-life refrigerator stocked with the drink.
2. Metaverse Advertising
One thing's certain no matter the time period we're referring to: Traffic has value. In the past, companies used physical billboards to promote their products and services to those passing near them. In the metaverse, the same thing applies, just that the billboards have become digital!
If you want to advertise in the metaverse, all you need to do is rent some space in a platform such as Decentraland, The Sandbox, or Crypto Voxels. This is an even better idea if you do it during events where you can target a larger audience. Of course, billboards are just one possible way of running advertising. You can also experiment with more innovative ways of displaying your offerings.
3. Metaverse Product Showcases and Sales
Many companies are using the metaverse to showcase new products and run demonstrations. Roblox, for example, has shops run by Chipotle, Forever 21, Verizon, and Nike. Anyone can visit these spaces and explore digital goods and services - and make purchases. In fact, a virtual Gucci’s Dionysus bag sold for $4,1115 recently - more than its actual physical counterpart!
Some organizations are also introducing AR capabilities of their eCommerce platforms so people can get familiar with them and try them before they buy. In short, B2B companies can use the metaverse to showcase what they can do and give customers a taste of their products and services.
4. Metaverse Rewards
Another thing you can do in the metaverse as a B2B business is offer rewards to your clients, partners, and shareholders. What's a good alternative to sending a bottle of champagne? Create an NFT collection airdrop and distribute unique assets into the wallets of your customers and partners! You can also give your followers special tokens that can allow them to gain access to gated content. For example, exclusive videos, webinars, and AMAs.
5. Metaverse Relationship Development
All companies want to develop stronger bonds with their customers and partners. You can use the metaverse to do this in a variety of ways. For example, by helping your clients host their own experiences and aiding them in joining this revolutionary technology.
Companies like PandaMR are an excellent way to get started if you want to do this, as they provide virtual 3D spaces to expand your business presence in the metaverse. You can both explore areas created by other professionals or design your own and bring your customers and partners to experience them, too. And you can run things from your virtual office, too!
6. Metaverse Events and Expos
Perhaps one of the wider uses of the metaverse today is the possibility of hosting your own virtual events, meetings, conferences, and workshops. Because all people need to access them is a smartphone, tablet, or computer, these events can run 24/7 and allow for greater accessibility to promote your B2B services and products.
A virtual conference can help you gain immediate lead insights, deliver unique and memorable experiences, build credibility for your brand, and save on expenses.
7. Metaverse Hiring
Lastly, the metaverse is also a great place to expand your company's network and reach out to potential expert employees. For one, a metaverse expert can help you design the best engaging experiences and understand the needs of the new generations. But if you move your business to this platform entirely, you can also use the metaverse to recruit new talent.
While we’re not sure exactly how the metaverse will look once the dust settles, one thing is certain: You will need people with extensive IT knowledge to turn your B2B plans into reality (or… virtual reality). Using the technology itself, you can be sure you’ll be able to hire competitively and creatively.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you want to learn more about how the metaverse will impact B2B companies? Here are some commonly asked questions (and their answers).
How Many Companies Are in The Metaverse?
According to Metaverse Insider, as of August 2022, there were about 160 companies actively working on harnessing the platforms' potential. This number, of course, continues to grow daily.
What Are the Main Applications of the Metaverse in B2B?
At this time, most B2B companies working in the metaverse focus on marketing and brand collaborations. However, as the technology evolves, we can expect to see other industries and areas join in.
Why is the Metaverse Good for Businesses?
The metaverse has the potential to make products and services reach millions of people in an engaging and immersive manner. Most businesses don’t need much to get started selling in the metaverse, which makes it a great choice for companies looking for innovative ways to interact with new and existing customers.