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Metaverse: from virtual showrooms to social ‘playground’

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By Maria Solomou and Demetris Loizou

The metaverse is a captivating playground, beyond the realms of gaming, where we’re reshaping how we connect with businesses, promising a future filled with human-centric customer experiences.

Imagine a place where the digital and physical reality tango seamlessly — a shared virtual space that dances across the boundaries of augmented and virtual reality. This is the metaverse, a dynamic ecosystem that invites users to not just consume, but to immerse themselves in shared experiences.

It’s not just about technology; it’s about crafting real connections in a world that extends beyond screens and codes.

The metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, where augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and the whole internet come together for a digital party. It is not merely a futuristic concept, but a dynamic and evolving ecosystem where users can seamlessly interact with digital environments, socialise, work and consume content.

This immersive digital universe extends to various industries, including retail, education, healthcare, communication, and, notably, customer service.

Metaverse technologies offer an opportunity for businesses to enhance customer engagement in ways previously unimaginable.

Virtual storefronts allow customers to explore products in a three-dimensional space, enabling them to interact with items as if they were physically present.

This level of immersion surpasses traditional online shopping experiences, providing a more personalised and interactive engagement.

Try-before-you-buy

One of the most exciting metaverse features is the ability to create virtual showrooms where customers can virtually try on products before making a purchase. This is particularly beneficial for industries like fashion and cosmetics, where the physical try-before-you-buy experience is crucial.

Already tested technologies such as virtual mirrors and AR technologies enable users to visualise how products look on them in real-time, fostering a more confident and informed decision-making process.

Metaverse technologies pave the way for interactive and personalised customer support experiences.

Virtual assistants, powered by artificial intelligence, can help you shop or fix things while making you feel like you’re chatting with a friend and at the same time enhancing the overall customer satisfaction.

Socialising and networking

The metaverse is inherently a social “playground”, providing a space for users to connect, collaborate and share experiences. Businesses can leverage this social aspect to create virtual events, conferences and networking opportunities, and outside-the-box events. We are talking about young and future customer communities, leading to a stronger brand loyalty and advocacy.

As metaverse technologies continue to evolve, embracing the metaverse enables businesses to enhance customer experiences, offering new dimensions for creativity, collaboration and commerce. The future of customer experience lies in the convergence of the virtual and physical realms, where immersive interactions redefine the way we connect with products, services, and each other.

The metaverse is not a far-off sci-fi scenario; it’s a canvas where the human spirit and technology join forces to paint a brighter future. Businesses that embrace this human-centric approach will redefine customer experiences.

This is not a replacement for the real world; it’s an extension, an augmentation that enriches our lives. As we step into the metaverse, we envision a future where immersive interactions redefine how we connect — with products, services and each other.

It’s not only about the ‘next big thing’; it’s about discovering what truly matters in this digital wonderland.

As we embark on our journeys through this digital world, the metaverse invites us to reimagine not just how we shop or seek support as customers, but how we connect and share in the human experience.

The metaverse is more than a revolution; it’s a testament to our enduring desire for connection and community in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

 

Maria Solomou is Senior Manager, PwC Experience Center, Customer Strategy & Experience and Demetris Loizou is Senior Associate, PwC Experience Center

https://www.pwc.com.cy/en/experience-center.html