Is the metaverse something small businesses should be thinking about?

The latest fashionable tech phrase being bandied about by every expert and their budgie is  “metaverse”.

All it took was Mark Zuckerberg to paint a picture of interacting in VR for everything to get every company talking about the next big thing for technology. Despite this flurry of activity, asking somebody what the metaverse is will lead to some really interesting answers. Some will say its a VR playground, others will say its a way to interact with people online and those that are in the know will tell you that it’s a nice idea for a more interactive internet that is at least a decade away.

That hasn’t stopped the likes of M&C Saatchi Abel from buying “land” on a website that nearly killed our PC with how demanding it was.

The truth is that while some people have an idea of what a metaverse might look like, many of us are feeling around in the dark when it comes to this platform.

Does that mean it should be ignored? Given the fact that Meta and Microsoft among others have expressed interest in building this technology, ignoring it might be a mistake. With that having been said, buying virtual land just to be the first to do so is silly and we think that head of web-hosting firm, Thomas Vollrath has some more practical advice that doesn’t depend on purchasing digital assets which might be valuable in future.

“What small businesses need to do right now, is to claim and maintain digital real estate, in the form of a strong online presence. This will ensure that they are able to compete in a virtual economy,” says Vollrath.

This isn’t just good advice for the future, it’s good advice right now.

The pandemic has changed perceptions about shopping online and while things are opening up, ecommerce won’t be going away anytime soon. Of course having a presence online isn’t just about selling products or services.

Being online allows businesses to gauge customer opinion as well as make use of analytical data to hone marketing in order to make it more effective.

“The connections and trust you’re building on your website and via social media, will still apply in the metaverse. That’s why it’s so important to start building that presence and growing your online community now. The metaverse is virtual, but it’s also real and is likely to explode in terms of its role in the economy over the next few years. Starting now ensures small businesses are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this and stay ahead of the game,” adds Vollrath.

Even if the metaverse just turns out to be Meta software running on Meta hardware and nobody arrives to give Zuckerberg and pals more control over advertising, at least your business will have a growing online presence.

To us that’s not a bad thing at all. Just please stop buying virtual land and invest in your reputation and customer service. That’s going to do more for your business than a few pixels on a database somewhere.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]


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