The concept of the metaverse has been broadly discussed since Facebook decided to change its name to Meta at the end of October 2021. Everyone wonders how such an idea and its execution can change the way we consume content, use the internet and… live. Will it influence how we shop, entertain ourselves and interact with other people? If platforms based on augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence become common in the future, the answer is - definitely. Right now, it’s more in a test phase, and many users still look at it with a hefty dose of caution.
At Meetsales, we provide a sales command center like nothing before, but still in 2D. Our approach to innovation is strictly connected to how our world is evolving - not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused an enormous shift towards remote work but also taking the whole digitalization process into consideration. How could we find ourselves in the metaverse-dominated environment? We decided to take a closer look at this phenomenon. Here are our thoughts.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is an umbrella term for the virtual reality environment. The word has derived from the prefix “meta,” meaning beyond, and “universe,” and it was first used in Neal Stephenson’s cult 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash to describe a 3D virtual world.
Imagine a virtual, shared space created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and online space. A mirror world that reflects the real world, its events, and people - that’s the definition of the metaverse. In other words, it can be described as a virtual reality-based internet. Unlike the traditional internet we use today, which limits itself to the 2D plane only, the metaverse comprises three dimensions in our physical reality with an additional layer of information on top. It’s like putting a digital overlay on top of our daily lives.
Sounds interesting, impressive and disturbing at the same time, doesn’t it? The thing with metaverse is that it resembles the ideas from science-fiction books and movies (notice where the term comes from) - and frequently, these stories have tragic conclusions or showcase the fall of humankind. We couldn’t help but wonder: why is it like that?
The threats and opportunities of the metaverse
Metaverse is a virtual world prepared by particular parties using VR-based technology. They allow their users to do whatever they want. However, JP Morgan claims that the current hype around this concept is premature. It has to be developed further to achieve everything people expect. The company points to such aspects as technologies, privacy, taxes and legal regulations, commerce structure and workforce. According to the financial giant, when these areas are refined, we can really take advantage of the metaverses and do all the things that are now promised by their advocates.
For example, metaverse provides space for cyber crimes like data theft, but not only. These worlds work similarly to our reality, but it can be impossible to collect evidence when a criminal offense occurs and is committed by a digital avatar. Of course, companies that will invite users to their metaverses will have to offer exquisite security systems to protect people, including verification, KYC/AML policies, and encryption of private conversations.
Another risk is linked to the well-being of the population and their addiction to virtual reality. We already have problems that involve hours wasted on scrolling feeds and consuming content. Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and other social media platforms are appealing enough, even though they are just pictures and videos. Imagine humans entering metaverses. They can not only watch but also do things they feel are beyond them in real life. Maybe it’s better to stay in a digital space, right?
Psychologically and physically, that can be more than damaging. It’s already proven that social media can ruin personal relationships. Online connections are helpful when our loved ones are far away, or we want to grow our business internationally without spending too much on travel expenses. However, we have to meet people face-to-face to nurture our bonding needs. Metaverse could capture people so much that they wouldn’t meet that need, which in turn could result in depression and other mental health issues. Being at home all day without movement and seeing direct sunlight is an easy way to neglect our bodies. That could lead to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and several other diseases.
Metaverse in the sales industry
How did trade change over the last 100 years? The article by BigThink.com summarizes it quite well: We find ourselves in a society where countless layers of technology exist between each of us and our daily lives, moderating our access to news and information, mediating our relationships with friends and family, filtering our impressions of products and services, and even influencing our acceptance of basic facts. We now live mediated lives, all of us depending more and more on the corporations that provide and maintain the intervening layers. And when those layers are used to manipulate us, the industry does not view it as misuse but as “marketing.”
While the article mainly discusses the way metaverses can contribute to the polarization of society and other dangers it carries, we want to take a closer look at how it influences the sales industry. Currently, content creators, influencers, and brands constantly sell us something via social media and ads. The internet invented numerous solutions to support sales and marketing teams. It also re-invented consumer behaviors and purchasing patterns. Metaverse will definitely have a significant impact on these and shift them once again.
JP Morgan presents a reasonable approach and showcases the areas that commerce has to develop or improve to thrive in the metaverse realm. They would have to create a “meta economy” with ordinary payment methods (debit and credit cards, transfers), integrations with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other digital assets, as well as an innovative loaning system. All that with a highly secure verification process to avoid fraud. We have a long way to work all these things out.
Another change that can happen is that the buyers will have a chance to interact with the product or service before buying them using virtual reality. It’s somehow a throwback to the past, where people could only purchase goods by approaching a brick-and-mortar store and talking to the seller. However, in a digital environment, there are no limits. Meeting up with a sales rep from the other side of the globe won’t be a problem, the same goes for checking out their merch. It will merge the real-life experience with eCommerce, supporting the decision-making processes, and it won't require the customer to leave their home.
Some companies have already introduced VR and AR to enhance their sales. Others offer assisted and live-stream shopping options to support their clients and make the journey more personalized and satisfying. Where can Meetsales be found among this?
Meetsales - an almost real-life experience
The biggest power of Meetsales is the interaction between actual human beings that is preserved by our solution. We connect people no matter their location or conditions. We don’t require them to create avatars and “pretend” like they meet up even though they sit at the office or home. Of course, we don’t claim that our tool can replace in-person meetings - it is a one-stop shop for sales teams that boosts their operations and expands their professional capabilities.
During a video call, you can still see facial expressions and emotions (assuming everyone uses their webcams!) of the person you are talking to. With Meetsales, it all looks like a sales pitch or a conversation with a clerk at the store. The salesperson presents products, discusses their parameters and price, and answers questions in real-time. Everything that must be addressed before placing an order is taken care of immediately. Assisted shopping allows both sides to finalize the transaction during an online meeting.
We bring together everything that sellers and buyers appreciate in two realms - B2B face-to-face sales and B2B eCommerce. Behind the idea for Meetsales stands a belief that we don’t have to digitalize everything - only the parts that stand in companies’ way to growth. With us, they can do business with international clients, continue their affairs during a global pandemic and allow their employees to work remotely or in a hybrid model just because they prefer it that way. These benefits don’t require entering an online world, though - they streamline the work and not replace it with virtual reality.
That’s why metaverses are not our direct competition. We think that digital worlds will be preferred by B2C eCommerce, where advertising is responsible for multiple sales of different products. With B2B, we usually talk about hardware and other big, pricey products that need individual consulting when picking up the suitable configuration. Our goal at Meetsales is to help salespeople and their customers to connect, build long-term business partnerships and make it all convenient regardless of anyone’s location. We still cherish the need for face-to-face meetings that create these special connections. That’s how our solution was created.
Wondering if Meetsales is something for you? Reach out to us, and let’s talk about all the possibilities. It’s not just a sales tool based on video calls. It gives your team a place to review their client lists, analyze their activities and control their schedule in order to ensure they take care of every customer - a true command center for aspiring companies that want to skyrocket their operations.
Contact us, so we can show you all the possibilities our solution provides. Sell more and better with Meetsales!