Into the metaverse: Boosting sales, connecting audiences, and more
Chairman, Pico Group

Businesses are trying hard to explore the metaverse. In Pico Group’s latest Annual Market Survey, about 60% of interviewees were currently ‘exploring the metaverse’s potential’ or had already ‘conducted some activity’ there. J.P. Morgan estimates that the metaverse will create a market opportunity worth more than US$1 trillion in annual revenue in the coming years. So what business opportunities does the metaverse offer, exactly?

There are some obvious ways to capitalise on its potential. One option for brands is to use an existing metaverse platform for marketing purposes. To this end, the selected platform should work well with their brand message and meet the target audience’s expectations so that they can devote themselves to exploring the brand. YAOLAND, partly invested and developed by Pico, is one such example: It is an immersive metaverse platform with popular socialising and gaming elements that requires no downloads to use. For brands, it is a cost-effective gamified virtual marketing platform. With digital avatars, users can participate in game missions to win bonuses, build personalised spaces, or unlock more missions and explore brands’ proprietary universes. As many users will be repeat visitors, YAOLAND can help brands build online communities, facilitating their long-term development.

The metaverse can also serve as an additional revenue stream when used as a sales channel. Again taking YAOLAND as an example, users can buy limited-edition products or ‘walk’ their avatars into its virtual museum to buy NFTs of famous paintings as souvenirs. NFTs can be attention-getters that can help expand a brand’s customer base.

It is also becoming common for brands to create their very own metaverses. In the NIKELAND virtual world, users can experience the brand in diverse ways, such as by dressing their avatars in NIKE virtual clothing they have selected. This also boosts their desire to buy the same products in reality. They can also use the NIKELAND toolkit to create their own games to play with friends, extending the brand’s reach. Users with accelerometers in their mobile devices can even power their online play with their real-world movements, blurring the boundary between real and virtual.

In addition to bringing brands new and highly effective marketing strategies, the metaverse has also created more engaging online social and unique digital consumption patterns. It all helps brands reach more potential customers while potentially stimulating sales.

The full insights article was originally published in Headline Finance on 24 August 2022 (in Chinese only).

Source: Headline Finance (webpage version), 24 August 2022