Despite some skepticism surrounding the Metaverse, business leaders in the US and Europe are embracing its potential to revolutionize various aspects of their operations. According to a study conducted by ThoughtLab, companies surveyed expect the Metaverse to transform how consumers, partners, and employees interact, particularly among younger generations. With the convergence of cutting-edge technologies like AI, blockchain, IoT, digital twins, and cloud, the Metaverse also is poised to shape the future of the Internet, often referred to as Web 3.0.
Exploring the Metaverse
Forward-thinking companies are actively exploring the Metaverse and laying the groundwork for incorporating it into their business strategies. While most firms are still in the early stages of adopting the Metaverse, identifying opportunities and setting goals, a significant cohort is already in the early implementation phase, aligning resources and partnerships for their Metaverse initiatives. Over the next two years, a growing number of companies expect to move into the early and mid-implementation stages, testing and running use cases in key areas of their business.
ThoughtLab’s survey of 550 companies in the US, UK, and Germany revealed that 15% of firms currently possess a Metaverse platform, and 42% plans to acquire one within the next two years. The US leads the charge, with 19% of surveyed companies already utilizing the Metaverse, followed by the UK (13%) and Germany (12%). However, the German market is expected to pick up momentum, with half of German firms projected to have Metaverse platforms in two years.
Businesses envision the Metaverse as a transformational force that will impact their enterprises over a six-to-seven-year time frame on average, starting with operations and business models and extending to customer and employee experiences, as well as overall business performance. Notably, industry leaders—identified as those companies that have already implemented a Metaverse platform—have a more accelerated timeline, believing that the Metaverse’s impact could be felt within three years or less (compared to seven years expected by other firms).
Metaverse leaders report significant progress in their internal mobilization efforts, with 95% of them already in the early implementation stage. In contrast, only 1% of non-leaders have reached this phase. Over the next two years, 33% of leaders plan to transition into the mid-implementation stage, with 4% aiming for an advanced stage, which involves scaling Metaverse activities across multiple business functions. Meanwhile, the majority of non-leaders will remain in the earliest planning phase, identifying opportunities and defining goals.
Driving value and growth
Besides enhancing customer experiences, the Metaverse offers versatile applications across five key business areas. Forward-looking executives find its potential to drive growth particularly exciting, whether through the creation of new products and services, increased productivity, market expansion, or the invention of new business models. Metaverse leaders expect to drive revenue growth with the Metaverse largely through the development of new products and services (78% of them), reaching new global markets (67%), greater productivity (67%), penetrating new client segments (56%), and improved market position and branding (56%).
However, it is important to note that generating top-line growth from the Metaverse will require time and strategic investment. In two years, only 9% of firms expect to generate revenue for the Metaverse, and the average amount is only about $1 million.
As the Metaverse evolves and adoption rates increase, it will reshape how consumers, partners, and employees interact, driven as well by increased usage of AI, blockchain, IoT, digital twins, and cloud technologies. While the journey toward revenue generation may be gradual, forward-thinking companies are embracing the Metaverse as a platform to boost growth, innovate their business models, and unlock new opportunities in a more digitally immersive world.