6 ways decentralization and Web3 will impact businesses
The introduction of Web3 was just a few years ago, but it’s already changing the world significantly. Not only are investors dropping billions into decentralized investment opportunities but increasing numbers of real-world decentralized applications affect a significant portion of the population.
From the metaverse to NFTs and even employee onboarding, here are ways that decentralization and Web3 are impacting small businesses.
Decentralized applications, or dApps, are a recent and under-discussed technology that has been quietly rolled out across multiple industries — quietly, that is, unless you are a crypto enthusiast. dApps run on blockchain technology or a peer-to-peer network, which allows for multiple benefits, including the ability to distribute computing power. Because dApps are decentralized, they don’t have ways to remove certain data, which is where they impact most businesses.
One example is cloud storage. Common cloud storage options, such as cloud hosting, utilize multiple computers and servers, and users can upload or delete their data at will. But unlike traditional cloud storage options, private information stored in dApp cloud storage will never be able to be destroyed because that information is both encrypted and stored across many servers in a decentralized fashion.
DeFi is another example of a dApp. It’s used to distribute funds and investments across multiple individuals, removing the need for an intermediary. Business uses are found in decentralized lending, asset derivatives trading, market predictions, automatic contract settlements, and reserve banking. Whether distributing data for security or trust or creating a retirement fund with the best possible returns for employees, dApps have a future in data management for the long haul.
Web3 analytics is a decentralized version of Google Analytics that allows companies to track the following:
- See how many users are on a website
- Track any clicks that happen on the site
- Track how users navigate the site
- Learn what countries and cities users are visiting from
- Find out what devices the website’s viewers are using
- Figure out a site’s conversion rate
Many small and large companies use data from Google Analytics, but not all of them support how Google manages the data, which is where a decentralized analytics app comes into play. By removing big tech companies from the picture, you can build trust among your customers and keep all their information out of the hands of big tech.
Then there are companies like Dune Analytics that are creating deep dive dashboards that allow users to investigate how assets or investments are traversing a specific area of blockchain. The publicly available dashboards users create on the Dune platform help companies make smarter NFT and crypto asset decisions.
Shockingly, onboarding in the metaverse has already started at a massive scale. Over 150,000 employees started work at Accenture in a virtual location known as the Nth Floor. Jon Ayres, Accenture’s UK Managing Director for Talent, says the Nth Floor is “where new hires and existing Accenture staff can have a more immersive experience for learning and networking.”
And Accenture is not alone. Globant has also reported receiving more requests for metaverse-based projects that enhance employee experiences. This is not just Zoom-meeting-type online work; it is a real metaverse-type experience. Wunderman Thompson had a virtual ice-breaking event for remote hires that included making avatars for the experience. Companies are also using virtual reality and online interactive experiences to train new joiners on how to do their jobs.
Once again, Accenture, which is leading the pack when it comes to large companies, is using its virtual shared space called Accenture Park to have fictional client introductions and review real stories of their clients. By gamifying the onboarding process in virtual reality, one employee onboarding creation company claims they can increase knowledge retention by 95%. That is a massively substantial increase in value to their clients, and it could set a new norm for the future of training.
Smaller businesses would be wise to follow the lead that larger companies like Accenture are doing: instead of slide decks and Zoom calls, but instead, they could create fun game experiences that mimic real work.
NFTs are the most commonly known element within the metaverse, and one of the first merchandise products that larger companies have begun to sell. A majority of NFTs are sold for under $200, making them affordable transactions for most small businesses.
But there is more depth to the Web3 merchandise than meets the eye. The days of people saying you can’t buy real physical products with crypto are ending, with cryptocurrencies like PayCoin now allowing you to pay for products at 70,000 stores in Korea, including 7-Eleven, Dominos, and DAL.KOMM Coffee. (And of course, Namecheap allows payment in various cryptocurrencies using Bitpay.)
Selling goods virtually will also be a major change in how companies function. Instead of selling products on your website with just a few photos, iPhones 13 and up have LiDAR scanners that allow businesses to scan their products and upload a virtual 3D model for customers to check out. No longer will you need a shelf to display your fandom loot, but instead you’ll need a secure crypto wallet to securely store all your digital merchandise and assets.
Finally, there is a mix of digital and physical goods that businesses are now offering, for example, goods for avatars or character skins.
With all the NFTs and avatar products that companies are starting to sell, there will be demand for marketplaces where these transactions can take place. There are a few key features metaverse marketplaces should have if they want to be successful:
- Peer-to-peer transactions, etc.
Currently, there are pre-made templates for companies to build their marketplaces on, including Voxels, Metahero, Xanalia, and others.
A decentralized world is coming
The metaverse and its whole inception are based around a virtual reality that’s slowly rolling out across the world. We’re just seeing the start of it now, but already we’ve seen it grow significantly. To remain relevant, businesses of all sizes will need to stay up to date with the ever-changing virtual world and reductions in customers’ attention spans.
Soon, a boring website with simple product images will not be enough — companies need to start sending users to fun places that get products sold while building brand loyalty and appreciation at the same time.
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