The Digital World is an amalgamation and a reflection of our real world and embodies it in a myriad of ways. For instance, the emergence of a functioning real estate market and the thriving fashion industry are tell-tale signs of growth within the new platform.
Now, the emergence of these markets has subsequently created new job and business opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to take a leap of faith. For fledging entrepreneurs, this virtual space offers a unique opportunity to learn the ropes and tap into hitherto unexplored markets. Such businesses can even pivot to a physical model, if necessary, with greater ease and experience gained from their digital endeavours.
Besides just pre-existing business opportunities, entirely new industries will be created that are unique to the platform. For example, a fashion brand that specializes in Avatar-only clothing, development companies that specialize in creating Roblox Experiences, and much more.
These enterprises don't exist without new immersive technology. And, because of its exponential growth, we can expect more tertiary and primary sectors to emerge over time whose needs will be met by growing new small businesses.
How Small Businesses Are Taking Community Building to the Next Level
At the heart of any small business lies a devoted community that shares a profound understanding and connection with the brand’s ethos. In most cases, these communities are fostered with the help of social media platforms. However, with the advent of immersive technologies, companies are presented with entirely new platforms specifically developed for community building.
These platforms allow businesses to craft immersive virtual experiences and create digital spaces that serve as a medium for promoting their brand ideology in ways that were previously implausible. With a sizable amount of traction, small businesses do not need to have multi-million dollar marketing budgets to compete with larger corporations.
Rather, their distinctiveness and innovative business strategies can help them establish thriving communities within the digital landscape, which can translate into enduring real-world customer loyalty and heightened brand awareness.
New Shopping Experiences
For small businesses, the concept of established brand value is a far-off dream, one that seems unattainable compared to large and more established brands. Convincing consumers to purchase their products can be an uphill battle, which often involves substantial advertisement budgets and physical presence that drive up initial costs.
However, these brands can take advantage of virtual spaces and can present their physical products in virtual manners allowing consumers to experience and see their product, letting it speak for itself.
For instance, a fashion brand can allow users to wear their clothing and see how it looks on their virtual avatar allowing them to feel more comfortable with purchasing the same product for themselves in real life.
In essence, virtual spaces serve as 3D representations that provide consumers with a comprehensive and immersive experience of a product from every angle, before making an actual purchase. Additionally, small businesses can create lucrative secondary revenue streams by selling their products within the digital realm.
In fact, established companies such as Gucci and Nike have leveraged Roblox to offer their products and services.
Should You Take the Leap?
Small businesses could potentially gain more income streams, greater exposure, and the opportunity to expand into new, uncharted markets. But, with all these benefits comes the risk of over-expanding into a domain that initially may not have a lot of prospects.
Therefore, take the following factors into account:
- Establishing a Brand Identity: Without a brand identity, your business ideology will be lost in the flurry of other brands that are competing within the market. Therefore, having a unique, engaging brand identity ensures that you are able to stay unique within the market.
- Identifying Your Target Audience: Currently, these platforms are primarily inhabited by Millenials and Gen-Z. Therefore, if your business is catered towards a younger or an older audience, it's recommended to think carefully before you make the leap.
- Product / Service Analysis: Your business should offer a product or service that can be replicated or promoted in a virtual space. For instance, a local construction company might not perform that well on Roblox, compared to a fashion brand that can advertise its products virtually.
- Finding the Right Platform: There are many platforms, each with its own demographics and user experiences. Choosing the right virtual space is of pivotal importance to ensure that your brand message is carried out to the right audience.
In comparison to conventional advertising methods, these new immersive, online platforms offer a more cost-effective and expansive means of reaching a broader audience. Yet, for small businesses in particular, honing in on the right demographic remains a critical metric for ensuring that their brand messaging resonates with the intended audience in a meaningful and impactful way.