The last couple of years have proven to be formidable opponents to business standards, and yet, so many have adapted to the geopolitical and social challenges posed. A new state of play has been established, even if many will seek to return to the ways of 2019 in 2022. Not only do those with existing businesses have new expectations and practices, but people looking to break into the business world can embrace a new mindset.
If you’re looking to get into or expand your presence in business this year, there are a few hot topics and top trends that you should familiarise yourself with. Particularly if you’re looking to start up a new business, you should get to grips with concepts like the new era of capitalism, practices like being on camera a lot, and having eco-friendly practices at the core of your operations. So, here’s what you need to know to prepare.
Meta Seeks to Forge the next Arena of Platform Capitalism
We’re living in a world of platform capitalism, in which the biggest companies in several industries essentially produce nothing bar a digital place where people spend their time and create products, such as Facebook, Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber. The next step of this, apparently, is Meta’s metaverse. The company formerly known as Facebook, headed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, essentially wants to move all digital activities under its roof, seemingly to avoid fees. Even experienced platform Roblox has already been embracing the idea, as have many other major tech companies.
Not long after Zuckerberg made his Turing Test-failing announcement, investors swooped in to get their virtual hands-on digital land within the upcoming metaverse. Regardless of whether you want to be swept into this new age of capitalism or not, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of it. This will continue to be a key talking point in business circles and may even open avenues for your business. So, here are some of the key points for you to know:
- ‘The Metaverse’ is a broad term referring to an overall technological space that we interact with, which includes the likes of virtual worlds, virtual reality, augmented reality, online games, and digital economies;
- This virtual landscape will be persistent, meaning that it continues to be in action even after you turn off your computer or put down your VR headset;
- The more realistic propositions for business in the metaverse include having virtual reality meetings, using virtual reality exercise programs at home, virtually walking into an eCommerce store for a more immersive experience, and “owning” virtual property to host friends;
- Meta’s demos heavily skewed towards the ‘artist’s rendition’ side of things, with holograms of virtual customers floating around and interacting with people in the physical world, as laid out by the Wired dissection of the metaverse;
- The term ‘metaverse’ was actually coined in the 1994 novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, which is available at the Blackwell’s website.
Get Camera Ready to Give the Customers What They Want
Consumers, as we’re all termed, have been heavily conditioned by mobile notifications, freemium games, and social media to fear missing out on anything. It’s a tremendous drain on people, but it has created new preferences and demands, leading to the start of the new era of streaming-based business, from entertainment to commerce. The McKinsey insights detail that live commerce accelerated conversion from browser to buyer by being entertaining, immersive, and in the moment, proving powerful enough to increase conversion rates as much as ten times on conventional eCommerce.
In China, live commerce is colossal, with Alibaba being a major proponent of the new practice. They’re not the only ones, though. The 2016-founded Popshop live was created solely for users to sell items via live video shows. It’s the there-and-then realism that is driving people to engage in shopping, with real people on the other side of the screen delivering the personable touch. The same is seen in entertainment, with online products turning live to offer this immersion. A true success story in this regard has been Betway roulette, where Real Dealer Studios deliver live games based around popular croupiers and personalities. Users play the games in real-time with their favourite dealers but get the luxury casino experience via the live stream.
Popular people on streaming platforms have even become business-savvy entrepreneurs in their own right by embracing the power of live streaming. You can start your own Twitch channel to reach people in a similar way, being personable, informative, and entertaining even if you’re looking to sell products or acquire customers. To be ready for all of the above, though, you’ll want to get camera-ready. Starting a channel or even getting a job in live casino gaming could prove invaluable down the line. To help get camera-ready, Minutes suggests maintaining lens contact, talking directly to a viewer, being yourself, and continuing to practice until you’re comfortable. People have come to expect and even seek this new live form of interaction, so any preparation that you do get will help.
Keep Sustainability at the Forefront of Your Mind
COP26 failed, but the ineptitude of governments and wealthy nations hasn’t rubbed off on the wider consumer base. Sustainability and eco-friendly practices are already a prominent factor in the values of customers, and they will continue to grow in prominence as the upcoming generations – who have been exposed to global warming learning materials for longer – gain more spending power. Even in one of the world’s worst polluting nations, the US, Insider finds that the sustainability market hit $150 billion last year.
With as many as four in five customers preferring to make purchases from sustainable sellers, per Recycling Lives, it’s a fairly simple and morally sound way for you to stand out. Be it as a new business or an interviewee seeking to relay that you offer value and progressive ideas, sustainable solutions should be in mind. Some good examples of ways to push this would be with so-called Packaging-free practices, expanding recycling practices from waste to what you purchase, becoming a certified B Corp, and encouraging remote working.
Getting to grips with the metaverse, understanding the practice of going live and being camera ready, and having sustainability as a core practice will all serve you well in 2022 and beyond in the world of business.