Skip to main content Skip to footer

Research Report

More than hype—here's how to embrace the metaverse today

5-minute read

In brief

  • The metaverse isn’t a single entity. It’s a continuum, where immersive technologies and new types of ownership will bring about the next era of our digital lives. This shift will transform all parts of the business: customers, enterprises and ecosystems alike.
  • There’s plenty of untapped value. In fact, executives expect more than 4% of their revenues to come from the metaverse in the next three years—this represents a value of $1 trillion.
  • The metaverse represents a unique opportunity to build a more sustainable, diverse and inclusive future. But it's the creative, people-driven experiences—not just the tech—that sets the virtual experiences apart and will make them stick.

Executives expect ROI from the metaverse


of executives surveyed agree that the metaverse will have an important role in their organizations’ future growth

Two digital people on floating discs

More than hype—here's how to embrace the metaverse today

Digital worlds are ripe for exploration—and innovative people and organizations will uncover new sources of value.

We’ve seen this story before: Technology has always accelerated human creativity and ingenuity. But today, we're living through the next culture-defining moment, as we connect in new and exciting ways in the metaverse. Great metaverse experiences, products and services require an understanding of human needs. They must satisfy the core drivers influencing human behavior—the desire for material (such as a car) and immaterial things (such as influence). They must also make our lives easier, both personally and professionally. As technologies evolve, the metaverse is evolving with them; it's shaping (and reshaping) how enterprises across industries function. Companies must be able to adapt to new realities or risk getting left behind.

Chart depicting metaverse mentions
Chart depicting metaverse mentions

New worlds, new users, new value

The metaverse will change all parts of society, from the financial institutions that underpin our economies to the way we view the ownership of belongings. It will change the way businesses operate and people socialize, while also unlocking new opportunities for brands to improve their products and services. The metaverse, as a concept, is a work in progress, but we can tap into its potential today, while planning for new business opportunities that lie ahead.

For consumers, virtual platforms and buzz-worthy brand activations are just the tip of the iceberg. Meeting customer needs in the metaverse means blending physical and digital touchpoints to create purposeful, value-adding and frictionless products, services and experiences. With new ways to buy, enabling users to carry their identities, money and objects from place to place in digital spaces (known as tokenization) is key. It creates new forms of social, functional and emotional value for customers, increasing brand loyalty and engagement, too.

The metaverse will make enterprise intranets as we know them today obsolete, replacing them with virtual town squares where employees can collaborate, socialize, create and celebrate together. An effective metaverse experience will add value to the employee experience, making work easier and more impactful. Instead of humdrum instructional videos, employees can practice and apply skills in a real-time immersive setting alongside others. This applies to everything from learning culture and core values during employee onboarding to practicing complex, high-risk and hazardous scenarios in a safer virtual space. 

In industrial settings, innovative leaders are increasingly leveraging 3D simulations and digital twins to test and learn. In advanced, true-to-life virtual simulations of their businesses, they can measure and predict the effects of changes and improve connections between workers and supply chains. These improvements could be a shift to a new manufacturing technique, a more efficient store layout or new product designs. Increasingly, this value stream is being applied beyond manufacturing, from improving hospital operations to generating snow on ski mountains.

Chart depicting metaverse use cases
Chart depicting metaverse use cases

The metaverse is a revolutionary virtual addition to our world that is enriching the human experience with new possibilities.

Three rules to race into the future of work and play

The metaverse will integrate our physical and digital worlds, reshaping how we live and work. Businesses must drive this transformation with the highest standards for safety, security, diversity and trust. Done right, communities will arise from virtual worlds, collaborating and opening new opportunities for engagement backed by a new type of economic infrastructure.

This shift can seem daunting. But in the end, the metaverse comes down to people. It's up to us—it's up to leaders—to make this new internet era more responsible than those prior and work to avoid repeating mistakes from the past. We certainly see the opportunity to collectively imagine and build a future that is more sustainable, diverse and inclusive.

Here are three rules to keep in mind:

  1. Be creative and keep it simple. Only develop metaverse experiences that are relevant to users here and now. Go back to the basics and build upwards with creativity at the core.
  2. Start small and focused. Approach the metaverse with a rigorous, customer-focused mindset that artfully services their needs. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting company time and finances.
  3. Engage with early building blocks. Target the right areas quickly but thoughtfully. Early engagement engenders true long-term trust with customers over time and grants them an edge over the competition.

The Metaverse Continuum will define the next era of digital transformation, revolutionizing life and work in the years ahead. It’s speeding toward mainstream adoption—and businesses need to move now if they wish to join the race.

Zoomers are zipping into virtual worlds


want to work with co-workers in virtual or AR worlds


expect to shop for real-world products in virtual worlds


look forward to virtual entertainment in the metaverse


Mark Curtis

Global Sustainability and Thought Leadership Lead – Accenture Song

David Treat

Global Metaverse Co-Lead and Innovation Incubation Group Lead

Katie Burke

Global Thought Leadership Lead – Accenture Song

Raghav Narsalay

Accenture Research Lead for the Metaverse Continuum Business Group