The Impact of the Metaverse on the Supply Chain
McKinsey experts expect the economic value of the metaverse to explode. Companies will then be able to go even further in improving collaboration, communication internally and with various stakeholders around the world, including in the supply chain.
In fact, according to a recent McKinsey survey of more than 3,400 consumers and executives conducted in May 2022, the metaverse, a fully virtual space in which people interact through avatars and have real and virtual experiences, could generate up to $5 trillion by 2030. By 2022, investment in the metaverse has more than doubled from 2021 to over $120 billion.
From marketing to sales to customer experience to supply chain, companies are becoming increasingly digital. But will the shift to digital products and experiences in the metaverse change the supply chain as we know it? Will the metaverse open the doors to new opportunities and potential?
The metaverse will facilitate the exchange and transfer of information in a single immersive environment for all stakeholders at all levels of the supply chain. This connectivity will make the supply chain more transparent, enabling more innovation and responsiveness. By communicating more efficiently, and on a larger scale, companies will have fewer production errors, and ultimately have better quality products and services, and therefore fewer customer returns.
The metaverse, which would allow companies to optimise their production, would also be an excellent way to reduce costs. For example, companies would be able to digitally simulate products, production processes and factories to find the most cost-effective and feasible scenario. Being all in one immersive space, the costs associated with quality control, or the need to visit the vendors' physical production sites for inspection and approval, will disappear. It will also be possible to negotiate costs more transparently and efficiently between suppliers and buyers in the same space.
According to an IFOP survey conducted in August 2022 among a sample of 1,023 people, representatives of the French population aged 18 and over, 86% believe that the environmental data of French companies and institutions should be accessible to the general public. In the metaverse, the French, who are increasingly demanding transparency from companies, would be able to see the origin of raw materials, where components are manufactured and finished, but also to see 3D images of how manufacturers produce, deliver and market their items. Stakeholders in the supply chain will also benefit from greater visibility of delivery times, real-time shipping costs, transit times and delays. The metaverse could therefore be an effective way of building trust and efficiency in the supply chain.
We are only at the beginning of the metaverse, and over the next few years, new technologies that will significantly improve the customer and user experience will emerge. Technologies such as the metaverse will be at the centre of supply chain decision-making, enabling new approaches to planning, accelerated virtual experiences and faster time to market for future products.