Research Talk by Michael Haenlein, ESCP Business School (FR)
For our first Research Seminar talk of this semester, we had the pleasure of welcoming Prof. Michael Haenlein from ESCP Business School. He presented his work on “The Merchants of Meta: Conceptualizing and Defining Retailing in the Metaverse”.
The metaverse – “an online collaborative shared space built of 3D environments (…) allowing user-generated digital personas to interact with each other”. It bears the opportunity to reinvent oneself and to evade real life. According to Haenlein, some people prefer this virtual life to real life. Even though there was a lot of initial excitement and research conducted around Second Life in the late 2000s, a predecessor of what we call the metaverse today, interest faded. Now, more than a decade later, new interest has been reignited among practitioners and researchers to explore the metaverse and the opportunities it has to offer. Haenlein tries to conceptualize different components of the metaverse that affect the consumer and offer consumer touchpoints along the customer journey. Additionally, he draws implications for customers, retailers, and marketers and asks questions that are relevant to explore metaverse related consumer behavior, data and analytics, marketing strategies and spillover effects. In his talk, Haenlein explained that there is a general misconception that there is the one metaverse, when in reality there are numerous. It is not yet clear whether those metaverses will merge into one big metaverse, but it is likely that their number will reduce to only a few in the future. In comparison to environments in video games, spaces in the metaverse are still technologically underdeveloped. Haenlein proposes the video game ecosystem as a transitory metaverse. Haenlein showed that the video game ecosystem is highly developed and a very successful industry that is well suited as a basis for future progress.
Thank you for coming and being a wonderful first guest of the semester!