How to get your brand ready for Web3 before your tech is

Close up of Binary codes on screen and WEB3.0 word in the middle
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Morocko)

The opportunity is huge. The chance to build a vision of the web that is firmly in the hands of the people who use it every day. Web3 comes with a large amount of optimism for new use cases, new approaches, and new experiences. And the journey is well underway to delve into the retelling of the internet’s story that goes beyond 2022.

Let’s look at the metaverse, for example. Immersive virtual worlds built on Web3 frameworks may seem like a far-off pipe dream for many. However, 17% of businesses in the computer and IT sector worldwide have already invested in the metaverse as of March 2022. In the education sector, that number is 12%. 

Neither of these numbers are huge but they are a base on which the technology will build. In fact, 22% of businesses worldwide see the metaverse as the future, and the same amount class it as being full of opportunities.

But while companies gradually raise their confidence in and usage of the metaverse, as well as Web3 as a whole, there’s a vital step to take. It’s imperative to look beyond the technology for a moment and look at the brand ethos that underpins a company’s approach to this new chapter of the web. 

Because whether a company feels technologically competent or not to venture into Web3, it will never be fruitful if the company’s brand values aren’t truly intertwined throughout.

Providing value

Web3 promises more personalization, but brands needs to be careful how they approach personalization in 2022. Even when brands look to provide an experience built around customers, when this isn’t done right, it comes off as invasive or creepy.

Personalization can and should be done well. And with the venture into Web3, bad habits can be broken and better relationships can be built with customers. According to research from Vanson Bourne and WP Engine, 59% of UK consumers say they’ll happily share personal information with a website or app if they feel it helps them get a better overall experience or better service in return. Meanwhile, 92.7% want companies to provide transparency about how their personal data is being used for personalization. There should be a clear distinction between personalization and invasion that puts customers at ease and gives them a tailor-made service at the same time. This line can be drawn when customers feel the data they’ve given up has resulted in real tangible value that they know is safe and protected by that brand. 

AI can be utilized to enhance website interactions with many features removing certain communication barriers, and even reducing the time it takes to get a response. However, as WP Engine’s Value of Value’s AI study highlighted, it’s imperative that organizations balance the capabilities of AI against consumers’ societal values if they want to maximise AI’s value.

In Web3, there has to be a two-way street. Some 89.6% of UK consumers expect to receive high value in exchange for the data they share with companies. The top three value-adding features are that websites are fast and efficient (91.3%), those sites offer useful information immediately when the consumer needs it (85.9%), and it helps them learn something new (65.7%). 

That means even when the technology is new, the customer experience should be front and centre. Usability shouldn’t be sacrificed at the altar of the use of a new platform. In many ways, the tech itself is secondary to the purpose of the website. The former is merely a tool to drive the latter.

An experience they can feel

The extent to which consumers feel emotional engagement is key. According to the Vanson Bourne and WP Engine research, consumers feel this emotional engagement most commonly when they are learning something new (65.7% of respondents) and when they are booking travel or accommodation (69.7%). And 40.3% of consumers said they’d return later to a website that made them feel this emotional engagement.

But what if you’re not a travel agent? There’s still something to gain from this statistic. When a brand values its customers enough to invest in the entire journey and do so in a way that resonates emotionally, they can ensure each customer keeps coming back again and again. Replicating the excitement and anticipation of booking a holiday can come in various forms. The most important aspect is the ease with which they are able to navigate the site and experience it in an engaging way.

Starting now

So, where does Web3 factor into all of this? Well, open source platforms have been a driver for digital growth and innovative experiences, particular during the pandemic. And it’s the spirit and values of an open source WordPress web that has fed the energy and excitement for Web3 we’re now seeing. 

Open source enables the power of communities and far-reaching networks of people helping each other. It’s flexibly and freely integratable, not closed and proprietary. And with open source code, you can update, reuse, build upon, and build revenue from it.

The concept of community that powers open source will also be a key feature of Web3. It will be decentralised, secure and allow users to take control of their own web experience and data. And with the improvements of personalisation, each user will be able to see a web through their own personal ‘lens’. Technologically, Web3 is different to what most companies have the access to build on today. 

But the journey starts now. The thriving digital economy we’ve already created through open source should be the gateway to building new experiences in Web3 that users fall in love with.  

Fabio Torlini
As Managing Director, Fabio Torlini leads WP Engine’s strategy, revenue growth and operations in the EMEA region. With over 15 years experience in the hosting and cloud industries, Fabio has a thorough understanding of all aspects of IT B2B sales, marketing, scaling operations in Europe and management. He held business leadership roles at Cinven, Rackspace, XO Communications and GX Networks. Fabio holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in European Business Studies from Brunel University in London.