If you build it, they will come. This may be the case for the metaverse, but consumers are still slow to adapt to the new virtual way of doing business.
While many companies have pushed in recent months to get active in the metaverse, consumer awareness has yet to catch up. According to new research from CommerceNext, in partnership with Bizrate Insights, Coresight Research and CommX, many consumers still have no idea what the Metaverse is right now.
The February 2022 survey, which surveyed respondents aged 18-59, found that nearly half of respondents, 48%, had not yet heard of the term “metaverse” and only 5 % considered themselves enthusiastic users, while 47% were only vaguely familiar with the term and still unsure how to use it.
“Our survey data indicates that awareness of the metaverse is low overall, but the potential is high.” said Veronika Sonsev, co-founder of CommerceNext. “While most shoppers were unfamiliar with the Metaverse, those engaging in virtual worlds seemed inclined to shop in the Metaverse in the future.”
Additionally, only 18% of all consumers surveyed said they had engaged with virtual worlds. Of the 100 consumers surveyed who interact with virtual worlds, 76% play games and 39% socialize in them. While only 30% of group members shop in metaverse environments, these respondents said they are interested in activities such as shopping in virtual malls and virtually trying on clothes and accessories.
In a more promising twist for retailers, when asked about shopping-related activity on future metaverse visits, 41% of consumers reported the most interest in purchasing real-world products. This direction bodes well for retailers and companies aspiring to sell (real-world products to buy in the metaverse, like StockX with its NFT sneakers.
With the exception of millennials, everyone agrees they would most like to buy real-world products in a virtual world, the study showed. All age groups express great interest in attending events and more casual shopping activities, such as shopping in a virtual mall and trying on clothes. After that, interests diverge. Consumers between the ages of 50 and 59 want to shop with friends and buy clothes or digital accessories for their avatars; Gen Z consumers want to try on everything from makeup to glasses while making NFT purchases.
“Despite the hype, this timely research helps pinpoint where the Metaverse really stands for consumers, while pointing out where it can have meaningful long-term impact,” added Brian Walker, Chief Strategy Officer at Bloomreach, Member. founder of CommX. . “Overall, retailers aren’t missing out on sales if they don’t focus on the metaverse now, as consumer adoption is still early, but they’ll want to keep an eye out for emerging technologies and platforms. as potential revenue streams as buyer awareness and usage increases.
This news comes as retailers and brands continue to announce new metaverse activations. Over the past few months, several brands have announced forays into the metaverse, whether through virtual games, merchandise, or NFTs. So far this month, Biion Footwear and SoleSavy have both announced new metaverse activations. And in March, virtual social metaverse platform Decentraland hosted the first Metaverse Fashion Week, which saw brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Dundas, Cavalli, Faith Connexion and Nicholas Kirkwood host shopping experiences virtual or parades.
This study also follows a February report by research firm Gartner, which showed that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education , social and/or leisure activities.