Consumers are ready for shopping in the metaverse

Consumers don’t care that the expert don’t agree on what the metaverse will be like – or if it even will become a thing. According to a survey from McKinsey, they are ready for better digital experiences based on VR and AR.

48 percent of American consumers have an interest in shopping in the metaverse in five years. At least according to a survey done by consultancy firm McKinsey among more than 1,000 Americans from different age groups.

With the 48 percent, shopping tops the list of activities that consumers have an interest in spending their time on. But it’s a very fine call as attending a telehealth appointment clocks in on 47 percent while attending a live learning course and travelling to other places in a virtual world both get 46 percent.

“Of course, we expect consumers to shop in the metaverse, and this survey shows that there is business to be made by combining e-commerce with experiences. We already see that products with 3D models in AR outperform products with still pictures online. We also know that customers more and more expect an experience when they go to visit a physical store, and in the metaverse you will have more possibilities of attaching an experience to the buying process by making virtual showrooms or letting customers try on clothes in augmented reality,” says Michael Harboe, CEO of Virsabi.

Reluctant experts, ready consumers

The McKinsey survey explores several myths about the metaverse and perhaps the most spectacular is that while the experts are reluctant to give a definition the metaverse – and even don’t fully agree on whether it will ever be a thing – a fairly large part of the consumers are ready to give a description of what they expect the metaverse to be like.

“To me, this confirms that for the users it’s not about definitions, technical protocols, and ethic issues, but whether they see a future with more exciting digital possibilities for work, learning and entertainment. The consumers use words like immersive, interactive, and scalable networks, so if you as a brand want to reach the early adaptors, start making services that take these terms into account,” Harboe says.

See an example of how Virsabi developed a virtual universe for international promotion of Danish lifestyle brands: Virtual Stage

Virtual events boost your reputation

The survey also confirms that consumers are happy to engage with their favorite brands in the future version of the internet. Two thirds indicate that that they would be excited to interact with their favorite brands, while more than half of those who already have attended virtual lifestyle and luxury events report a positive shift in brand perception.

“One conclusion is that you can give your brand a head start by offering virtual experiences already today. It might be that those of us working with it can’t give a precise definition of the metaverse – but we can create great experiences in both virtual and augmented reality, and this survey confirms that the consumers are ready and that financial benefits awaits those get going,” says Michael Harboe.

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