70% of consumers who have visited a virtual store have made a purchase, according to The Metaverse Mindset: Consumer Shopping Insights, a survey by Obsess.
The survey was designed to gauge consumers’ perceptions of and demand for virtual shopping experiences in the metaverse, a market opportunity that Bloomberg Intelligence estimates will reach nearly $800 billion by 2024.
The Obsess survey also found that nearly 75% of Gen Z shoppers have purchased a digital item within a video game and that 60% of these young shoppers think that brands should sell their products on metaverse platforms. Among Gen Zers who think brands should sell in the metaverse, 54% reasoned that people should be able to shop anywhere they go online, while 45% indicated that metaverse environments should be like online shopping malls.
In addition, 41% of these Gen Zers said brands should sell in the metaverse because it gives consumers a convenient place to buy digital products like nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as well as physical products.
The Obsess survey also found that fully one-third of all survey respondents, including 40% of Gen Zers and 40% of millennials, would be interested in shopping for real or virtual products in metaverse environments that brands create.
“Our data indicate that the majority of younger consumers want to be able to shop their favorite brands anywhere they go online, including on metaverse platforms,” said Neha Singh, CEO of Obsess in a statement. “These shoppers have grown up with online videogames, esports and social media and many of them see the emerging metaverse as a modern-day mall—a connected virtual world where they can hang out, shop and socialize. For retail brands, these survey findings highlight the importance of creating sound metaverse commerce strategies today that will resonate with consumers over the coming years.”
About a quarter of consumers have shopped online in a 3D virtual store. Among that group, 70% — including 69% of Gen Zers, 77% of millennials and 67% of Gen Xers — have made a purchase in a virtual store. Such stores are widely seen as brands’ entryway into the metaverse
The majority of consumers who shop in a 3D virtual store find it highly engaging: Among respondents who had previously shopped online in a virtual store, 60% indicated that they are likely to do so again, including 54% of Gen Zers, 68% of millennials and 67% of Gen Xers.
Online video game platforms are key metaverse shopping environments: Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Gen Zers and 62% of respondents overall have purchased a digital item—such as an accessory, skin or garment for their avatar—within an online video game.
In addition, more than half of respondents (52%) said they would pay up to $49.99 for a virtual product for their avatar to use within an online video game.
When asked about their interest in exploring worlds, islands or environments created by their favorite brands in online videogames, 51% of Gen Zers and 44% of millennials indicated they would be very interested in doing so. This compares with 41% of Gen Zers and 38% of millennials who said they would be interested in exploring any metaverse environments brands create.
Not all consumers are clear on how the metaverse is defined: Just over half (53%) of respondents said they are very or somewhat familiar with the term metaverse, indicating that retail brands will need to establish clear messaging when it comes to describing their metaverse offerings to consumers.
Some 40% of all respondents think the metaverse is still in the conceptual stage, but that it will eventually take the form of connected online technology platforms that people will navigate using a digital avatar, while more than a quarter (27%) mistakenly perceive that the term metaverse refers to a technology owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook.
Obsess’s The Metaverse Mindset: Consumer Shopping Insights survey was fielded from 1,001 U.S. consumers who were surveyed online by Kantar from December 22 to December 29, 2021. Gen Zers are defined as consumers ages 16–24, millennials as ages 25–40, Gen Xers as ages 41–56, and baby boomers/silvers as age 57 and older.