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Survey: Metaverse shoppers make good customers

Virtual online stores have a high conversion rate.

The future appears bright for metaverse commerce.

A new consumer survey, “The Metaverse Mindset: Consumer Shopping Insights,” from experiential e-commerce platform Obsess indicates that 70% of all consumers who have shopped online in a virtual store have made a purchase in one.

Overall, one-quarter of respondents 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.

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. Based on their current understanding of the metaverse, 38% of respondents surveyed said they would like to be able to shop in the metaverse, including 42% of Gen Zers, 44% of millennials and 56% of Gen Xers.

The Obsess survey also found that nearly 75% of Gen Z shoppers have purchased a digital item within a videogame, and that 60% of these younger shoppers think that brands should sell their products on metaverse platforms. In the metaverse, consumers use augmented and virtual reality technology to digitally engage with each other and their surroundings, with crossovers into the physical world.

[Editor’s commentary: What could the ‘Metaverse’ mean for retail?]

Among Gen Zers who think brands should sell in the metaverse, 54% said 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 Gen Zers who think that brands should sell their products on metaverse platforms said brands should sell in the metaverse because it gives consumers a convenient place to buy digital products like NFTs, as well as physical products.

[Read more: Three reasons retailers find NFTs nifty]

The survey also found that 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.

Other interesting findings include:

  • Online videogame 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 videogame. 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 videogame.
  • 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 that brands create.
  • Just over half (53%) of respondents said they are very or somewhat familiar with the term metaverse.
  • Four in 10 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 one-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 December 22–29, 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.

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