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11/04/2022

Survey reveals extent of consumer familiarity with metaverse

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Retailers need to educate more consumers about the metaverse.

“Metaverse” is one of the biggest buzzwords among retailers right now, but is it resonating with consumers?

Most respondents said they were unfamiliar with the metaverse in a new Publicis Sapient report based on findings from a survey conducted by YouGov that included over 6,000 consumers across the US, UK, France, and Germany. 

Only 25% of global respondents are very or somewhat familiar with the metaverse. U.S. consumers showed the most familiarity with the metaverse compared to consumers in the other countries surveyed, with 40% of U.S. respondents saying they are somewhat or very familiar with the metaverse.

This widespread unfamiliarity may be a contributing factor to generally low levels of consumer interest in the metaverse. For example, when asked about in which activities they would like to participate in the metaverse, three out of four respondents who said they would not like to do anything in the metaverse also said they have never heard of the metaverse (74%).

In addition, when asked specifically about shopping in the metaverse, over half of respondents who selected “I wouldn’t buy anything in the metaverse” have never heard of the metaverse (53%).

Other notable findings include:

  • Three in 10 (31%) surveyed U.S. consumers would like to use the metaverse to see how products look in 3D before making purchases, and 28% of U.S. respondents would like to virtually try on clothing and see different fashion looks in the metaverse before making a purchase.
  • More than four in 10 (43%) global respondents would like to do things in the metaverse, with much higher interest among Gen Z (62%) respondents. When asked which metaverse activities they would like to participate in, the largest percentage of global respondents (21%) said they would like to experience a vacation destination before traveling to see if they’d like to go there. This was closely followed by interacting with family and friends (20%).
  • Only 8% of global respondents said that they own a VR device or headset. The survey also revealed that more U.S. consumers own metaverse goods (cryptocurrency, VR headset/device, NFTs) than consumers in any other country surveyed.
  • More than six in 10 global respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that they have concerns about collection of their data (68%), verifying someone is who they say they are (68%), and safety and protection in the metaverse, including sexual harassment (61%).

“Right now, we are seeing the first wave of innovation—of companies risking it all to solve a problem. The death of this wave, like the death of AOL or MyVista, for example, opens the door for the second wave, where innovation will have sustainable growth,” said A.J. Dalal, managing director, data and Web3 strategy at Publicis Sapient. “Now is the time for retailers to test different experiences, evaluate Web 3.0 applications and look for friction points in their customer experience that these applications could solve.”

[Read more: Survey: Consumers have metaverse expectations]