Ecommerce store shoppers

41% of consumers want to shop in virtual worlds

Consumers may not understand the Metaverse, but they would buy there. A survey gauges consumer reaction to technology that is reshaping retail.

Posted: May 3, 2022

(Image credit: JESHOOTS.COM / Unsplash)

We have been exploring how the metaverse, social commerce, and digital retail collide as technology advances and e-commerce grows. Brands are constantly experimenting in this space.

But are consumers ready for these experiences? A recent report by CommerceNext, in partnership with Bizrate and The Commerce Experience Collective (CommX), explored whether consumers are truly engaging with the metaverse, social commerce, and live shopping.

Here’s what the study found:

Would consumers buy in the metaverse?

The study found that 48% of consumers have never heard of Metaverse and only 5% are aware of it and want to use it. The remaining 47% have limited understanding.

Some 82% of respondents say they never use virtual game worlds such as Second Life, Roblox or Fortnite. Gen Z was the demographic most avid to gamble, with 26% saying they do.

Still, 41% of all respondents said they would like to be able to buy real products in 3D or virtual worlds in the future, making the metaverse a promising future channel for retailers.

Social commerce is growing on all platforms

Some 43% of online shoppers say they buy products promoted via social media and 19% buy products featured on TikTok, Instagram or Talkshop Live.

Gen Z shoppers are most likely to purchase products featured on TikTok, Instagram, or Talkshop Live.

Discover buyers through live broadcasts

About 54% of shoppers have never heard of live shopping, 32% recognize the term, 10% have watched live shopping, and 4% have made purchases through the channel.

Among those who watch live shopping, the main reasons for doing so are to learn more about products or to discover new ones and to discover bargains.

What does this mean for marketers?

The report finds that social commerce is a channel where shoppers are eager to engage with brands, but consumer adoption of the metaverse and live shopping is lagging behind the hype.

However, that doesn’t mean marketers shouldn’t prepare.

“Arrive early,” advises Raj De Datta, CEO of Bloomreach, who chairs The Commerce Experience Collective. “Initially, it was thought that digital goods and services would make up the lion’s share of metaverse revenue. But what we’re actually seeing is a shift from the digital to the physical world, with consumers spending real money on physical products.

One of the most important things marketers can do now to prepare for increased consumer interest is to test different strategies, De Datta said.

Metaverse and livestream purchase test strategies

“Whether it’s traditional brick and mortar, e-comm or the metaverse, brands that focus on a personalized and tailored experience are the ones that will eventually rise to the top,” said From Datta.

He recommends testing ideas with your existing customer base.

“You might consider a digital pop-up store that caters to a specific existing customer who has already displayed certain preferences in your e-commerce environment,” he noted. “This type of cross-pollination is a highly strategic way to engage in a test.”

Subscribe to our free newsletter to receive the latest news and marketing information straight to your inbox.