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Whether buying shoes or booking a holiday: Consumers have long been used to doing these things digitally, using a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Now the digital transformation is taking the next big step: The Metaverse opens up a new virtual space for customers to experience trade and consumption digitally.

The Metaverse is a three-dimensional, multimedia world in which users can move and interact with the help of avatars. This offers retailers and manufacturers great opportunities to reach consumers in new ways and to enable them to have completely new immersive experiences. Some retailers and consumer goods manufacturers are already making their first steps in the Metaverse. In a short interview, Corinna Dahlhaus von Deiters describes what this can look like in practice and what tips she has. In addition, the Metaverse expert Collin Croome tells us why now is the right time to get into the Metaverse.

Reach the right customer groups

The challenge lies in identifying and addressing target groups with a high metaverse affinity. Retailers and manufacturers are required to deal intensively with the topic of Metaverse and to develop a profound understanding of the attitudes and needs of Metaverse-affine consumers.

We would like to contribute to this with our new Metaverse study in cooperation with the SINUS Institute. In it, we examine which target groups are interested in the Metaverse, which motives and expectations motivate consumers to shop there, and which product categories are suitable for purchases in the Metaverse. From this, recommendations for a successful, customer-centric entry into the metaverse can be derived.

For the study, more than 2,000 people between the ages of 14 and 39 were interviewed online throughout Germany, representative of the German population in this age group. The sample was chosen relatively young in order to survey as many Metaverse-interested customers as possible.

One in three is looking forward to trying out the virtual "3D world".

  • 52 percent of those surveyed already know the term “metaverse”. 22 percent of these have already used a Metaverse platform and 8 percent have already bought something there.
  • About half of the respondents have not yet formed a judgment about the metaverse. Around a third are looking forward to trying it out. 43 percent think they can make their consumption in the Metaverse largely sustainable. However, more than two thirds of those surveyed see the danger of wasting their time in the virtual world, becoming addicted or losing touch with reality.

Personal attitude towards opportunities and risks in the Metaverse

Metaverse offers trade and service providers sales potential

Almost half of those surveyed (46 percent) can currently imagine consumption or shopping in the Metaverse. However, around 80 percent of those surveyed spent money on online shopping in the past year. This large difference indicates enormous future sales potential for trading in the Metaverse.

The willingness to buy is highest for physical products that are purchased in the metaverse and then delivered to the customer’s home, but many respondents can also imagine buying services in the metaverse (e.g. cooking classes, further education). The interest in purely digital products - such as virtual clothing for one's own avatar - still seems a little restrained in comparison. But it is surprisingly high considering that this type of consumption has only existed for a short time. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that increased use of the Metaverse for consumption and shopping will increase demand for all three product groups.

Highlighting opportunities in a targeted manner

The results also show that it is not the perceived risks, but the opportunities of using the Metaverse that are decisive for the willingness to buy. As perceived benefits increase, more Metaverse users are likely to choose to purchase products in the Metaverse in the future. It is therefore crucial for retailers and manufacturers to specifically highlight the benefits of their Metaverse commitment to their customers.

A detailed analysis of the survey results, a representation of the Metaverse target group based on the Sinus milieus and conclusions for a successful entry into the Metaverse can be found in the study "Metaverse:  (Un)known world?“ in cooperation with the SINUS Institute.