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The metaverse is open for business: Is your company ready?

Why rising consumer awareness and newly established technologies are changing the way businesses think about the virtual world.

The metaverse is here. Which has many companies asking some fundamental questions. For starters:

  • What exactly is it?
  • How does it affect our business?
  • Isn’t it just the latest buzzword that will fade away in a year or two?

Sure, the whole metaverse idea can feel a bit faddish—an “augmented business reality,” even. But it also is a real strategic opportunity that every company would be wise to evaluate, as we outline in our thorough new report on the metaverse’s impact on the consumer world.

The trends are compelling: A high level of consumer awareness, rapid advances in technologies that support immersive new customer experiences, and real money already being spent today. Indeed, for many companies, the better questions to ask might be: What do our customers want from us in the metaverse? And are they already there?

The (virtual) landscape

Let’s start with some definitions. The metaverse is an evolving environment that blends a consumer’s physical and virtual worlds together to create dynamic new ways for people to interact. It’s supported by a collection of innovative technologies that are part of the emerging web3 platform, including decentralized blockchain systems, digital currencies and tokens, user-owned data, and the hardware and software that deliver immersive virtual reality experiences.

Gaming has been the metaverse’s leading edge to date, but other consumer experiences are rapidly gaining traction—and especially following the pandemic-driven push for all things virtual. In fact, two-thirds of the people in our recent KPMG Consumer pulse survey said they were familiar with the metaverse on some level, and that was especially true for Millennials (81 percent) and Gen Z (86 percent).

But beyond just awareness, nearly half of all respondents believe the metaverse today can provide experiences with friends that are just as meaningful as in-person interactions. That might mean shopping in virtual stores, live entertainment, socializing, education, the workplace and more. Imagine meeting up with friends from across the country to watch the latest blockbuster in a virtual movie theater, for example, or working out with a group in a fitness class—all without leaving your home.

Technology advances and adoption will be essential to delivering those new consumer experiences. But much of that tech has already been established, including the software and hardware to support increasingly more dynamic levels of realities (virtual, augmented, extended). For example, a key indicator for metaverse adoption is how many people own equipment like virtual reality (VR) headsets. In our consumer survey, 30 percent of respondents said they own VR headsets today—a sizeable market share already for such a relatively new platform.


The percentage of Millennials who have some level of familiarity with the metaverse.


Percentage of survey respondents who own virtual reality headsets today.

Setting the course

With broad consumer awareness, growing intent, and established technologies, we believe every company, regardless of industry, needs to have a metaverse strategy. Consumers are increasingly interacting with the brands they like virtually, and so the metaverse will need to be an integrated part of brand positioning and strategy going forward.

There is no one-size-fits-all metaverse solution, of course. Each company’s opportunities, needs and required level of effort will be different. As a starting point, we suggest companies assess several key questions that will guide organizational strategy, including:

What are my consumers doing today?

Understand what’s possible now—and what your customers might want from you. In consumer and retail goods, for example, many brands are already connecting with customers via virtual stores, private shopping events and exclusive virtual-only offers. These experiences are not confined to a single platform, but play out in multiple virtual worlds—from gaming platforms to new virtual malls.


What is my metaverse brand strategy?

Identify your business goals. Do you simply want to build awareness? Or perhaps introduce and test new products? Or acquire new customers and drive sales? Set your plan and allocate your resources accordingly—and stay authentic to your brand.

Who will build it?

Once you’ve established your vision, you’ll need to evaluate your current product development and technology expertise. Required metaverse skillsets include digital engineers, designers and blockchain developers on the tech side; but also metaverse-ready business development, marketing and sales roles.

In the next five years, it’s estimated that 70 percent of brands will have a presence in the metaverse.*

Excerpt from KPMG’s Spring 2022 consumer pulse survey report, ‘Go boldly, not blindly, into the metaverse’

*, “Metaverse: A new way for businesses to connect with customers?”

Go forward boldly

The metaverse may be anchored in the virtual, but the real-world business opportunity is no illusion. Leading companies are already serving customers and driving new revenue in the metaverse today.

For most companies, the immediate priority will be to establish a metaverse strategy that identifies their customers’ evolving expectations, and then delivers them with virtual experiences that are brand-consistent and authentic. The urgency to act today is much more about planning than knee-jerk reacting and playing catch-up.

It’s an approach that will allow your company to move boldly—but not blindly—into the metaverse.

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Meet our team

Image of Matt Kramer
Matt Kramer
U.S. Line of Business Leader, Products, KPMG LLP

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