According to a survey by Obsess, 70% of consumer visitors to a virtual retail store have purchased something. The survey known as ‘Metaverse Mindset: Consumer Shopping Insights’ looked at the interest in brands that create immersive virtual stores on metaverse platforms or their own websites to promote or sell their products.

Obsess is an experiential e-commerce platform that works with those brands. The survey looked at consumers’ perceptions of as well as demand for virtual shopping experiences in the metaverse worlds. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the metaverse market opportunity will hit close to $800 billion by 2024.

Oculus Quest 2
Oculus Quest 2

According to the Obsess survey, close to 75% of Gen Z shoppers have bought a digital item within a video game. The survey also found that 60% of the young shoppers visiting these virtual stores think brands should sell their products on the metaverse platforms. Of the Gen Z consumers who think brands should sell their merchandise in the metaverse, 54% say people should be able to do their shopping anywhere when they come online while 45% say that the metaverse platforms should be like online shopping malls.

Further, 45% of Gen Zers indicated that brands should sell their merchandise in the metaverse because it provides consumers with a convenient place where they can purchase digital products such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as well as physical products.

Up to one-third of survey respondents in the Obsess survey which included 40% of millennials and 40% of Gen Zers would be interested in shopping the real or virtual products created by brands in the metaverse environments according to the survey.

Obsess says these are shoppers who have grown up with esports, videogames, and social media and are, thus, more receptive of the metaverse as a modern-day mall, a connected virtual mall where they can shop, socialize and hang out. Retail brands should be watching these survey findings closely as they highlight the need to create sound metaverse commerce strategies now that will also resonate with consumers in the future as the metaverse takes center stage.

Approximately a quarter of consumers have shopped in a 3D virtual store online. In this group, some 70%, which includes 69% of Gen Zers, 67% of Gen Xers, and 77% of millennials have made a purchase in a virtual store. These virtual stores are regarded as an entrepot for brands into the metaverse.

Most of the consumers who have shopped in a 3D virtual store have found it to be very engaging. Of the respondents who had shopped in a virtual store online, 60% stated that will likely do it again which includes 54% of Gen Zers, 68% of millennials as well as 67% of Gen Xers.

The online videogames are some of the most robust metaverse shopping environments. 74% of Gen Zers and 62% of the respondents said that had bought a digital item in a virtual store such as a garment, skin or accessory for their virtual avatars within the online video games.

Additionally, over half of the respondents, some 52%, stated that they’d spend $49.99 for a virtual product for their avatars for use inside online video games.

51% of Gen Zers and 44% of millennials stated they’d be interested in exploring the virtual environments and worlds that are created by their favorite brands in the online videogames. This is in comparison to 41% of Gen Zers and 38% of millennials who stated they’d be interested in exploring the metaverse environments created by brands.

However, there is still a lack of clarity among consumers on what a metaverse constitutes. Only 53% of the respondents indicated that they were familiar with the term metaverse. As a result, retail brands looking to venture into metaverse commerce will have to invest in clear messaging when it comes to defining their metaverse offerings to their prospective consumers.

Approximately 40% of the respondents indicated they think the metaverse is still in a “conceptual stage” but that the technology will eventually assume the form of a connected online technology platform that users will be able to navigate using digital avatars. However, a quarter of the respondents, some 27% think metaverse is a technology owned by Meta (formerly Facebook).

38% of the respondents in the survey (including 42% of Gen Zers, 44% of millennials as well as 56% of Gen Xers) want to be able to shop in the metaverse.

Methodology Used in the Survey

The respondents in The Metaverse Mindset: Consumer Shopping Insights survey consisted of 1,001 U.S. consumers. They were surveyed by online by Kantar between December 22 and December 29, 2021. Gen Zers are defined as consumers between the age of 16 and 24, millennials as those between the age of 25 and 40 and Gen Xers as those between the age of 41 and 56. Baby boomers are aged over 57.