Will the metaverse take off or was its attraction overestimated? A new survey shows a quarter of executives believe more than 15% of company revenue will come from the metaverse in the next five years. About 60% of consumers already using the metaverse prefer metaverse features that are useful for the physical world. More futuristic ideas are less interesting, according to the survey by consultancy McKinsey.
A successful metaverse approach rests on four things: maintaining open channels of communication with consumers, refining offerings, scrapping nonperforming projects, and pivoting quickly, the company says in a report.
“And while some metaverse experiments may be more eye-catching than others, the best first step into this emerging opportunity may be to ground experiments in real-world applicability.”
“Our latest Metaverse Consumer Survey finds that while many metaverse initiatives are pushing the boundaries of technology, they often miss the mark with consumers. In fact, winning in the metaverse is often about meeting more mundane needs: providing consumers with value-added products and services they can use today, either separately or in combination with the physical world.”
“Even in the virtual world, the key to driving metaverse product adoption and generating value is to engage target consumers with the use cases that interest them most.”
The report says that consumers are increasingly seeking more immersive experiences and demanding the ability to interact with products and brands before making a purchase.
“That enthusiasm has the potential to drive $5 trillion in value creation by 2030, and leading companies are actively experimenting with metaverse commerce in everything from home and food to fitness and apparel.”
- Consumers appear less interested in more futuristic offerings. Consumers are more willing to pay for product offerings that tie back to the physical world in some way than for those that are purely virtual. For example, in the fashion and beauty category and in the home category, consumers ranked virtual events and virtual homes in the bottom two use cases.
- Consumers want real-world applicability. They are also less excited about products or services in the metaverse that don’t connect to their daily real-world activities. For example, about 30% of consumers attributed their lack of interest in fitness-specific use cases to a lack of interest in the same application in “real life.” Instead, they favor use cases such as “at home try ons” that bridge the physical and the digital world.
According to the survey, across categories, consumers show greater interest in experiences and products that augment existing real-world experiences, even when they had to pay for them.
“While this may change with growing metaverse understanding, adoption, and technology, there’s an immediate opportunity for companies to ease consumers into their metaverse offerings by connecting the physical and digital worlds.”
“While about 50% of consumers rank fashion and beauty in their top two categories for metaverse commerce, current offerings are failing to capitalize on that enthusiasm. Many brands are investing in creating immersive, digital-only metaverse experiences (especially when it comes to apparel and beauty shopping), but consumers are less excited about walking through digital stores than about metaverse applications augmenting the physical-world shopping experience.”
Consumers were most excited about experiences augmenting and complementing their physical-world experiences, especially those helping them with the fitting process.
Avatars are primarily viewed as interesting if their use improves product purchasing or experimentation in the real world—or if it’s entertaining in the moment.
“When it comes to experiential categories such as entertainment and media, consumer interest in socializing in virtual settings has seemed to wane.”
The survey shows traveling to new destinations and different times or spaces ranked highest in interest among consumers, likely due to consumer interest in using the metaverse to “just have fun” or “be entertained.”
Using the metaverse for nightlife and affinity or affiliation groups ranked lowest in this category.
The report is written by consultant Courtney Buzzell, partner Zamir Lalji, Senior partrner Stephan Zimmermann, consultant Amanda Loyola, associate partner Emily Scofield and associate partner Kim Rants.