Gen Z Wants Metaverse To Resemble Online Shopping Mall, New Survey Finds

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The metaverse is quickly rising, and the market opportunity for bringing any number of metaverses to life may be worth more than $1 trillion in annual revenue, according to a Grayscale report. Consumers are definitely following, as a new survey showed that a staggering 70% of all consumers who have shopped online in a virtual store have made a purchase, with Gen Z and millennials leading the way.

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The survey, The Metaverse Mindset: Consumer Shopping Insights, released by e-commerce platform Obsess on January 25, found that nearly 75% of Gen Z shoppers have purchased a digital item within a video game, and 60% of these young shoppers think that brands should sell their products on metaverse platforms.

In addition, among Gen Zers who think brands should sell in the metaverse, 54% said that people should be able to shop anywhere they go online, while 45% indicated that metaverse environments should be like online shopping malls, the survey noted.

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And of these Gen Zers, 41% said brands should sell in the metaverse because it gives consumers a convenient place to buy digital products like NFTs as well as physical products.

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“Our data indicate that the majority of younger consumers want to be able to shop their favorite brands anywhere they go online, including on metaverse platforms,” Neha Singh, CEO and Founder of Obsess said in a statement. “These shoppers have grown up with online video games, esports and social media and many of them see the emerging metaverse as a modern-day mall — a connected virtual world where they can hang out, shop and socialize. For retail brands, these survey findings highlight the importance of creating sound metaverse commerce strategies today that will resonate with consumers over the coming years.”

Among respondents who had previously shopped online in a virtual store, 60% indicated that they are likely to do so again, including 54% of Gen Zers, 68% of millennials and 67% of Gen Xers.

Another key finding of the survey shows that online videogame platforms are key metaverse shopping environments, as 74% of Gen Zers and 62% of respondents overall have purchased a digital item — such as an accessory, skin or garment for their avatar — within an online videogame.

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In terms of what consumers are ready to pony up, 52% of respondents said they would pay up to $49.99 for a virtual product for their avatar to use within an online videogame, the survey found.

However, not all consumers are clear on how the metaverse is defined as 53% of respondents said they are very or somewhat familiar with the term metaverse, indicating that retail brands will need to establish clear messaging when it comes to describing their metaverse offerings to consumers, the survey found.

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Meanwhile, 40% of all respondents think the metaverse is still in the conceptual stage, but that it will eventually take the form of connected online technology platforms that people will navigate using a digital avatar. Meanwhile, 27% mistakenly perceive that the term metaverse refers to a technology owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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