When Facebook’s rebrand to Meta and the company’s vision of the metaverse were announced back in October 2021, the report was met by largely unfavorable opinions from the American public. Here’s a look at some stats from various sources in regards to awareness of the metaverse and consumer willingness to shop in such an environment.
1. About 4 in 10 Americans Say They’re Familiar With the Metaverse
A late January 2022 survey from Ipsos indicates that 4 in 10 (38% of) US adults are either very familiar (14%) or somewhat familiar (24%) with the metaverse. Another 3 in 10 (31%) say they have heard of it, but are not familiar with it. Younger adults are more likely than older adults to be familiar with the metaverse, with more than half (53%) of those ages 18-34 claiming familiarity with the term, compared to one-fifth of adults 55 and older.
The share of adults familiar with the metaverse is about on par with those who are familiar with non-fungible tokens (NFTs; 37%), Internet of Things (35%) and augmented reality (40%). However, it is considerably fewer than those familiar with cryptocurrency (56%), virtual reality (69%) and AI (66%).
2. Only 1 in 6 Can Correctly Identify the Meaning of the Metaverse
Of those respondents to Ipsos’ survey who said they were familiar with the metaverse, a little more than 4 in 10 (42%) were able able to correctly identify its meaning: “A virtual, computer-generated world where people can socialize, work and play.” Looking at overall respondents, this translates into a mere 16% of US adults being able to correctly define the meaning of the metaverse.
3. One in 3 Adults Would Be Interested in Shopping for Products in Brand-Led Metaverse Environments
Although interest in using AR or VR to try products they might buy is lower among shoppers in the US than in some other regions, a survey of about 1,000 US consumers (ages 16+) from Obsess shows that one-third are interested in shopping for real or virtual products in metaverse environments created by brands. This is even more appealing to Gen Z and Millennials, with 4 in 10 of each age group reporting interest.
4. One in 4 Have Shopped Online in a 3D Virtual Store
There are some who have already participated in shopping at a 3D virtual store. One-quarter of respondents to Obsess’ survey report having shopped online at a 3D virtual store, with 7 in 10 of those who did saying they have made a purchase at one. Additionally, 6 in 10 respondents who have shopped online in a 3D virtual store say they were likely to do it again.
5. 15% of Consumers Have Bought a Virtual Good or NFT
As part of the metaverse, a report [download page] from Scalefast hypothesizes that “NFTs and virtual goods present both a challenge and opportunity for brands.” As it stands, only 15% of the more than 1,200 US adults surveyed report having bought virtual goods or NFTs. The survey also indicates that purchasing virtual goods or NFTs is most attractive to males and younger individuals. Some 61% of those who have purchased an NFT or virtual goods are male and 56% are between the ages of 18 and 34.
6. Among People Who Have Never Bought a Virtual Good or NFT, 44% Don’t Know What They Are
The Scalefast survey also found that of the 85% of respondents who have not purchased a virtual good or NFT, 44% have no idea what they are. While Nielsen found that one-quarter of consumers were planning to buy an NFT in the next 6 months, educating consumers on what virtual goods and NFTs are could go a long way to increasing that percentage. Scalefast’s data shows that close to half (46%) of consumers could be convinced to purchase an NFT if they better understood how the tokens worked, while about 4 in 10 (42%) might be convinced if the NFT was going to appreciate or be a sound investment.
About the Data: Ipsos data is based on two January 2022 surveys of 1,000 adults each.
Obsess data is based on a December 2021 survey of 1,001 US consumers conducted by Kantar.
Scalefast data is based on a December 2021 survey of 1,257 US adults conducted by YouGov.