As the lines between virtual and real life blur, there is a growing need to fully grasp the broad concept of the metaverse experience. The metaverse, as we all are beginning to learn more about over time – presents itself as a virtual space that allows everything to be connected, created, and consumed by users, where everything is possible and within reach.
With the metaverse’s continued evolution, its virtual environment is now capable of offering a myriad of opportunities which can always be explored by everyone: businesses, organizations, and consumers. Yet, with all the buzz around it, a burning question is raised: what exactly do consumers think of the metaverse?
The TP Business Insights Lab is our research center dedicated to monitoring consumers’ changing behaviors and expectations to help companies improve their customer service strategies. To truly understand the metaverse experience and the new opportunities it promises, the TP Business Insights Lab developed a survey* that explored the relationship between consumers and the metaverse, focusing on awareness, perception, experience with current metaverse platforms, and future expectations.
Exploring Insights on Metaverse Awareness
According to the TP Business Insights Lab's survey, nearly 7 out of 10 survey participants have heard about the metaverse, but only 4 out of 10 have some idea of what it is. The younger generation are more aware about it, with over 80% of Gen Z and Millennials saying that they’ve at least heard about the metaverse.
When it comes to the metaverse’s current state and development, the TP Business Insights Lab reported that 51% of respondents who are aware of the metaverse believe that the metaverse is still in its development stage. 24% believe that it is already a concrete reality, while 14% answered that it may exist in the future. 11% are uncertain.
The metaverse experience continuously evolves, offering a whole world of potential and opportunities not just to its users, but also to brands and businesses. It could be key to unlocking the future of customer engagement. So, among those who are aware of the metaverse and its concepts – how many are willing to engage in metaverse experiences? According to the TP Business Insights Lab survey, more than 7 out of 10 respondents want to have metaverse experiences in the future. These metaverse “activities” that have generated the most interest include playing games, connecting and socializing, immersive travel experiences, shopping, attending events, and buying, selling, or collecting virtual goods.
Those willing to be in the metaverse expect to use it 20 minutes more than they currently spend daily in other web-based activities.
The Metaverse at Present
At present, the metaverse continues to be experienced through a variety of devices that allow users to enter a digital world. These include smartphones, computers and tablets, consoles, and VR/AR devices. According to the TP Business Insights Lab, 55% of respondents** use the smartphone to access the metaverse, 49% use laptops or tablets, and 32% use a gaming console.
45% of those accessing the metaverse or proto-metaverse platforms use more than one device.
VR/AR devices reached 31% of those already in the metaverse – this number is only expected to rise, as 15% of metaverse users who don’t use VR/AR devices at the moment expressed an intention to buy one in the next 12 months. 19% of potential metaverse users also expressed the intention to acquire a new VR/AR device, which can propel its reach and metaverse adoption even further.
Out of those in the metaverse, 31% use VR/AR devices, and another 15% are looking to buy in the next 12 months.
It’s only natural that the concept of the metaverse continues to be filled with curiosity and skepticism, as the entire “intangible” concept is still in the process of a universal definition – and experimentation. Yet, like all emerging technologies, it is important to give it time in order for it to be refined, defined, and eventually be less disruptive and stable. It is important for brands and organizations to address the presence and influence of the metaverse experience today, recognizing it as a future customer touchpoint and a channel of choice.
*TP Business Insights Lab reached out to a representative sample of the US population over 15 years old to gauge their knowledge about the metaverse. The survey’s final sample of those aware of the metaverse consists of 1,000 respondents over the age of 15, living in the US.
**247 respondents with metaverse/proto-metaverse experience