A new study from KPMG UK, a leading tax, audit and advisory services provider, has revealed 47 percent of British consumers believe that metaverse platforms will be widely adopted within the next decade.
However, the study also found that consumers had mixed opinions about the growth and usage of metaverse services. Of those surveyed, 37 percent were optimistic, 31 percent predicted a negative outcome and 32 percent did not have enough information to give an opinion.
The data suggest that consumers may still be uncertain about the metaverse’s potential benefits due to a lack of confidence in emerging technology as a whole.
Focusing on target audience, ROI in metaverse strategy development
KPMG UK head of technology and alliances Ian West said businesses should identify their target audience and keep their objectives in mind while developing metaverse strategies.
West highlighted that consumers have a clear interest in metaverse services, and companies should analyze the potential return on investment (ROI) and improve the customer experience in the metaverse platforms.
“If they can link it to a measurable return on investment and they address their customers’ demands through the technology, then we are likely to see a successful metaverse,” West said.
“Ultimately for the metaverse to become a success, it needs to convince a mass audience. Businesses can invest in the technologies but unless there is customer demand for it, it won’t be as successful as the potential it holds.”
Ian West, KPMG UK head of technology and alliances
While some people may still be hesitant about immersive metaverse services, the fact that almost half of U.K. consumers believe the platforms will be widely adopted is a positive sign of the emerging technology. Moreover, as younger generations become more accustomed to immersive technology, this number may increase even further.
The KPMG study also found that younger U.K. consumers have more favorable opinions on metaverse services, with two-thirds of 18 to 24-year-olds having an optimistic view compared to only 18 percent with a negative sentiment. Meanwhile, 42 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds have a negative opinion of the metaverse.
Uncertainty among consumers
The metaverse is an emerging technology whose final stages and product vision have yet to be defined, resulting in uncertainty for most consumers.
Misinformation surrounding it — such as concerns over user privacy and criticism over the hype — may further contribute to consumer confusion. The grand marketing campaigns and predictions of some big firms and analysts can also add to this problem, blurring the consumers’ vision of the metaverse services definition.
However, despite its ambiguity, consumers remain interested partly because of the retail industry’s growing use of metaverse services.
For instance, sportswear brand Nike has made a significant entry into the metaverse with NIKELAND, which has around seven million members from 223 countries. The company uses Roblox to support its metaverse strategy.
Through this service, buyers can engage with Nike’s brand and products through interactive games and experiences before purchasing. NIKELAND also features several smartphone mini-games that encourage healthy lifestyles and physical activities for children.
Nike CEO Jack Donahoe said the company’s metaverse operations have been successful, with its digital division for Web3-based operations now accounting for 26 percent of the company.
According to West, U.K. consumers generally have a positive perception of the metaverse. But there is still work to be done to convince potential customers about the advantages of the technology.
He pointed out that there is a lot of confusion around the definition of the metaverse and that businesses should be clear about what a metaverse future looks like to increase consumers’ and businesses’ confidence.