The metaverse – consumers heard about, but do they really know about it?
“Sitecore conducted a survey asking 700 global marketers and 2,001 consumers about their perception of the metaverse and how it will change the interactions between brands and consumers” (MarketingTech, 2022).
“Many brands intend to place a large investment into the metaverse. 50% of marketers plan to allocate more than 10% of their budget in 2023. 91% will be investing a portion of their total budget over the next five years” (MarketingTech, 2022). Brands and companies are also creating new positions within their teams that specifically focus on the metaverse.
Yes, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) has the recognition for this because it’s their company name, but no player (Minecraft, Fortnight, Roblox) in this industry has really led the charge. “45% of marketers don’t have a preference for where they will build their metaverse projects” (MarketingTech, 2022).
And despite this technology being the next big thing, there’s one thing the marketing community can agree on and that’s – consumers will need to be educated. More than half of consumers don’t understand the concept of the metaverse or consider themselves avid fans. But with any new technology, an appropriate amount of time is needed for this to be adopted by end users.
With inflation and living expenses continuing to rise, consumers have expressed that they may be open to different ways of shopping to reduce costs. “58% say they’d be more inclined to stay at home and purchase through the metaverse if it meant less expenditure on travel” (MarketingTech, 2022).
The metaverse offers brands and companies a new opportunity to impress and excite their customers. It gives them the ability to create customized content tailored to customers.
For someone not totally familiar with the metaverse and its capabilites and uses, I pose the following questions:
- Will the metaverse be the next big thing like marketers expect?
- How useful do you think this technology will be when it comes to connecting with customers?
- Are there any limitations?
Morgan Pastner Jaffe says
Great post. I saw such a huge shift in shopping online during the pandemic, so many companies had to adjust to the at home shopping since we were on lockdown. Sephora and Ulta offered the experience of trying on different makeups on your phone, amazon and other furniture stores allow you to place a piece of furniture virtually in your room to see if you like it. I believe this will be the future, but I do believe consumers do get the joy of leaving their home and actually physically shopping as well.
To answer your question, I think the technology will be extremely useful when connecting with customers. Shopping with the Metaverse means collecting more data about a customer’s activity, taste, demographics and so forth which means, the customer will be getting more personalized recommendations. The future will be walking through a store virtually and even going into a 3D fitting room to try on your clothes. Per Forbes, we will even be able to test drive cars from the comfort of our own homes.
Thinking from a banking standpoint since I work for Bank of America, I wonder if there will be virtual 3D meetings with your banker about getting a home loan etc. That way you don’t lose that personal touch of speaking with someone to get the information but also don’t have the hassle of making an appointment to go to a physical bank location. I am curious to see where the Metaverse takes us.
Megan Sharkey says
Hi Olivia, great post.
I recently started looking into the metaverse after Facebook changed its name to Meta. I think that despite the incredibly high investment that they have taken and the push from influencers, marketers, and businesses, the metaverse will not prove to be as successful as they plan. I think this because despite the big promises and push we are seeing to increase the metaverse’s visibility and useability, it is still not as great as it could be.
For instance, when it comes to the VR that the metaverse offers through Meta (FKA Facebook) the user experience and how it looks are not anywhere where they need to be. For such a high investment, I would expect the visuals/animations to be out of this world, but instead, they remind me and many of my peers to the Mii characters from the mid-2000s Wii.
With all this in mind, I do not think this technology will be used with customers, nor will it be used successfully.
Samara Grossel says
Great insight! This reminds me of one of the ePortfolio posts I wrote earlier this year on Heineken’s publicity stunt into the metaverse (which you can find here, https://digitalmarketing.temple.edu/sgrossel/2022/04/17/are-you-ready-for-the-metaverse/). I personally see the metaverse continuing to blow up in the future. We are shifting towards an online world, which has been seen in trends such as online shopping and even gaming. It is interesting that 58% of people would consider the metaverse if it’s cheaper than traveling for certain things in that one poll. While that was just a small portion of the population, it makes me think that the metaverse will gain more traction than we initially thought. As I wrote about in my post, Chipotle made a successful entrance into Roblox, which has over 100 million active users a month (!). Users could build their own burritos online and get actual points towards real-life orders. If companies continue to offer incentives like this, I could see the appeal for the average consumer to utilize the metaverse and earn discounts and rewards.
Krupa Bhatt says
I am still aware of all the capabilities meta has to offer to both the consutmer base and businesses. The most I know about Meta is 3D aversion. That is virtual reality in 3D. Companies like ray-ban had been using virtual realities that allowed customers to try their products from their homes. However, including human interface with their VR experiences will mean adding more electronic gadgets to our bags. For humans to join and experience the metaverse may require VR headsets, AR glasses, and haptics. Apple is in talks to be a big player in VR gear with VR manufacturing. Apple product pricing is no news, so before brands involve in meta and their VR they need to asses if their audience is ready to invest in products to experience their brands.
Iridian Gonzalez says
Great post. Got me thinking because I don’t know too much about the metaverse but one question that popped in my head was if all companies that create a metaverse would somehow be connected or are they all separate and a person can’t cross over? This question came up after I thought how many people are actually in the metaverse. There are approximately 83.7 million Americans using augmented reality every month according to increditools.com. That’s a lot of people and that’s just in the U.S. This technology is becoming super important. Eventually everyone at some point will try the metaverse. I can see why companies want to take part of this because it’s different and unique.
Henry Fountain says
I for one cannot wrap my head around the metaverse. My roommate has the oculus and while it may be fun for an hour or too, I do not see the amazement behind it? Am I wrong? Am I just an old man yelling at the younger generations weird and wild ways? It’s quite possible. But for one, I feel as if there has to be more that I am not seeing because for now, it does not seem like the hype around it is real. For one, I could see the increase in games being more fun, like the idea that you are in the game a la Tron. Or maybe one can be put in military situations, or police officers diffusing a bomb, or maybe even a surgeon practicing surgeries. Maybe I can see the hype around this metaverse if these situations can be recreated in such a realm. But for now, I believe we are stuck in the preliminary stages of this technology, where it does not seem to be fun, nor educational!
Samantha Sylvain says
Great post about the Metaverse! I know what the metaverse is, and I am familiar with because of the brand name before it was Meta, Facebook. That is truly the only reason I know about Meta. However, I have no idea what it entails. If someone were to ask me what the ‘metaverse’ is, I would of described something similar to a MySIms situation. That’s what the metaverse is to me. I would have to be one of those customers that will need to be educated on it I think there will be limitations to this technology. Like any technology, this will have to be explained to consumers in order for them to see how it can benefit them. That is a challenge for marketers. A challenge to make the metaverse seem as though it’s something consumers need to take advantage of to make their lives easier. I feel bad for us marketers in the future.
Regina Olkowski says
I’m going to have to agree with Henry on this one. I’m likely in the minority here, but I genuinely do not understand it all. My kids have an Oculus and they thought it was cool for the first day and haven’t touched it since. I was actually watching a show the other day and when asked what they do for a living, the person replied “Real Estate in the Metaverse” and I was thought, ” you whaaaaa?” Again, I’m not educated on the topic so I can’t dive too deep but, from my perspective, I put it on the same shelf as NFTs and crypto,,, overhyped and a cool buzz word.
Jason Lindner says
A few folks mentioned VR here and the hype around the metaverse reminds me generally of the VR hype of the early 1990s when everyone thought that VR was the next big thing and would change everything within 5 years. That was literally 30 years ago. VR has slowly become a larger part of our lives still feels like it is in its infancy. AR actually, seems more ubiquitous, but even that has had a relatively long time to gain widespread traction.
The possibility is that the Metaverse may not become part of our regular lives until it actually is used to solve a meaningful problem. VR had a similar issue — just being “kinda cool until it gives you a headache” is not enough of a motivation for large scale adoption of a product. While AR tech can help you see how a chair looks in your living room, VR right now is almost purely novelty — the Metaverse feels the same — without a need, I imagine it will remain a kind of fun thing that in 30 years maybe has some more interesting applications than just finding a way to meet people in a virtual space.
Kate Levy says
It’s an interesting insight about most consumers not even knowing what the metaverse really entails, despite being very aware of it. It seems like is still a really abstract concept for most people.
I was definitely among them at one point and it wasn’t until I actually tried on an Oculus headset that I could really grasp all that it entails. Interestingly enough, my partner took a class at Fox that took place in the metaverse about disruptive technologies. I think a lot more educational institutions will start using this concept to make online learning more interactive, and the same goes for workplaces.
Hilary Myers says
It feels like we’re all waiting to see if the Metaverse will actually take off… I can sort of wrap my head around it as a concept, but honestly, I can’t imagine it being useful in my life. At least, not yet. For me, the Metaverse is still more of a video game concept. I can’t really see how it’s going to be applicable to my daily routines. However, I admit it sounds like a cool idea. For an assignment during our first semester, I wrote about how it would be incredible to have access to The Louvre in the Metaverse — it would give access to millions of people who would otherwise never have the chance to go. It would also create engaging opportunities for classes and live lectures!
I think it’s going to take some consumer education but if the infrastructure is there, people will start using it!
Montrease Cottle says
I can’t say I know much about the Metaverse myself, I assume it’s a VR experience like Spielberg’s “‘Ready Player One.” But it sounds like more which is confusing to me. I agree that if the Metaverse is to be the next big thing like marketers expect, consumers will need to be educated. I think there’s a lot of mystery surrounding, just like Bitcoin, NFTs, and Cryptocurrency. I think Facebook would do well to have a nice introductory video or maybe even interactive demo for consumers who are still in the dark about what the Metaverse is and can actually offer them – like me.
As far as how useful this technology will be when it comes to connecting with customers, that’s hard to say. Especially if said customers don’t know what it is. I think educating customers needs to be priority. And since Facebook isn’t exactly known for being transparent with consumers, I’m not sure if that’ll happen anytime soon.
Kirsten Overton says
The Metaverse is such an interesting concept to me. We’re all sitting and waiting to see what is going to happen with it and if our companies need to prepare to be involved with it from the get-go. You bring up a fantastic point about educating new users on the Metaverse, specifically the older generation that uses Facebook – If they choose to convert. I’d imagine Meta will offer a super simplistic interface when signing on to the Metaverse for the first time for the introduction. Will companies have to take demos of each version of the Metaverse? Is it a subscription or a tiered system? Will it operate with the same functions as a Facebook business manager now? Or will we all need to relearn this new platform?
With this comes a completely new wave of buyer behavior, as well. Data on how consumers access goods and services through the Metaverse will be crucial to success. All in all, I’m both very excited and equally nervous to see what new experiences this innovation will bring to our industry,
Brandyn Graham says
Hey Olivia Great Read. I find the meta verse very interesting especially them trying to incorporate crypto currencies into the meta verse. I think people buying off Alexa was a huge success so I don’t think they any problems connecting with their customers. Marketing strategies would have to change of course in the meta but it is definitely an opportunity to reach out to more consumers. I don’t think they are any limitations with marketing in the meta or connecting with your customer. The opportunities are endless!
Ryan Hartman says
Great read. The Metaverse is such an interesting but confusing concept to me. I love your point about educating consumers. I feel like it offers so much that I don’t know about!