Is the metaverse opportunity getting any clearer? – RetailWire

Jun 24, 2022

Annual global spending related to the metaverse could reach $5 trillion by 2030, according to McKinsey. Of that, the ecommerce impact is expected to be between $2 trillion and $2.6 trillion.

Eric Hazan, senior partner at McKinsey, said in a blog entry, “Consumers are open to adopting new technologies; companies are investing heavily in the development of metaverse infrastructure; and brands experimenting in the metaverse are getting positive feedback from consumers.”

the report included surveys of more than 3,400 consumers and 450 senior leaders globally.

Among consumers, 59 percent prefer at least one activity in using today’s early version of the metaverse versus the physical alternative. Among the 59 percent, they’re most excited about connecting with people virtually, 44 percent; followed by exploring digital worlds, 28 percent. Scoring much lower were many hyped parts of the metaverse, including purchasing and trading NFTs, customizing avatars, and purchasing real and virtual products.

About 79 percent of consumers active within the metaverse have made a purchase, mainly to enhance their online experience.

Among the executives surveyed, 95 percent believe the metaverse will have a positive impact on their industry, with about a third thinking it can bring significant change.

McKinsey predicts the metaverse will encompass five types of daily activities: gaming, socializing, fitness, commerce and remote learning.

Commerce examples cited included Sotheby’s proprietary marketplace for curated NFT art, virtual-only fashion company Fabricant and immersive retail experiences being explored by start-ups like Obsess and AnamXR. McKinsey writes, “A primary question is whether the metaverse can be a channel for selling real products at scale, and emerging technology enabling thousands of people to simultaneously interact may help.”

mr. Hazan cited similarities to the transition to Web 2.0 in 2004 that was sparked by social networks and user-generated content. He said, “Back then, people were busy imagining utopian visions of consumer control and the democratization of the internet. There’s a lot of excitement about the potential this technology holds, but the computing power isn’t there yet to make the metaverse of people’s imaginations feasible. That said, billions of dollars are flowing into every corner of metaverse infrastructure to help get it there.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How should retailers go about determining their approach to the metaverse? When do you think the hype versus the commercial reality of the metaverse will become clear?

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“How should retailers go about determining their approach to the metaverse?”

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