Metaverse, which offers an immersive experience through an integrated network of 3D virtual worlds, has become a big buzzword in recent years as several prominent companies gradually reposition to accommodate the changes it can bring to different sectors, outside cryptocurrency.
Facebook’s rebranding to Meta was one such defining moment that spurred mass attention to the metaverse. Since then, renowned brands and companies are beginning to leverage the concept to connect with consumers better and also improve how they operate.
Recent research conducted by Capgemini, a consulting and technology services provider, shared more insight into the state of adoption and public sentiments on the metaverse. Some businesses and retail consumers are receptive to the potential of the metaverse and immersive experience, however, there remain some challenges that ought to be addressed to ensure mass adoption of technology.
Consumers have positive feelings for metaverse and immersive experience
Per Capgemini’s report, 58% of consumers surveyed believe that metaverse or immersive experiences, made available through mobiles, web browsers, voice assistants, sensors, and extended reality (ER) headsets, could be impactful and valuable during product/service selection and purchase. Interestingly, only 29% of the respondents are familiar with metaverse, out of the three other enhanced experiences.
The metaverse can change how people interact with products
The respondents also agree that immersive experience has the potential to improve how people will interact with products in the future. About 77% of the consumers surveyed believe that enhanced experiences will significantly change their interactions with people, brands, and services, by allowing impressive feats like virtual try-on.
This will be particularly useful during retail shopping and the purchase of high-engagement products.
The metaverse has the potential to solve some challenges in e-commerce
Consumers complained that one major factor hindering them from online shopping is the inability to interact with the product, whether small or high-engagement products like cars, household equipment, etc. However, the metaverse and immersive experience have the capacity to enable businesses to allow people to interact with products virtually before and after purchase.
About 77% of the respondents also agree that, while 69% said they will increase their online spending with an immersive experience.
How organizations see the immersive experience
About 70% of the organizations surveyed believe that the metaverse and immersive experience could become key differentiators in the market. The majority of their employees believe agreed that the technology can also improve consumer experience and shorten their buying circle.
Only a few organizations are scaling
Despite the optimism of companies with immersive experiences, only a few of them are scaling consumer-focused immersive initiatives. Yet, the majority of them are running pilot initiatives on the experience.
The majority of consumers who own AR/VR headsets would like to try applications beyond gaming
Interestingly, most (about 62%) of the consumers polled are willing to try other applications with their AR/VR headsets outside gaming. 59% of them want to explore products and services using their headsets, according to the survey report.
Immersive experiences can benefit organizations’ internal operations
Immersive tech, especially Virtual Reality (VR), has been found useful for diverse industries like automotive, aerospace, and defense over the past years. This technology has been plugged to use in improving productivity, efficiency as well as security.
For instance, Ford and Bosch have leveraged the potential of VR to create a virtual environment where
technicians are trained to maintain and fix problems related to the all-electric Mustang Mach-E. In the healthcare space, companies like SentiAR are building Augmented Reality (AR) tools to help surgeons during cardiac and other invasive interventions.
Most people are curious about the metaverse
Capgemini’s survey report shows that metaverse-experienced or tech people have the strongest level of interest in immersive tech. However, many people are curious and ready to try the technology with certain improvements.
Up to 51% of the respondents said they will the metaverse when it becomes accessible to them. Another group (31%) said they will use it once their friends and family use it, while 11% said they will use it, but not in its current state.