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07/29/2022

Survey: Consumers have metaverse expectations

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Consumers are spending more time in the metaverse.

The metaverse holds potential as a consumer engagement tool, but retailers must provide the experience customers want.

According to “Connecting in the Metaverse,” a new survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers from cloud contact center provider Talkdesk, 69% of respondents are looking for a quick getaway by exploring metaverse-like environments to engage with friends, family, and colleagues, and enjoy more leisurely activities. Nearly half (49%) of respondents view a fully-built, unified metaverse as a fertile landscape for growing relationships and deepening connections.

While the majority of respondents have visited a metaverse-like platform recently, men (73%) are more likely than women (62%) to visit these destinations. Not surprisingly, millennials (75%) and Gen Zers (64%) are heading to the metaverse more often than baby boomers (45%).

Once they arrive in the metaverse, surveyed women are more likely to use these platforms as a virtual showroom, browsing products digitally before returning to the physical world to make purchases (25% women vs. 18% for men).

Customer expectations

Nearly half of respondents (47%) who utilize the metaverse are buying virtual items or finding inspiration for purchasing a physical product. However, slightly more than half (51%) of respondents expect customer service to be better in the metaverse.Nearly one in three respondents (32%) believe these immersive environments will provide less frustration and anxiety than calling and talking to a contact center agent.

In addition, 27% of respondents both envision the metaverse as making it easier to access product or brand information and say that it will be more effective and interactive to seek assistance from an omnichannel agent’s metaverse avatar than to engage with a chatbot online (27%).

Other notable findings include:

  • For surveyed baby boomers, virtual travel plans to the metaverse environment center primarily around socializing with friends (39%).
  • Close to one-third of respondents (32%) are drawn by the possibility of finding new and more thrilling experiences.
  • More than one-third of respondents (34%) predict the metaverse will be mainstream within the next five years.

More than half of those surveyed (56%) believe the government should regulate the metaverse and have oversight of the immersive virtual world.

“While the reality of a sophisticated, intuitive, and seamless metaverse is still on the horizon, consumers are dipping their toes into metaverse-like platforms to shop, share, play games, and taste the novelty. Some are even dating in these digital environments,” said Shannon Flanagan, VP of retail and consumer goods, Talkdesk. “For consumers, the metaverse holds promise for near-limitless, out-of-this-world experiences and connecting in new and different ways.”

[Read more: Survey: Metaverse commerce poised for growth]

In April 2022, Talkdesk surveyed 1,500 U.S. consumers between the ages of 16 and 54+ via the mobile polling app Pollfish to determine awareness and perceptions around the metaverse and uncover opportunities for brands to deliver new and better customer experiences. To obtain the full survey, click here.