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01/25/2022

Survey: How much do consumers like NFTs?

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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How popular are NFTs with consumers?

A new survey may give retailers entering the red-hot non-fungible token (NFT) space pause.

The new “Revealing the Metaverse Report” from digital commerce solution provider Scalefast measures U.S. consumers’ sentiment towards and acceptance of increasingly popular retail entities like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual goods.

NFTs are unique digital assets stored on a blockchain ledger which certifies the owner. There is no way for an NFT to have more than one owner, and only the certified owner can sell it. An increasing number of retailers have been active in the NFT space, including a recent NFT collection launch from Gap, and even Walmart is said to have interest.

However, survey findings show that nearly half of surveyed consumers (44%) say they have no clue what an NFT is, and more than one-third (36%) say the same for virtual goods. One in 10 respondents say they know what NFTs are and want to learn more, and nearly that same amount (9%) says the same as it relates to virtual goods.

Education matters

Of consumers who could be convinced to purchase an NFT, factors which could convince them to do so include:

  • If they better understood how they worked – 46%.
  • If it was going to appreciate or be a sound investment – 42%.
  • If it came from a brand they trusted – 31%.
  • If it came with a physical good (i.e., merchandise/swag, printed artworks, etc.) – 25%.
  • If the process to purchase it was easy – 24%.

Of consumers who could be convinced to purchase a virtual good, the factors most likely to convince them to do so include:

  • If it came from a brand they trusted – 35%.
  • If it came with a physical good (i.e., merchandise/swag, printed artworks, etc.) – 30%.
  • If it came with special features or skills used in its virtual world – 30%.
  • If the process to purchase it was easy – 27%.
  • If it was rare or a limited edition – 24%.

Who is buying NFTs?

The data also provides insight into who is currently purchasing NFTs and virtual goods, as well as who may gain purchasing power in this space. According to the survey, roughly half of NFT purchasers make $80,000 or more per year (49%), followed by under $40,000 per year (23%) and $40,000 to $79,000 (20%). The more educated this individual is, the less likely they are to have already purchased an NFT. A similar pattern was found in virtual goods.

Demographically, those who have purchased an NFT or virtual good in the past year are typically male, between the ages of 18-34, and identify as a race other than white.

Where they differ, however, is the product categories from which they wish to make a purchase. NFT consumers are more likely to purchase music or film-related NFTs (22%) than any other category, including artwork or photography (17%), sports memorabilia/collectibles (14%), luxury fashion goods (12%), memes (11%) and early NFT collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunks, Loot, etc. (9%).

And, while gaming remains a major focus for virtual goods in the form of purchases for avatars (12%) and privileges or a unique skill set for an avatar (13%), the data shows virtual goods are moving beyond gaming and into new realms with consumers being more likely to purchase event tickets to virtual performances or competitions (14%) than any other category, including gift for other users (13%), digital fashion (12%) and non-crypto virtual currency (11%).

“The market for NFTs and virtual goods is largely untapped as the most active participants so far have been young and highly in tune with overseas tech trends,” said Dan Wallace-Brewster, SVP of Marketing at Scalefast. “As older-skewing media platforms invest in these products, they will bring awareness and demand from a much broader segment of U.S. consumers and brands should take steps now to avoid being left behind.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,257 adults.