Nine out of 10 consumers say they are curious about the metaverse, and over half say they are excited by it and would use it when it becomes accessible to them, according to research published by technology services company Capgemini.
The report, ‘Total Immersion: How Immersive Experiences and the Metaverse Benefit Customer Experience and Operations’, found 77% of consumers expect immersive experiences to impact how they interact with people, brands and services, and seven out of 10 organisations say that they believe immersive experiences will be a key differentiator in their markets, particularly in relation to the customer journey.
Out of the small group of metaverse-experienced consumers, three-quarters say they are currently using it and will continue to do so, which indicates there is potential for businesses that can harness the power of this much-hyped immersive experience.
Metaverse offers broad opportunities
Capgemini Research Institute surveyed 8,000 consumers and 1,000 organisations in 12 countries to understand what potential consumers and organisations see in these immersive and metaverse experiences, whether delivered through headsets or mobile/web browsers. The report finds that while the actual decentralised “metaverse”, based on blockchain technology, is still in development, the broad opportunities it presents to drive value across the business are already in the process of realisation.
The research also found that consumers are intrigued by the prospects of immersive and metaverse experiences, and they would like to use the metaverse mainly as a place to interact with their family, friends (43%) and even their colleagues (39%).
As indicated by the interviews, organisations have already successfully implemented immersive and metaverse initiatives. However, the research also shows many organisations lack a clear strategy to scale their immersive and metaverse initiatives
Safety, privacy and inclusivity important for a sense of community
Curiosity about the metaverse is perhaps tempered by worries about the technology itself. Based on a social media scan of over 180,000 conversations, the research found that concerns around sexual harassment, personal safety, and privacy issues are top of consumers’ minds.
If the metaverse is considered to be a network of virtual worlds, safety and ethical aspects will be important to establish the sense of community that is central to its mass adoption. Whether for consumer or employee/workplace use cases, brands will need to address these concerns before they create and deploy their virtual spaces, and have a way to regulate them, while balancing privacy and security issues.
“We’re starting to see a more thoughtful and nuanced approach to designing immersive experiences, and the metaverse specifically,” comments Charlton Monsanto, Global Immersive Experiences Offer Leader at Capgemini. “This report supports the notion that early interest in the consumer-facing metaverse, propelled by investments from major players, needs to give enough thought to the real challenges around ergonomics, accessibility, safety and privacy, which organisations are now working to address.
“The potential of the metaverse is transformative and consumer curiosity remains high. Immersive experiences – including the metaverse – for internal use cases could be more impactful for organisations, certainly in the short term.”
Read the full report here.