World over, the retail sector has seen a significant shift with shoppers adopting online shopping as opposed to traditional brick-and-mortar experiences, and another trend—metaverse shopping—is emerging.
Metaverse shopping, as a new trend in the retail sector, is gaining traction, and the UK is fast embracing the concept, according to a recent study.
A recent study in the UK has revealed a growing interest in metaverse shopping as the market warms up to emerging digital concepts, which are expected to continue shaping various sectors of economies.
Both consumers and businesses, especially tech firms like Microsoft, Nvidia, Roblox, Epic Games, Apple, and Meta, have embraced the concept that it has transformative power over how people interact, learn, shop, and work in the comfort of their homes.
In the UK, NFTs and the metaverse itself are of huge interest to the market, according to the study.
According to an article by Apparel Resources, the study focused on 10,500 shoppers from the ages of 18 and above. They were drawn from across 19 global markets. The study revealed that 82% of the respondents in the UK appreciated the metaverse.
A third of them have a deep understanding of its meaning. The study revealed that 43% of Brits are captivated by the virtual universe, with shopping being the most common concept.
At least 40% of the respondents showed an interest in watching television in the metaverse.
A place of learning
While shopping has greater appeal in the UK, respondents also showed interest in the metaverse as a catalyst for learning, accounting for 32% of respondents.
Outside the UK, adoption of education in the metaverse is also gaining traction, with universities creating metaverse campuses.
Another study has revealed that Spanish students have shown more interest in metaverse learning than their teachers, according to BBVA.
Talking about the metaverse without gaming would be incomplete. The UK study showed gaming also has significant appeal, accounting for 33% of the respondents.
According to the study, Roblox is the “go-to platform for exploring the metaverse” for people in the UK, accounting for about 54% of those who engage in the digital realm.
Roblox recently announced its Partner Program, which seeks to harness the potential of virtual spaces.
Virtual reality is undoubtedly going to continue impacting the retail sector, playing an even larger role in future retail experiences than augmented reality. This, according to Adcock Solutions, is because of its ability to give users immersion. However, there are also fears that the concept still leaves a lot to be desired in its current state. For example, it does not appeal to the senses of smell and taste, unlike the “real” world or physical shopping.
With its rising popularity, there have also been growing concerns over privacy in the metaverse.
According to a VentureBeat article, users leave behind a trail of digital fingerprints each time they engage in the metaverse, and these can “uniquely identify them.”
This, as the article suggests, poses serious privacy risks because it potentially eliminates anonymity in the metaverse.
As for the UK study, it showed that 27% of Brits are curious about the metaverse, while 32% are concerned about privacy issues.