When it comes to the future of social commerce, the metaverse is hard to avoid. After all, there could be a sales channel here in which the perceived presence of users greatly expands the social component. But there is still a long way to go, as a new YouGov study, which GFM Nachrichten assessed in association with the E-Commerce Berlin Expo, shows.
According to the survey, only one in three German respondents is familiar with the term metaverse, while in the US and the UK, it is more than half. The most familiar with the subject in Germany are people aged 25 to 34 years (53 percent), followed by 35 to 44 years (45 percent) and 18 to 24 years (44 percent). However, even those who are familiar with the concept are unable to explain it convincingly to others – in this country, only a third consider themselves capable of explaining the phenomenon.
A new paradise for culture?
Hardly surprising, given that consumers themselves are unsure of the direction the metaverse will take. 16 percent believe in a virtual reality experience, while 11 percent believe in something similar to a video game, like the resident evil games or other role-playing games. Similarly, there is speculation about a live virtual event, a virtual conference room, or a social media platform.
Here, too, the experience is partly lacking. Although one in five people think the Metaverse could be interesting for them, only five percent have visited it themselves. Culture plays an important role in possible application scenarios. Many respondents assume that in the future, they will be able to watch concerts and films in the Metaverse (29 and 28 percent), visit museums/art galleries and festivals (25 and 24 percent), and discover music (23 percent). Only in sixth place is the option of dating there (22 percent).
Huge fear of fraud
Before shopping also comes to us, fears must first be allayed. So far, only four percent have no problems paying for goods and services in the metaverse. The remainder fears a high risk of fraud (39 percent), hackers (37 percent), identity theft (30 percent), losing money (27 percent), lack of access without an internet connection (25 percent), lack of personal contacts in case of problems (23 percent) and/or find the terms and conditions insufficient (20 percent).
Interestingly, German consumers consider the lack of their own cryptocurrency (26 percent) as the biggest main limitation to using Metaverse. This is only followed by more technical challenges, such as a lack of devices for access (22 percent), an insufficiently powerful computer (15 percent), or too slow broadband speeds (13 percent). Notorious motion sickness when using virtual reality stops eleven percent from visiting the Metaverse – according to them, it makes them feel bad.
So there is still plenty of room for discussion, as the E-Commerce Berlin Expo (23 February 2023) will also show. The Metaverse will be the subject of three panels in which Metaverse pioneer Meta and numerous creators and experts will present their own points of view.