According to a new survey by McKinsey, majority of Americans are already aware of and engage in the metaverse. Most respondents (55%) said they had heard of at least one metaverse platform and almost 30% had played a game in the metaverse.
This awareness and engagement span all generations. Millennials showed the greatest awareness of the metaverse, but all ages reported planning to incorporate it into their daily lives. Gen Z and Millennials say that they expect to spend almost five hours each day in the metaverse within the next five years, and older generations reported similar sentiments—with Gen X expecting to spend almost four hours and Baby Boomers expecting to spend almost two hours each day in the metaverse. This trend is primarily driven by convenience, connection and entertainment.
Consumers point to identity as another strong driver of their use of the metaverse. Younger users describe their involvement in the metaverse as reinforcing their own sense of self-identification and individuality. About half of Gen Z and Millennial survey participants said their virtual identity is simply an extension of their physical identity, and believe their online friendships can be as strong as their real-life relationships.
With this feeling of ease online, Millennials are the biggest spenders in the metaverse, purchasing digital assets like in-game purchases and virtual real estate. For brands, this means an opportunity to meet customers in a new way. In fact, two-thirds of those surveyed said “they would be excited to engage in a digital experience with their favorite brands.” During these metaverse adventures, more than half of people who attend virtual lifestyle and luxury events say it gave them a positive shift in their brand perception.
McKinsey states that “the metaverse is the future, not a fad.” As the metaverse rapidly expands and becomes a place where all generations like to linger and, ultimately, spend money, brands should be taking steps now to outline the metaverse strategies their company will use to engage customers in new ways to purchase and play online.