As consumers and businesses alike become more interested in the metaverse as a creator economy and tool to enhance day-to-day tasks, new research from Accenture, released at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, predicts that the immersive network is expected to fuel a $1 trillion commerce opportunity by the end of 2025.
According to the research, more than half (55 percent) of the roughly 9,000 consumers surveyed see the metaverse as a business opportunity for creating and monetizing content. Most C-suite executives (89 percent) also believe the metaverse will have an important role in their organization’s future growth, according to a parallel survey of 3,200 C-suite executives. The findings estimate 4.2 percent of company revenues, or a total of $1 trillion, could come from metaverse experiences and commerce by the end of 2025.
The findings indicate 55 percent of consumers want to be active users of the metaverse and nearly all of them (90 percent) want to do so in the next year. The top features consumers want are easy-to-use interfaces (cited by 70 percent) and access to a wide variety of applications (68 percent), which outperformed more “form” features, such as flashy headsets (55 percent) and the ability to personalize avatars (55 percent).
While gaming is appealing for 59 percent of metaverse users, only 4 percent of consumers see the metaverse as just a gaming platform. In fact, 70 percent say they intend to use the metaverse to access products and services across media and entertainment, fitness, retail, travel and healthcare. These preferences vary by age, with younger consumers more interested in media and fitness and those older in accessing health services in new ways. Still, what all have in common is a desire to enhance the things they already do every day, such as the experience of working-out at home (cited by 60 percent) or improving interactions with health professionals (55 percent).
“The metaverse as a continuum of technologies and human-centric experiences will usher in the next era of our digital lives and transform all aspects of business,” said David Treat, senior managing director and co-lead of Accenture’s Metaverse Continuum business group, in a news release. “Underpinning it all are opportunities for new products and services, digital assets, business models and the technical capacity for conveying a sense of presence and expression.”
“Consumers are starting to see the metaverse as an essential tool which, when integrated into their lives, can streamline how they complete tasks and increase productivity,” said Kevan Yalowitz, Accenture’s Software & Platforms industry practice lead, in the release. “Businesses able to deliver tangible experiences that address consumer needs in key areas of interest will gain early-mover advantage in a rapidly forming metaverse industry.”
To fully capture the opportunity, businesses should be strategic about business model changes being enabled by the metaverse while engaging with all stakeholders to inform the experiences they create:
Be creative and keep it simple
Businesses should only develop metaverse experiences that are within their users’ mental models. Creativity is still key, but this means going back to the basics and building upwards. With this mindset, businesses can focus on the right metaverse strategies and operating models.
Start small and focused
Businesses should approach the metaverse with a rigorous, customer-focused mindset that artfully services their needs. They should also focus on understanding how to apply the metaverse to different parts of the business.
Engage with early building blocks
Metaverse and Web3 ecosystems are rapidly developing and launching new opportunities for value generation. This continues to open new doors for businesses—as long as they target the right areas quickly but thoughtfully.
Accenture’s findings are the result of two research projects. The first report, based on a survey of 9,156 consumers, explores widespread attitudes, preferences and use cases in the metaverse. The second report combines recommendations, market analysis and a parallel survey of 3,200 C-suite executives. Read more about Accenture’s two metaverse reports: Evolution, Then Revolution and From the Art of the Possible, to the Art of the Tangible.