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New Data: How the Metaverse and NFTs Help Boost Customer Engagement

While the metaverse may be a foreign word to some, others see the vast upside that holds an estimated market value of more than $1 trillion in yearly revenue.  

We recently conducted a survey to gauge consumer interest in metaverse activations and, according to our findings, consumers would be most interested in:  

  • Virtual concerts (38%) 
  • Shopping at virtual stores (31%) 
  • Playing virtual games (31%) 
  • And 45% said they could be motivated to visit a brand store in the metaverse for a discount of some nature.  

There is interest in the metaverse, but what are some of the barriers?  

The metaverse is expensive. For example, to enter the metaverse consumers must purchase virtual reality (VR) headsets, which range from $300 to $1,400, depending on the model. There are also data privacy concerns for consumers shopping digitally and the role of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).  

Here’s how our quick poll data points will shed light on consumer interest and brand opportunities connected to the metaverse. 

1. Most Consumers Have a Great Understanding of the Metaverse. 

The metaverse is a set of interconnected virtual reality (VR) worlds where people can interact with others, explore, and create. The metaverse is sometimes, but not always, facilitated by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) headsets.   

Consumers cited six different things they’d like to do in the metaverse, which bodes well for brands looking to leverage this interest from a loyalty perspective.  

When asked what types of activities are most interesting inside the metaverse, consumers ranked them in the following order:  

  • Play virtual games (43%) 
  • Hang out with friends (38%) 
  • Attend a virtual concert (36%) 
  • Shop at a virtual storefront (30%) 
  • Attend a virtual learning session (27%)
  • None of the above – I wouldn’t be interested doing any activities inside the metaverse (20%) 
  • Attend a virtual sporting event (15%) 

According to our 2022 Premium Loyalty Data Study, more than half (56%) of consumers correctly identified the metaverse as a set of virtual reality worlds. From a name/definition perspective of the metaverse, most consumers know what it is. 

That’s a great place to start for brands that want to build deeper customer relationships. 


2. Sixty-four Percent of Consumers Would Join the Metaverse to Receive Brand Discounts. 

When asked to what extent they agree with the following statement, “I would join the metaverse to receive discounts from a brand I love,” consumers ranked their responses in the following order:

  • Somewhat agree (45%) 
  • Strongly agree (19%) 
  • Somewhat disagree (19%) 
  • Strongly disagree (17%) 

Our study also shows that, after being presented with the correct definition of the metaverse, a majority (64%) of consumers indicated an interest in engaging with a brand in the metaverse to unlock an exclusive offer from the brand.  

And more than a quarter of respondents (27%) said they’re “very interested.” Given this interest, along with several metaverse activities cited by consumers in our quick poll, brands have definite customer loyalty/engagement opportunities. 


3. Focus On Privacy Concerns and Explaining the Metaverse to Consumers. 

When asked what concerns hold them back from participating in events in the metaverse, consumers ranked them in the following order:  

  • I don’t know how brands would use my data (privacy concerns) (46%) 
  • I don’t fully understand the metaverse (40%) 
  • I worry that I might get hacked in the metaverse (39%) 
  • I don’t see the value of participating in the metaverse (37%) 
  • I don’t want to purchase a VR headset (33%) 
  • I’m not currently using any platforms that support the metaverse (28%) 
  • I have no concerns about the metaverse that would keep me from participating (8%)

The top two concerns consumers cited focus on data privacy and not fully understanding the metaverse.   

It can be challenging to collect various types of personal data, but if you offer your consumers something of value in exchange for more personal data, you’ll build trust and stronger two-way relationships. And it’s important to educate consumers about the metaverse and how it works so they better understand various opportunities.  

Find out what your customers desire and leverage attractive promotions such as filling out fun personality profiles or offering chance-to-win sweepstakes. And in exchange for giving more personal data, consumers can earn more loyalty points or something else of value.   


4. Email and Name Top the List of Personal Data Consumers Would Share For An Exclusive Experience in the Metaverse. 

When asked which pieces of personal data they’d be willing to share with a brand in exchange for an exclusive experience with a brand in the metaverse, consumers ranked them in the following order:  

  • Email (50%) 
  • Name (43%) 
  • Gender (39%) 
  • Race-ethnicity (27%) 
  • I’m not willing to share any personal information with a brand in exchange for engaging with them in the metaverse (26%) 
  • Birthday (26%) 
  • Marital status (21%) 
  • Phone number (19%) 
  • Social media handles (15%) 
  • Income levels (9%) 
  • Home address (7%) 
  • Browser history (5%)   

Consumers have heightened expectations since the pandemic started more than two years ago, so educating them about how something like how the metaverse works will entice more to engage with it.  

The better consumers understand the metaverse and what things your brand can offer within it, the more engagement you’ll see. 


5. Friends and Family Members Have Major Impact on Consumer Participation in the Metaverse. 

When asked which factors would most likely convince them to participate in the metaverse, consumers ranked them in the following order:  

  • My friends or family members start participating in the metaverse (51%) 
  • My favorite brand offers discounts for participating in events in the metaverse (19%) 
  • A social media platform I already use starts offering experiences in the metaverse (17%) 
  • My favorite brand offers early access to new products for participating in events in the metaverse (8%) 
  • My favorite brand hosts exclusive events in the metaverse (6%) 

Friends and family members have a huge impact on consumers’ opinions about brands. More than half (51%) of consumers indicated they’d be influenced if their family members or friends participated in the metaverse.  

According to our 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study: What Are the True Drivers of Loyalty in the Minds of Consumers?, 76% of consumers say opinions of family and friends impact their loyalty to brands.  

In fact, family and friends have more influence over brand recommendations than paid endorsements (44%). Consumers value the opinions of family and friends for brand decisions more than anything else, including price.  

If friends and family members participate in the metaverse, brands will be positively impacted. 


6. The Majority of Consumers Polled Would Spend Up to $450 on a VR Headset. 

When asked how much they’d be willing to spend on a virtual reality (VR) headset to enhance their metaverse experiences, consumers ranked their responses in the following order:  

  • $1-$150 (35%) 
  • I wouldn’t spend money on a VR headset to enhance my metaverse experience (34%) 
  • $151-$300 (20%) 
  • $301-$450 (7%) 
  • $451-$600 (3%) 
  • More than $600 (1%) 

More than half (55%) of consumers would spend up to $450 on a VR headset.  

The more consumers are informed and become aware of how the metaverse works, the cost of a VR headset will become less of a concern as their desire to participate in it increases. 


7. Nearly One-third of Consumers Believe NFTs Are Good Long-term Investments. 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital assets that show ownership of a digital or physical item.   

When asked which statements most accurately represent their views on NFTs, consumers ranked them in the following order:  

  • They’re just a fad and probably won’t be valuable in a few years (38%) 
  • I don’t know enough about NFTs to have an opinion (35%) 
  • NFTs are fun collectibles and good long-term investments (31%) 
  • They haven’t been around long enough to know if they will have long-term value (29%) 
  • They are a fun collectible — it doesn’t matter if their value fluctuates (17%) 
  • They are a good long-term investment (14%) 

Nearly one-third (31%) of consumers believe NFTs are fun collectibles and good long-term investments. This tells brands there is interest in NFTs and opportunities to elevate that statistic if they educate their customers.  

When a company offers a digital reward such as an NFT, it gives scalable access to all loyalty program members and is a great way to engage customers and deliver immediate value. 


8. More Than One-third of Consumers Believe NFTs Should Show Ownership of a Physical Object. 

When asked to fill in the blank at the end of this sentence, “I would be most interested in an NFT that shows ownership of…,” consumers ranked their responses in the following order:  

  • A physical object (e.g., a limited-edition sports jersey) (38%) 
  • A piece of original digital artwork (18%) 
  • A video game asset (17%) 
  • A ticket for an exclusive event in the metaverse (16%) 
  • A digital souvenir or collectible (e.g., a digital trading card) (11%) 

Based on the responses, consumers have various ideas about what they’d want NFTs to represent. It shows there is a positive connection between consumers and their expectations for NFTs.  


9. Product Discounts a Big Incentive for Consumers to Purchase NFTs. 

When asked which types of rewards would make them consider purchasing an NFT from any of their favorite brands, consumers ranked their responses in the following order:  

  • Product discounts (38%) 
  • Free samples with purchases (23%) 
  • Exclusive access to member events (13%) 
  • Early access to new products (11%) 
  • Expedited shipping (8%) 
  • Buy now, pay later options (7%) 

Product discounts (38%) are consumers’ top incentive to consider purchasing an NFT from their favorite brands. Consumers also cited product discounts among their top two loyalty program perks in our Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day quick polls earlier this year.  


10. Almost Half of Consumers Would Like to Receive an NFT as a Gift. 

When asked to what extent they agree with the following statement, “I would like to receive an NFT as a gift,” consumers ranked their responses in the following order:  

  • Somewhat agree (33%) 
  • Strongly disagree (31%) 
  • Somewhat disagree (20%) 
  • Strongly agree (16%) 

Nearly 50% of consumers say they somewhat or strongly agree with the statement, “I would like to receive an NFT as a gift.” This shows there is already a significant portion of the population familiar with the metaverse, NFTs, and what consumers would like brands to offer them. 


The Metaverse and NFTs Will Increase Customer Engagement  

Our quick poll statistics reveal that the metaverse is a place brands can leverage to engage and increase customer engagement. Many consumers are willing to participate, especially if their data privacy concerns are addressed by brands.  

Brands should educate their customers about the metaverse and understand the best ways to engage them in this new virtual reality world.  

While public discussion about the metaverse and its countless possibilities continues, companies like Walmart, Starbucks, and Macy’s are investing in NFTs. Research to see if virtual worlds could factor into your future goals.  

If you want to chat about the metaverse, NFTs, or anything from an end-to-end loyalty program to simple promotions, please reach out to us here at any time.  

Survey Methodology: Clarus Commerce surveyed 1,397 U.S. consumers 18 and older earlier this year. 


ebbo helps brands achieve their customer loyalty goals with full-service, end-to-end solutions and also creates original educational content straight from the experts to help loyalty marketers stay on the cutting edge of customer engagement.

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