Consumer Interest in ‘Virtual Living’ Is Growing, Accenture Survey Shows
Successful consumer-facing businesses are using immersive technologies to create increasingly realistic digital environments and create greater connection to the physical world
The growing use of immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality will prompt consumer-facing businesses such as those in retail, consumer goods and travel to increase their investment in new capabilities and experiences. to blend the physical and virtual worlds, or risk being left behind, according to the findings of a recent global survey by Accenture (ACN:NYSE).
The survey of more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries, including India, found that while nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers had ever purchased a virtual good or taken part in a virtual experience or service over the past year, that number is expected to grow, as 83% show interest in making purchases through the metaverse. Additionally, 42% of respondents said they visited a retailer in the virtual world for advice, to make a payment, or to browse a range of products when purchasing a physical item, while 56% of respondents plan to do so next year. Among millennials, these numbers increase to 51% and 61% respectively.
According to Accenture Technology Vision 2022, “Meet Me in the Metaverse: The Continuum of Technology and Experience Reshaping Businessmore than half (55%) of consumers agree that more of their lives and livelihoods are moving to digital spaces. In response, the vast majority (90%) of retail executives say they foresee large organizations pushing the boundaries of the virtual world to make it more real, increasing the need for persistence and seamless navigation between the digital and physical worlds. Additionally, 72% of global leaders say the Metaverse will have a positive impact on their organizations, with 45% believing it will be game-changing or transformational.
“As consumers explore the virtual world, companies that do not actively begin to integrate new immersive experiences into their business strategy run the risk of being left behind. By embracing the metaverse, companies have the opportunity to reinvent consumer experiences and also to transform the way products and services are created and offered,” mentioned Anurag Gupta, Managing Director and Head – Strategy and Consulting, Accenture India.
The survey also found that half (50%) of consumers said they were buying, or would be interested in buying, a travel experience such as a sightseeing tour or hotel stay. This figure rises to 55% of millennials, compared to 29% of baby boomers. For entertainment, 54% of consumers say they buy or are interested in buying tickets for a concert, show or sporting event taking place in a virtual world.
Manish Gupta, Managing Director and Head of Products, Accenture India mentioned, “As an evolving continuum, Metaverse is expected to transform and impact every part of the enterprise value chain, from reimagining consumer engagement to solving R&D issues and enabling enterprise-wide data analysis to leadership decisions. Consumer-facing businesses need to focus on skills and invest in a strong technology base to benefit from the new opportunities that will arise in the future.
In addition to giving rise to new ways to shop, travel and socialize, virtual products and locations highlight a potential opportunity to increase revenue across all industries.
Accenture recently announced the launch of the Accenture Metaverse Continuum Business Groupwhich combines metaverse-skilled professionals with industry-leading capabilities in customer experience, digital commerce, extended reality, blockchain, digital twins, artificial intelligence, and computer vision to help customers design, run and accelerate their metaverse journeys.
Accenture’s Consumer Pulse Survey offers insights into consumer outlook, sentiment and behaviors two years into the pandemic (March 2020). This year’s survey covers all consumer industries, but focuses on consumer goods, retail and travel. Accenture surveyed a representative sample of 11,311 consumers from 16 countries: Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam. The survey was conducted online and targeted consumers who made household purchases in the past six months. Respondents were evenly split between genders and age groups. This survey was conducted between February 7 and 15, 2022.
For Accenture Technology Vision 2022, Accenture Research conducted a global survey of 24,000 consumers to gather insights into their use, interactions and beliefs about technology in their daily lives. Additionally, Accenture surveyed 4,650 C-level executives and managers across 23 industries to understand their perspectives and use of emerging technologies in their organizations. The surveys were conducted from December 2021 to January 2022 in 35 countries.
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