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Research Report

Consumer behavior in the metaverse


In brief

  • Consumers are already using the metaverse in their lives and many want more of it.
  • Focusing on consumer needs, not what the tech can do, will drive mass adoption.
  • 70+% of consumers intend to use the metaverse in non-gaming environments the next 2-5 years.

Why businesses are missing what consumers want today

There’s huge industry buzz and excitement around the metaverse. The evidence? More than 100,000 articles published in the last year alone. However, too many businesses are talking about the metaverse in terms of what the technologies can do, not what end users want. Only 15% of all those articles actually touch on consumer needs.

Accenture wanted to change that, and really listen to what consumers want. So we surveyed approximately 9,000 people and found that more than half of them (55%) want to become active users of the metaverse. And 90% of those consumers want to engage within the next year. Of course, gaming is still a big draw for many people (59% of consumers look forward to playing games in the metaverse), but only 4% of consumers see the metaverse as only that.

Instead, they see it as an essential tool that, when integrated into their daily lives, can streamline how they complete tasks and increase their productivity. As one US consumer expressed it, “I wish that the metaverse could solve how we do our day-to-day tasks, like paying bills, learning how to cook meals or accessing mental-health professionals.”

We’re at a point where consumers know what they want, so businesses must make sure they’re listening to – and building things for – consumers. While promoting the art of the possible may be great at generating buzz and excitement, those who bring the art of the tangible to life will capture both consumer mindshare and, crucially, market share.

Ready, consumer one

Consumers are very much prioritizing function over form. Easy-to-use interfaces (70%) and a wide variety of applications (69%) are among the top metaverse features they care about, 15 percentage points ahead of flashy headsets (55%) and the ability to personalize avatars (55%). Consumers want access to a broad set of simple but effective solutions that help them with the everyday, rather than looking for futuristic tech and features that, while cool, aren’t that useful.

Beyond gaming, consumer demand for metaverse solutions is already taking shape in five areas: media, fitness, retail, health and travel.

Top industry areas consumers want to engage with in the metaverse

Top industry areas consumers want to engage with in the metaverse
Top industry areas consumers want to engage with in the metaverse

Source : Accenture Proprietary Research, Metaverse Consumer Study 2022

What’s more, consumers not only know where they want to use the metaverse, they also know what they want to get out of it…and those wishes are practical: connect with friends and family, save time, access consumer services, and complete everyday tasks.

  • "Connecting with my friends and family who I live far away from"
  • "Accessing services, like virtual shopping in the supermarket or going to the doctor so I don't have to leave the house"
  • "I look forward to the amount of time I will save in the VR world vs. the real world."
  • "I wish it would help me complete everyday tasks that I don't want to do."

Businesses that are able to deliver at the intersection of “where” and “what”, with solutions that address consumers’ expressed needs, will gain early-mover advantage in a rapidly-forming metaverse industry. So what does that look like? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Delivering the future, today: working out in the metaverse

Looking specifically at fitness, the second most popular metaverse area after media, our study showed that the majority (~60%) of consumers want a solution that improves their home workouts. When asked to list their top features for a solution like this, consumers said they want: personalized workouts (48%); intuitive and engaging instruction (39%); the ability to easily track and monitor progress (27%) and connect to their other fitness devices and equipment (26%). Finally, we wanted to understand the primary drivers for adopting a metaverse fitness solution. The top-three were: data/privacy protection (77%); affordability (77%) and ease of use (75%).

Notice how none of these touched on the technology? That’s because consumers don’t think in terms of tech. They care about outcomes and experiences. It’s up to businesses to bring the technology together to deliver what consumers want.

Art of the tangible
Art of the tangible

The metaverse. It’s personal…

While being consumer-led is critical, it’s important to keep in mind that not all consumer segments are the same. As an example, when looking by age bands across the five areas where consumer metaverse demand is growing, we see that younger consumers (<55 years old) are more interested in fitness and media (ranked #1 and #2 respectively) while older consumers (>55 years old) are more interested in medical and travel.

Metaverse use case rank by age segment

Metaverse use case rank by age segment
Metaverse use case rank by age segment

Source: Accenture Proprietary Research, Metaverse Consumer Study 2022

Taking this one step further, consumers’ level of interest in specific areas directly translates to their willingness to adopt and use metaverse solutions for those purposes.

% to adopt metaverse use case in the next year by age

% to adopt metaverse use case in the next year by age
% to adopt metaverse use case in the next year by age

That’s why businesses need to be tactical about engaging with the right consumers to inform what they need to build.

Three no-regret moves to engage consumers

Here are the three no-regret moves that business need to take to truly engage consumers:

  1. Be consumer obsessed: Engage consumers from the start. Consumer insights need to be integral at each stage of the product lifecycle: from ideation through to design and development. To do this, companies need to stand up “voice of the consumer” (VoC) initiatives early and make sure that what they learn from these initiatives is given the same weight as engineering and technology requirements when it comes to steering the direction of the product.

  2. Understand that this is a journey of continuous learning: Businesses need to recognize that they are at the beginning of their metaverse journey with consumers. They will be defining and shaping the future of the metaverse landscape together. Businesses need to make VoC functions an integral part of their organizations and make sure these persist long into the future to encapsulate the long-term vision of where the metaverse is headed.

  3. Build for now, plan for the future: While consumers are focused on what the metaverse can do for them today, businesses need to look towards the future of the industry’s development as a cohesive unit. Dedicating a team to define a future of metaverse “north star” and to align organizations across the business will lay a foundation for future innovation as the industry continues to evolve.

Running through all of this is the need to start thinking about the metaverse as something that will become as ubiquitous in consumers’ day-to-day lives as the internet and mobile devices are today.

About the research

Accenture conducted an online survey of 9,156 consumers aged 18+ across six countries (Brazil, India, Japan, China, United Kingdom, United States) to understand widespread attitudes toward the metaverse – familiarity and usage, preferences and priorities, and perspective on specific use cases. The survey was designed to be nationally representative within each of the six countries. To achieve this, all survey starts were balanced by age and gender, although the final completes for these demographics may vary slightly (both for the global sample, and by country). Fieldwork was conducted entirely in October 2022.


Kevan Yalowitz

Managing Director – Software & Platforms, Global Lead

Dwight Lee

Managing Director – Strategy, Internet, Software & Platforms

Kevin Collins

Managing Director – Software & Platforms, Innovation & Offerings, Global

Stephanie Gorski

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Software & Platforms

Paul Johnson

Senior Principal – Accenture Research

Brennan Torres

Consultant – Accenture Strategy, Software & Platforms