Gartner: A quarter of consumers will use the metaverse daily by 2026

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Diving brief:

  • As companies invest heavily in the metaverse, a Gartner Report released monday predicts that 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, school, socializing, or entertainment by 2026. The prediction was based on interactions with vendors and end users, as well as “tracking mergers and acquisitions, investments and product releases” in the space, said Marty Resnick, vice president of research. at Gartner, at Retail Dive.
  • Gartner cautioned against companies investing too much in a specific Metaverse component because adoption of Metaverse technologies is early and disconnected.
  • The company anticipates that digital currencies and non-fungible tokens will be used in the metaverse as a virtual economy. Now that virtual events have become popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gartner expects that hosting online events in the metaverse will provide “more collaborative and immersive networking opportunities and workshops.”

Overview of the dive:

While the full picture of the Metaverse remains opaque, retailers are claiming there early.

In December 2021, Forever 2021 in partnership with Roblox to enable customizable virtual stores on its gaming platform. Walmart the same month filed several trademark applications relating to virtual goods such as sporting goods, toys and furniture, as well as downloadable software for managing cryptocurrency wallets or establishing an e-wallet.

As retailers prepare to participate in the Metaverse economy, technology companies are investing millions of dollars in building the Metaverse. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has announced that it invest $50 million to create a metaverse in which users could communicate with others in a virtual environment. Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, Inc. last month to expand its gaming operations across mobile, PC, console, and cloud games, as well as build metaverse infrastructure, according to a company press release.

Although Gartner’s report predicts the metaverse won’t take shape for a few years, research suggests that consumers are somewhat aware of the upcoming digital environment that retailers and tech companies are trying to create. A Wunderman Thompson Intelligence report found that 38% of international consumers have heard of the metaverse concept.

“It’s still too early to know what investments will be viable in the long term, but product managers need to take the time to learn, explore, and prepare for a metaverse in order to position themselves competitively,” said Gartner’s Resnick in a statement.

As the coronavirus pandemic halts the return of in-person events, marketers have turned to metaverse technology to create engaging virtual events. Some anticipate that metaverse technology will also provide marketers with the ability to reach consumers while respecting privacy rules.

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