This recent study published by consulting firm McKinsey sheds light on how consumers and businesses use the metaverse today, but also how they could use it in the future. The survey was conducted with over 3,400 consumers and managers in May 2022.
The Metaverse on the Road to Success
McKinsey experts expect the economic value of the metaverse to grow exponentially. The metaverse could generate up to $5 trillion by 2030. By 2022, investment in the metaverse more than doubled from 2021 to over $120 billion.
The main factors that explain the success of the metaverse:
- Its appeal extends to men and women, different geographies and generations,
- Consumers are ready to spend on digital assets (and already do so with eg NFTs),
- Consumers are open to adopting new technologies,
- Companies are investing heavily, and brands experimenting with metaverse are reporting positive consumer feedback.
The most profitable sectors in the metaverse in 2030
According to McKinsey’s forecasts, here are the sectors that should dominate the metaverse market in 2030:
- E-commerce: between 2,000 and 2,600 billion dollars*
- Education: between 180 and 270 billion dollars
- The ad: between 144 and 206 billion dollars
- The game: between 108 and 125 billion dollars
* The estimated impact on the metaverse market in 2030
On the business side, the graph above distinguishes the areas of activity that will make the most use of the metaverse: banking, discrete manufacturing, process-type industries, telecommunications, media, retail, and professional services in general.
According to McKinsey, “Metaverse emerges as the biggest growth opportunity for several industries over the next decade, given the breadth of potential applications and uses and the degree of investment from major technology companies, venture capitalists, companies and brands. Industries are already implementing metaverse-related initiatives, although the majority of efforts to date have been focused on marketing.”
Top 5 most anticipated activities by consumers
The 5 activities for which the surveyed consumers are most “enthusiastic” or “very enthusiastic” are the following:
- Connecting to others (the social side)
- Live events (concerts, festivals, sports, etc.)
- Gaming (games in the metaverse)
- Shopping (testing virtual stores and buying products)
- Travel (being able to be immersed in places far from home)
The 5 most common use cases of the metaverse in companies:
- Marketing campaign or initiatives
- Training and development of employees
- Encounters in the Metaverse
- Events or conferences
- Product design or digital twinning
How do consumers perceive the metaverse?
A number to remember: 59% of consumers prefer to do at least one activity in the virtual world rather than in the physical world (compared to 41% who prefer to do all activities in real life).
Here are the activities in the metaverse that will be of particular interest to consumers:
- Connecting with people: 44%
- Explore digital worlds: 26%
- Meet and collaborate with external colleagues: 10%
- Buy and trade NFTs: 5%
- Buy and make money on real estate: 4%
- Create games and other VR experiences: 4%
- Customize avatars: 4%
- Buy real and virtual products: 2%
- Attend concerts, fairs and learning events: 1%
Download the full McKinsey study