Consumer interest in ‘virtual life’ is growing, according to a survey by Accenture

Successful consumer-facing businesses use immersive technologies to build increasingly realistic digital environments and create a greater connection to the physical world

New York, April 27, 2022– (work wireThe increasing use of immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality will motivate consumer-facing businesses, such as those in retail, consumer goods and travel, to invest more in new capabilities and experiences to blend physical and virtual worlds, or risk being left behind, according to the results of a recent global survey. Accenture Corporation (NYSE: ACN).

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Virtual products and websites can provide new growth opportunities for consumer-based businesses. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The survey of more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries found that while nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers have already purchased a virtual good or participated in a virtual experience or service in the past year, this number is expected to rise, showing 83 % of interest in making purchases via the metaverse. Moreover, 42% of survey respondents said they visited a retailer in the virtual world for advice, make a payment or browse a selection of products when shopping for a physical item, while 56% of respondents plan in the next year. Among millennials, these numbers increase to 51% and 61%, respectively.

According to Accenture Technology Vision 2022, “Meet Me at the Metaverse: Technology Continuity and Experience in Reshaping BusinessMore than half (55%) of consumers agree that a significant portion of their lives and livelihoods are moving to digital spaces. In response, the vast majority (90%) Retail executives They say they expect leading organizations to push the boundaries of the virtual world to make it more realistic, adding to the need for persistence and a seamless transition between the digital and physical worlds. Furthermore, 72% of global CEOs stated that the metaverse would have a positive impact on their organizations, while 45% believed it would be breakthrough or transformative.

Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Accenture’s sectoral Industry group. “Retailers and brands will need to reimagine and experience what new consulting and advisory experiences can mean to consumers. In addition to new opportunities to sell, the metaverse can also help build loyalty through experiences that go beyond simply purchasing a product. For example, retailers can Create a personalized experience by offering a live shopping event where customers can sit next to the brand ambassador, and then immediately be able to enter a virtual dressing room where they can try on something, add it to their cart, and checkout.”

The survey also found that half (50%) of consumers said they would buy, or would like to purchase, a travel experience such as a sightseeing tour or hotel stays. That number rises to 55% of millennials, compared to 29% of baby boomers. For entertainment, 54% of consumers said they buy, or are interested in purchasing, tickets to a concert, show, or sporting event that takes place in a virtual world.

Emily Weiss, Senior General Manager and Global Head of Accenture Travel The industry group said, “It is important to recognize that the metaverse is not intended to replace physical travel, but rather to provide a complementary enhancement to an overall experience that may, over time, become an essential part of the travel ecosystem. Giving the option to sit in a virtual first-class seat, or Experience the lounge or touring a resort or hotel room, it opens up opportunities to interact and truly inspire people before they travel.Through ‘try before travel’, it recreates landmarks in all its past glory or allows travelers to investigate parts of nature, which they cannot explore within the interaction of life Realistically, the metaverse can also help create a more meaningful travel experience that advances or even exceeds customer expectations.”

In addition to enabling new ways to shop, travel and socialize, virtual products and websites highlight a potential opportunity to increase revenue across industries.

Oliver Wright, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Accenture Consumer goods and services The industry group said, “In a world where digital has become as important as physical consumer-facing businesses, the challenge is to create, shape and market products, services, and experiences that can move between the physical and virtual worlds. They need to do so while coordinating a network of experts and skills and technologies to help make this happen. While commercial applications for metaverse are still in their infancy, they will rapidly evolve because consumers already expect them. Successful consumer brands will be those that collaborate with consumers and the metaverse ecosystem to create digital products and services that meet these rapidly emerging needs.”

Accenture recently announced its launch Accenture Metaverse Continuum Business Groupwhich brings together meta-skilled professionals with market-leading capabilities in customer experience, digital commerce, extended reality, blockchain, digital twins, artificial intelligence, and computer vision to help customers design, implement, and accelerate their metaverse journeys.

About Search
Accenture’s Consumer Pulse Survey provides insight into consumer perceptions, feelings, and behaviors two years after the start of the pandemic (March 2020). This year’s survey is relevant to 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 of America and Vietnam. The survey was conducted online and targeted consumers who had made purchases for their household in the past six months. Respondents were evenly divided across gender and age group. This poll was conducted between February 7-15, 2022.

For the Accenture Technology Vision 2022, Accenture Research conducted a global survey of 24,000 consumers to gain insights into their use of, interactions with, and beliefs about technology in their daily lives. In addition, Accenture surveyed 4,650 C-level executives and managers in 23 industries to understand their perspectives and the use of emerging technologies across their organizations. The surveys were conducted from December 2021 through January 2022 in 35 countries.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud, and security. Combining unparalleled expertise with specialist skills in more than 40 industries, we provide strategy, consulting, engagement, technology and operations services – all backed by the world’s largest network of advanced technology centers and intelligent operations. Our 699,000 employees deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving customers in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our customers, individuals, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us on accenture.com.

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Contacts

Alex Vujanik
Accenture
+44 7500974814
aleks.vujanic@accenture.com

Tara Burns
Accenture
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tara.burns@accenture.com