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Discovering e-commerce futures in the Metaverse

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By Published On: September 22, 20220 Comments

The metaverse is more than here to stay, it’s an e-commerce force in its own right for the future. That’s according to new research from fintech giant PayPal, who find that one in eight Australians are already in the metaverse and more than 50 percent of these are already buying, selling or trading there.

What was once considered just a staple of science-fiction, the metaverse has fast become a reality in recent years thanks to developments in hardware and software capabilities for virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality – particularly as entry-level costs for hardware like virtual reality headsets have gradually declined.

That reality has made its way to e-commerce in Australia, with indications the relationship between e-commerce and the metaverse could grow exponentially in the months and years to come. 

According to findings from PayPal’s 2022 e-commerce index, as many as a third of Australians are eyeing off participating in the metaverse on top of the 12 percent of Australians already there, with 23 percent of Australians willing to buy goods in the metaverse.

Consumers aren’t the only ones attracted to the metaverse, PayPal’s data finds, with 60 percent of online retailers interested in opportunities to operate in the metaverse either now or in the future. 49 percent of businesses see the advertising potential of the metaverse as being the biggest attraction, with 45 percent interested in the potential to offer virtual shopping experiences to consumers.

“The metaverse appears to have gained momentum during the ‘online-everything’ shift of the pandemic,” says Peter Cowan, Managing Director of PayPal Australia, “With that, digital commerce has leapt forward, to a point where consumers now want fully immersive shopping and payment experiences across all aspects of their lives.”

It matches consumer trends increasingly turning to online and virtual shopping opportunities, as Australians reportedly spend an average of almost $600 online each month and that amount exceeding $1000 per month for 25 percent of Australians.

Naturally, much as with all of their online presences, Australians are increasingly turning to the metaverse to expand their digital horizons – embracing virtual worlds PayPal describes as being “a new frontier for commerce”.

“Australians are wanting to shop wherever they can connect online and while it’s important for businesses to address the needs of today, we mustn’t lose sight of what’s around the corner,” says Cowan, “Our research shows that emerging paradigms, such as the metaverse, have already captured the attention of consumers and while it’s still early days, businesses need to get educated and get ready if they hope to flourish in these virtual worlds.”

The e-commerce landscape is changing. With a Power Retail Switched On membership, you get access to current e-commerce revenue and forecasting, traffic levels, average conversion rate, payment preferences and more!

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