Online purchasing is rapidly evolving with the emergence of NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and metaverse shopping.
Online commerce has developed over time and now offers NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and more.
Nike (NYSE:NKE) opened a metaverse store in 2021. Nikeland had 7 million visitors in its first five months. Roblox-powered Nikeland lets users create avatars, try on and buy virtual products, and chat.
WhatsApp now lets Indian users buy JioMart products from Facebook’s parent company Meta (NASDAQ: META) and Jio Platforms.
Internet shopping in the metaverse is the future, though most people don’t understand it yet. Brands are flocking to the metaverse to sell virtual, NFT, and physical products.
Since October 2021, Google Trends shows increased Metaverse interest. The Metaverse—are customers aware? Are they ready for Metaverse shopping? BigCommerce asked this in its Global Consumer Report: Current and Future Shopping Trends.
The study addressed several topics, but one section focused on the future of online commerce. 26% of respondents said they understood the metaverse well, while 25% said they did not.
Across nations, Gen Z and Millennials understood the Metaverse better than Gen X and Baby Boomers. According to BigCommerce, consumers who make $100,000 or more have a better awareness of the Metaverse than those who earn less than $25,000, who have little to no understanding.
Despite Nike’s metaverse stores, 52% of respondents said they weren’t ready to shop there. 2% of respondents had made metaverse purchases, whereas 46% were willing but hadn’t.
Shelley Kilpatrick’s poll interviewed 4,222 people in five countries about their shopping patterns and propensity to adopt future trends. (the U.S., U.K., Italy, France, and Australia). March’s ProfitWell-Google poll was co-branded.
Metaverse shopping was most popular among Gen Z and millennials, and 58% of high-earners planned to or have done it.
51% of metaverse buyers want to buy both physical and virtual goods. Again, Gen Z (19%) prefers virtual goods to baby boomers (6%).
BigCommerce cites Balenciaga as a company that successfully blends online and offline sales. (NASDAQ: BIGC). Last year, the apparel brand released virtual clothing and accessories for Fortnite, along with limited-edition real versions available in-store and online.
How about NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are incredibly popular online. Sports celebrities and artists have grown fond of these virtual goods since they enable them to market authorized digital representations of their creations or likenesses. They are typically bought with cryptocurrencies.
However, according to the BigCommerce poll, most consumers (91%) are unaware of what NFTs are. Only 23% admitted to having a weak comprehension, 21% stated they had none at all, and 21% said they had no understanding at all. More than a quarter (26%) of respondents claimed to be unaware of what an NFT is.
BigCommerce advised marketers against entering the NFT industry too quickly since there is such a lack of knowledge about it generally and because people who are interested are primarily interested in music, gaming, or fashion.
But it’s important to keep in mind that the NFT market is still quite young and prone to volatility. In fact, several media outlets, including both mainstream publications like The Wall Street Journal and specialized ones like Decrypt, are currently reporting a large decline in the NFT market, according to Kilpatrick. “Brands might be wise to enter with caution, or at the very least with a solid understanding of their target consumers and a close eye on the state of the market,” said one market analyst.
Trends in cryptocurrency payments
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the adoption of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as consumers and merchants looked for contactless payment options. According to the survey, only 5% of consumers use cryptocurrencies to make online commerce , but BigCommerce discovered that among those who did, 66% indicated it was their preferred way. Consumers who were more knowledgeable about the currency system were more likely to use cryptocurrency.
Unfortunately for multinational corporations, local variations exist in both that understanding and the preferred cryptocurrency. While firms who exclusively accept bitcoin are at a disadvantage in France and Italy where customers enjoy having a choice of cryptocurrencies to spend, American consumers are the least likely to grasp cryptocurrency payments.
In contrast to NFTs, the cryptocurrency sector is also in flux, and time will tell if cryptocurrencies will become widely used in a similar way to digital wallets, according to Kilpatrick.
In order to quickly and securely provide cryptocurrency payment solutions to BigCommerce businesses in a few countries, BitPay and CoinPayments and BigCommerce established a strategic alliance earlier this month.
The report’s main lesson, according to BigCommerce, is that companies should have an open mind and concentrate on the trends that will have the biggest influence on their e-commerce operations.
It’s still too early to determine whether or not the Metaverse, NFTs, and bitcoin will transition from being futuristic to mainstream technologies. Consumers are currently showing an increasing curiosity in these new technologies and a general desire to investigate using bitcoin and the Metaverse to conduct business, according to Kilpatrick.