Millennial fashion shoppers dip their digital toes into the Metaverse, with 21% having bought fashion NFTs

Millennials and Gen Z are driving the demand for Metaverse fashion with a fifth having already made a Non Fungible Token (NFT) fashion purchase, the latest research from Centra, the headless commerce platform for fashion and lifestyle brands, reveals.

Original research of over 2,000 UK shoppers in Centra’s latest report – How your brand can capture its full potential globally – showed that while just 9% of UK shoppers across all age demographics have bought fashion in the Metaverse, Millennials and Gen Z are leading the way when it comes to buying fashion in retail’s next dimension.  A fifth (21%) of Millennials and a further 19% of Gen Z consumers said they had already bought an NFT or digital fashion asset, with men twice as likely than women to have bought fashion in the Metaverse.

Trying digital fashion on for size

Almost two fifths (38%) of those who had bought a fashion NFT had done so because they believed it would be an investment, rising to 46% of Gen Z shoppers.  The novelty of owning a digital asset also ranked highly among the shoppers polled, with a third (31%) motivated by it being a new digital form of owning something from a brand they liked and 28% said they liked the idea of owning something in a virtual world.  However, 34% said they didn’t want to own fashion digitally, preferring physical fashion garments.

Martin Jensen, CEO and Co-Founder of Centra, commented:

“The Metaverse is still evolving – and you could say that it is still shapeshifting as retailers and brands try and get their heads around the opportunities this next dimension of retail offers.  And whilst the Metaverse isn’t here in its final guise yet, it’s certainly real for consumers who are already showing demand and adoption when it comes to owning fashion digitally.”

Avatars – digitally dressed for success

Meanwhile, 31% of Gen Z shoppers said they wanted to dress their digital avatars as the main reason for purchasing NFTs, with a further 23% saying they wanted to be just as well dressed digitally as they were in the real world.  And, as the Metaverse becomes a reality, 39% of UK shoppers across all age groups believed digital avatars will become the norm within the next two years, while 44% said this would take longer to normalise, saying widespread adoption would happen in 5 years.

“Consumers are demanding more and more immersive experiences online to the extent that they want to replicate their personality and appear ‘in person’ in the digital world,” Jensen continued.  “This presents an significant opportunity for brands to get closer to their customers to understand what they want and how they want it, but that needs to be delivered alongside a Metaverse offer that is compelling and that stands the test of time, so it doesn’t just become flash in the fashion pan.”

Mistrust and the Metaverse

While a quarter (27%) believed NFTs to be the future of fashion, there remains an element of mistrust about the longevity of fashion sold within the Metaverse among UK shoppers.  29% said they thought fashion NFTs were a fad that would pass, while 25% didn’t trust NFTs.  A further quarter (24%) thought NFTs were simply a gimmick used by fashion brands to sell more ‘things’ to shoppers.

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