Confusion and lack of education amongst top hold-ups for consumers who have yet to purchase virtual goods or NFTS

More than three-quarters of American consumers have never purchased according to Scalefast’s new “Revealing the Metaverse Report” highlighting consumer sentiment towards purchasing NFTs and virtual goods

LOS ANGELES – January 24, 2022 – Scalefast, a Los Angeles-based digital commerce solution changing the way modern brands do direct-to-consumer (DTC) eCommerce, released today its Revealing the Metaverse Report, unveiling American consumers’ sentiment towards and acceptance of increasingly popular retail entities like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual goods.

Considering the current buzz around NFTs and virtual goods it could be assumed that Americans are buying them at a record pace. However, the study, conducted online with the third-party research firm YouGov, uncovered that, in the past year, only eight percent of consumers have purchased an NFT, and only 15% have purchased a virtual good.

Much of this stems from a lack of consumer awareness of virtual goods despite the recent attention given Facebook’s rebrand to Meta.  Some consumers may even consider the metaverse a Facebook invention when it’s far more developed and complex than that. The findings show that nearly half of consumers (44%) say they have no clue what an NFT is, and more than one third (36%) say the same for virtual goods. However, there is hope in the form of eagerness. One in ten (10%) consumers say they know what NFTs are and want to learn more, and nearly that same amount (9%) says the same as it relates to virtual goods.

NFTs and virtual goods present a major opportunity for growth if brands can provide additional education to consumers on what these entities are and identify the ever-crucial next group of adopters.

Education Matters

While consumers may be confused about or hesitant towards NFTs and virtual goods, many can be convinced to purchase them, providing retailers and brands with the insight to what consumers want to see, as well as the information they need to make a purchase:

  • Of consumers who could be convinced to purchase an NFT, factors which could convince them to do so include:
    • If they better understood how they worked – 46%
    • If it was going to appreciate or be a sound investment – 42%
    • If it came from a brand they trusted – 31%
    • If it came with a physical good (i.e., merchandise/swag, printed artworks, etc.) – 25%
    • If the process to purchase it was easy – 24%
  • Of consumers who could be convinced to purchase a virtual good, the factors most likely to convince them to do so include:
    • If it came from a brand they trusted – 35%
    • If it came with a physical good (i.e., merchandise/swag, printed artworks, etc.) – 30%
    • If it came with special features or skills used in its virtual world – 30%
    • If the process to purchase it was easy – 27%
    • If it was rare or a limited edition – 24%

Pinpointing the Next Consumer

The data also provides insight into who is currently purchasing NFTs and virtual goods, as well as who may gain purchasing power in this space. According to the data, roughly half of NFT purchasers make $80,000+/year (49%), followed by under $40k (23%) and $40k to $79K (20%). The more educated this individual is, the less likely they are to have already purchased an NFT. A similar pattern in virtual goods, indicating this is likely to persist as a trend in 2022.

Beyond economics, the report breaks down differences in an NFT and a virtual goods buyer across gender, age, geography and race. Largely similar, those who have purchased an NFT or virtual good in the past year are typically male, between the ages of 18-34 and identify as a race other than white.

Where they differ, however, is the product categories from which they wish to make a purchase. NFT consumers are more likely to purchase music or film-related NFTs (22%) than any other category, including artwork or photography (17%), sports memorabilia/collectibles (14%), luxury fashion goods (12%), memes (11%) and early NFT collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunks, Loot, etc. (9%).

And, while gaming remains a major focus for virtual goods in the form of purchases for avatars (12%) and privileges or a unique skill set for an avatar (13%), the data shows virtual goods are moving beyond gaming and into new realms with consumers being more likely to purchase event tickets to virtual performances or competitions (14%) than any other category, including gift for other users (13%), digital fashion (12%) and non-crypto virtual currency (11%).

“The market for NFTs and virtual goods is largely untapped as the most active participants so far have been young and highly in tune with overseas tech trends,” said Dan Wallace-Brewster, SVP of Marketing at Scalefast. “As older-skewing media platforms invest in these products, they will bring awareness and demand from a much broader segment of U.S. consumers and brands should take steps now to avoid being left behind.”

Click here to read the full Revealing the Metaverse report.


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1257 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th – 8th December, 2021.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

About Scalefast

Scalefast is an end-to-end eCommerce solution provider with an enterprise platform equipped with the features and functions brands need to scale their direct-to-consumer sales channel. Recently, Scalefast was recognized in the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing companies, named to the 2021 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ list, and won Red Herring’s 2021 Top 100 Europe award.

Scalefast is the modern way for brands to sell online, empowering them to regain the control and simplicity they need to create an exceptional shopping experience directly from their digital storefront. Trusted and referenced by Gartner and Forrester research services to deliver expert actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams, its full-stack enterprise solution brings together a cloud-based eCommerce platform and global business services in an ecosystem where brands enjoy economies of scale leveraging shipping volume and data.

Brands like Wizards of the Coast, Square Enix, Logitech, and FLIR benefit from Scalefast’s modern approach to direct-to-consumer eCommerce that combines an enterprise eCommerce cloud with a global footprint of logistics, payment and business partners, allowing for the rapid delivery of localized and personalized shopping experiences. For more information, visit www.scalefast.com.

Media Contact

Diffusion PR for Scalefast
(646) 571-0120

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