Metaverse offers a virtual world of opportunity
Thais have shown strong interest in the metaverse, while the virtual world could be a promising opportunity for the tourism, shopping and gaming fields, according to online research firm Toluna.
"Marketers need to study and understand what customers want and evaluate the readiness of their resources and ecosystems before jumping into the metaverse," said Chumphol Sivawettakul, director of business development for Southeast Asia at Toluna.
"This is a new investment, which is quite massive and still in the development phase."
He was speaking during the "Thailand Marketing Day 2022: The Game Changer" marketing forum on Tuesday under the topic of "Global Consumer Report: Web 3.0, NFT, and the Future of Marketing".
The topic touches upon Web 3.0, which is the third generation of the worldwide web which involves the decentralisation concept with blockchain technology, which contrasts with Web 2.0 in which data and content are centralised among a group of internet giants.
Citing the firm's survey of 10,500 consumers globally, including 6,000 in Asia-Pacific and 500 in Thailand, Mr Chumphol said only 1% of respondents have a good understanding of Web 3.0.
In Asia-Pacific, 27% said they are aware of Web 3.0, which means the wider public still lack understanding of Web 3.0.
Some 64% of respondents in Thailand said they are interested in Web 3.0 and want it to become mainstream within one year, versus 56% in Asia-Pacific and 51% globally.
Regarding the top three features of Web 3.0, Thais prefer the ability to choose which personal data to share or keep private, blockchain technology that can ensure security and the ability to monetise their data and content, he said.
The global interest in the metaverse is steadily growing, Mr Chumphol said.
Based on the results of the survey, awareness of this virtual world is sizeable but its advancement remains stagnant.
Globally, 44% of respondents said they have heard about the metaverse but are not sure what it is, very close to 45% rate recorded in Asia-Pacific.
Some 76% of respondents in Thailand said they have not experienced the metaverse but believe the metaverse would gain ground within one year, surpassing 67% in Asia-Pacific and 65% globally.
This reflects that many maintain an interest in engaging in the metaverse, he said.
According to him, brands that offer a unique experience in the metaverse will stay ahead of competition.
Activities relating to tourism were the ones that the majority of respondents wish to explore in the metaverse, followed by shopping and gaming. These three fields are the promising in relation to the metaverse, according to Mr Chumphol.