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Retailing and Customer Engagement in the Metaverse: An Empirical Analysis

Size of and Connections Between Business Sectors

Publication by Mitchell Goldberg, Fabian Schär, and Dario Thürkauf

In this paper, we empirically analyze retailing and customer engagement activity in Decentraland, a large-scale, blockchain-based virtual world. We construct a unique data set comprising of transaction and spatial data. The transaction data is collected from the Ethereum and Polygon PoS blockchains, containing valuable information on the avatar's economic activity and retail events. The spatial data consists of snapshots, providing information on the avatars' locations. We utilize the avatar-specific Web3 addresses to merge these data sets and propose various approaches to select transactions relevant in the context of metaverse retailing. Our findings indicate that metaverse retailing is still in its early stages, predominantly driven by major events such as music festivals and themed trade shows. Furthermore, our research uncovers a surprisingly high presence of well-known companies actively engaging in the metaverse. However, their involvement seems primarily motivated by marketing and customer engagement considerations.

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