Dutch buying behavior has changed significantly in recent years for various reasons, from ethical considerations to the pandemic’s effect on shoppers’ habits.
Vista’s survey shows that only 37 percent are familiar with the metaverse, and it is expected to take 3 to 4 years to become more mainstream. 75 percent of respondents predict that it will be particularly popular among millennials and Gen Z age groups.
Although the meta-verse may seem like a far-fetched show to most of the Dutch population, research shows that buying habits have changed and that small businesses need to keep up with new technologies. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said the pandemic has led to more online shopping, and 79 percent believe it is important for small businesses to be represented online. But because more than three-quarters (83 percent) of Dutch people still like shopping, the metaverse now offers an interesting opportunity to offer a mix of virtual content and personal shopping experiences.
Nina Coopmans, Country Manager Belgium and the Netherlands at Vista predicts: ‘Although the meta-verse will not completely replace the physical shopping street, there is a good chance that a hybrid form of virtual and non-virtual experiences will emerge. With a good branding strategy and the necessary technology, small businesses can also position themselves strongly in this new market ‘.
Of all the services that can be made available in the meta-verse, the Dutch believe that they primarily use it for online shopping (54 percent). Followed by online streaming services (34 percent), social media (27 percent) and gaming (26 percent). It is clear that customers expect the virtual shopping street to have as varied a range as the physical one. Clothing stores (37 percent), supermarkets (34 percent), electronics stores (33 percent), furniture stores (20 percent) and bookstores (15 percent) are expected to be the most popular small businesses on the main street in the meta-verse.
With these insights in mind, it is important for small business owners to adapt their marketing and design to the meta-verse. Content should work across the spectrum when users switch between the virtual and the real world. In the metaverse, small businesses can build virtual environments that tell their story in a way that was not possible before, without the usual constraints of location, budget, and even feasibility.
“While these changes may be overwhelming for a small business, over the last 20 years we have seen on our own how well small businesses can adapt to big changes in the digital landscape. That’s why we at Vista will continue to help small businesses in this new Internet revolution, and provide the necessary resources and advice every step of the way. We look forward to seeing the innovative ways Dutch entrepreneurs will use this new technology, “says Coopmans.
(PvWK, image: Vista)
“Vista helps millions of small business owners around the world with their design and marketing. Vista is a global company that primarily operates externally, and with team members in more than 25 countries, the company has a growing footprint. We have been inspired by small businesses for more than 20 years, and we work tirelessly to find solutions to their ever-changing needs. Together, VistaCreate, 99designs from Vista and VistaPrint represent a complete design, digital services and printing solutions that enhance the presence of small businesses in physical and digital spaces and enable them to succeed. “