Towards the Understanding of Consumer Behavior in the Metaverse: A Systematic Literature Review Using the PRISMA Methodology

Towards the Understanding of Consumer Behavior in the Metaverse: A Systematic Literature Review Using the PRISMA Methodology

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7029-9.ch001
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The metaverse is not just about gaming. It encompasses a wide range of activities, including socializing, education, entertainment, and commerce. It represents an exciting opportunity for companies, as well as consumers, to interact and engage in new ways. It is important to understand the implications of this emerging trend on consumer behavior. This chapter conducts a systematic literature review using the PRISMA methodology, with the goal of understanding how consumer behavior is shaped in the metaverse. The metaverse will allow businesses to reach new customers who are not geographically close and increase the engagement with their current customers. Despite this, it is not all plain sailing, since all types of innovation involve a process of creative destruction. Sectors affected include marketing, education, and healthcare, as well as social effects related to social interaction factors arising from widespread adoption and issues of trust, privacy, bias, misinformation, law enforcement, and psychological aspects related to addiction and the impact on vulnerable people.
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Emerging technologies, such as deep learning, are increasingly being adopted in both personal and business contexts (Gil-Garcia, Helbig and Ojo, 2014; Valle-Cruz, 2019; Valle-Cruz et al., 2020). These technologies are being used to detect patterns, interact with users, and provide valuable information for decision-making (Valle-Cruz, Fernandez-Cortez and Gil-Garcia, 2022; Garduño et al., 2023; Hernández, Valle-Cruz and Méndez, 2023). The trend is to use these technologies to improve efficiency, reduce time and errors, and perform activities that pose risks to human safety (Criado and Gil-Garcia, 2019). Emerging technologies have facilitated virtuality, that has the potential to perform a variety of tasks without compromising human safety (Nicol, 2022).

Companies are adapting to digital transformation by implementing innovative management and marketing strategies across various areas of commerce, such as e-commerce, social commerce (s-commerce), logistics, and product delivery services, brand influence, product selection, pricing, offer management, promotions, and user recommendations, all of which have the potential to shape consumer behavior (Alderete, 2019; Sohn and Kim, 2020; Erdmann and Ponzoa, 2021). The emergence of digital, virtual, and immersive environments like the metaverse is starting to impact certain cyber user communities (Zallio and John Clarkson, 2022).

Recent years have seen a shift in consumer behavior due to factors such as population growth, changes in lifestyles, and the COVID-19 pandemic (Muñoz-Chávez, Hernández Rivera and Bolaños-Rodríguez, 2021). New technologies have played a crucial role in facilitating the creation of virtual communities and platforms where Internet users can share and exchange experiences and consumer opinions with other users (Liao, Widowati and Hsieh, 2021). These technologies also enable companies to engage with their consumers by gathering feedback on products and services, which helps to measure consumer behavior and satisfaction. This information can provide companies with valuable insights on how to improve their products and services (Qenaj and Beqiri, 2022).

Consumer behavior can be defined as the process by which individuals, groups, or organizations select, purchase, use, and dispose of goods and services to satisfy their needs and wants (Khan et al., 2022). This encompasses the actions and attitudes of consumers when making purchasing decisions, consuming products, and services, and disposing of them. The study of consumer behavior involves analyzing factors such as what consumers buy, why they buy, how often they buy, and how they use the products they purchase (Muñoz-Chávez, García-Contreras and Valle-Cruz, 2022).

Traditionally, consumers go through a process of recognition, information gathering, and evaluation before making a purchase decision (Miah et al., 2022). This process is influenced by various factors, such as social, cultural, economic, and lifestyle factors. Nowadays, social media and technological advancements play a significant role in the marketing environment and have an impact on consumer behavior. Companies that take advantage of these trends are able to achieve their objectives and increase profitability due to the low costs and increased consumer engagement on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter (Ajina, 2019).

Key Terms in this Chapter

PRISMA: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses is a set of guidelines and a checklist for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Consumer Behavior: Consumer behavior refers to the actions and decisions made by individuals and households when they acquire, use, and dispose of goods and services.

Emerging Technologies: Emerging technologies are new or rapidly evolving technologies that have the potential to change the way we live, work, and interact with each other.

S-Commerce: S-commerce, also known as social commerce, refers to the use of social media platforms and networks to facilitate buying and selling goods and services.

Metaverse: The metaverse is a term used to describe a virtual world, or collection of virtual worlds, that users can interact with in a manner similar to the real world.

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