Roblox’s Metaverse Report 2023 Reveals Generation Z’s Digital Self-Expression Trends and Its Impact on Fashion
Roblox released its report on Digital Expression, Fashion, and Beauty Trends in the Metaverse 2023, highlighting Gen Z’s patterns for the metaverse.
Immersive online platform Roblox recently released its comprehensive report on “Digital Expression, Fashion, and Beauty Trends in the Metaverse 2023.” The study sheds light on the evolving self-expression patterns of Generation Z (Gen Z) in the digital realm, as well as the burgeoning fashion and beauty trends within the Metaverse.
The report was derived from responses of over 1,500 Gen Z individuals actively engaged on immersive platforms like Roblox, supplemented by behavioral data from the platform — and delves into the psychology behind crafting digital avatars. It explores the consequential impact on individuals’ physical style, self-expression, purchasing decisions and psychological well-being.
With over 70 million daily users, Roblox asserts it witnessed a remarkable 38% year-over-year growth in avatar updates during the first three quarters of 2023. Users made 165 million avatar updates, reflecting the dynamic nature of the platform.
The surge extended to digital fashion in metaverse, with nearly 1.6 million digital fashion items and accessories purchased, marking a 15% increase from the previous year.
“The ability to choose various elements for their metaverse avatars, such as body features, hair color and texture, skin tone, makeup, clothing style and mood, is pivotal for authentically representing
themselves. This way to express themselves serves a crucial function, providing a secure space for creative experimentation and an avenue for extending their personal style from the physical realm to the digital sphere (and vice versa),” Winnie Burke, Head of Fashion, Retail, Beauty and Luxury Partnerships at Roblox told Metaverse Post.
“In essence, digital expression plays a vital role for Generation Z, enabling them to explore, express, and broaden their sense of identity,” she added.
Digital Fashion is a Dominant Trend in Metaverse
The report reveals that Gen Z’s self-expression extends beyond merely clothing their avatars. Avatar makeup, hairstyles, and movements, known as emotes, have become novel avenues for expression.
Notably, 35% of users emphasize the importance of adjusting their avatar’s makeup regularly, while over 139 million hairstyles have been purchased in 2023 alone.
The report also highlights a profound impact on the physical world, with 56% of Gen Z respondents acknowledging that their avatar’s styling takes precedence over their physical style. Notably, 42% of respondents attribute an expansion of their physical fashion style to their avatar’s influence.
Beyond fashion, avatars influence users to experiment with bolder hairstyles (37%) and more gender-neutral attire (29%).
According to 40% of respondents, the metaverse provides a platform for easier, more authentic self-expression, citing “freedom of expression” and “creative possibilities.” Additionally, twice as many respondents feel less judged by their appearance in the metaverse compared to the physical world.
“Roblox recognizes that for Generation Z, the virtual realm offers a space where individuals can define and express themselves in ways that may not be constrained by traditional societal norms related to physical appearance,” Roblox’s Winnie Burke told Metaverse Post. We know it’s important for people to have variety and flexibility in how they choose to represent themselves in immersive 3D digital spaces, and our
research shows online self-expression can lead to positive impacts on their physical-world connections and well-being.”
Impact on User Well-Being and Brand Perception
Self-expression in immersive spaces is credited with building connections (29%), boosting self-confidence (24%), enabling self-development (21%), and improving mental well-being (25%). Furthermore, the report indicates a shift in user priorities, with 62% emphasizing that their avatar’s appearance is primarily for personal satisfaction, as opposed to impressing others (37%).
Digital fashion’s growing importance is underscored by 84% of users, with 85% noting its increased significance in the past year. Stylish digital clothing, as revealed by 52% of respondents, is a key factor when determining the “coolness” of an avatar, influencing brand perception.
Delving into the financial aspect, the report highlights that 52% of surveyed users spend up to $10 monthly on digital items, showcasing a willingness to invest in the digital fashion landscape. Additionally, Roblox’s introduction of limited edition items has created a resale market, with some items fetching prices higher than their original value.
“Designers and brands will be happy to learn that most Gen Z users are also willing to spend on digital fashion: in our survey, 52% say they’re comfortable budgeting up to $10 each month, while another 19% are willing to spend up to $20 monthly and an additional 18% are open to buying $50-$100 of items every month,” said Roblox’s Winnie Burke.
Burke believes that the demand for digital fashion creates opportunities for creators and designers to
monetize their skills and creations. This could catalyze the development of a thriving market for virtual fashion designers, further enhancing the metaverse ecosystem. Additionally, she said that the popularity of digital fashion and the willingness to spend suggest an opportunity for real-world brands to seamlessly integrate into the metaverse.
“Immersive experiences present an exciting opportunity for the beauty industry to tap into a new market and to engage and connect with their fans in new, compelling ways. We are already seeing this with brands like Fenty Beauty, whose next physical Gloss Bomb was co-created in the metaverse together with Roblox
users casting over a million votes for community-created Gloss Bomb designs,” Roblox’s Winnie Burke told Metaverse Post. “We will see more and more of this co-creation and inspiration translating to physical
products and offerings.”
The report’s methodology encompasses behavioral data from Roblox’s platform spanning January to September 2023 and self-reported survey data from 1,545 Gen Z users aged 14 to 26 in the United States and the United Kingdom. The survey aimed for gender balance and demographic representation in both markets.
“Engaging in virtual experiences while celebrating people’s desire to be unique and authentic in immersive spaces is a valuable insight that can guide brands in decision-making around their campaigns, digital fashion collections, and community collaborations,” said Roblox’s Winnie Burk. “Allowing for individuality and representation, focusing on personalized offerings, co-creating together with the community to further enable self- and creative expression could be some of the strategies to consider based on these learnings.”
The study’s findings underscore the metaverse’s role as a dynamic space, influencing not only personal style but also contributing significantly to users’ overall well-being.
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