For years the talk has been that virtual reality technology was poised to take over and redefine consumer buying behavior. However, even after Facebook invested $2 billion to buy VR tech company, Oculus, not much has come of the partnership. However, with the recent coronavirus pandemic and more than 90% of the world being forced to stay home, VR technology has seen a massive resurgence.
As companies, of all sizes and across all sectors, have scrambled to make the digital pivot, virtual reality couldn’t have a better entry point into the consumer buying process. The convenience and truly immersive experience VR apps and headsets can provide could finally be on pace to change how brands interact with consumers. Here are a few industries that could benefit from this impending VR wave.
Tourism. Probably the hardest hit industry during this global pandemic, many of the world’s most popular destinations have become ghost towns. But with the use of VR, travelers can still experience the sights and sounds of nearly anywhere in the world, within minutes, all from their couch. With a host of newly-released apps such as Everest VR, you can climb Mount Everest or swim with whales using the VR app called TheBlu. As the tourism industry continues to be impacted, you may see large resorts and destination hot spots, like Disney World create their own VR apps to reach audiences in new ways.
Retail. With brick and mortar stores shut down or operating at very low capacity, the retail industry has also taken a significant hit. And with 71% of consumers spending more in-store than online, retailers are losing out on these larger purchases. However, by leveraging VR technology such as ManneKing, retailers could engage with their consumers in a virtual store and allow them to try on outfits. In this way, retailers can easily recreate the in-store experience and enable consumers to experience their products up close and personal.
Real Estate. In the same way that tourism can benefit from providing VR experiences for tourists, so too is true for the real estate market. The idea of going to multiple properties with prospective buyers will have to adapt in the post-COVID environment. With new emerging VR mobile apps such as 360 VR Real Estate by Case 3D, prospective buyers can tour a home in 360 degrees and explore both its interior, exterior and even many of its neighborhood features without ever stepping foot on the property.
These are just a few examples of how VR technology is on pace to change how consumers buy. The larger implication is in the “on-demand” aspect of what this type of technology can promise to consumers. The days of waiting to experience a new product or service may be replaced with consumers being able to immediately immerse themselves before even making the decision to buy. In what ways this could specifically change how brands market to consumers is yet to be determined. But, it is likely that the focus on VR technology is not going anywhere anytime soon.