How Businesses Can Use VR to Win the Race to Consumers’ Hearts (and Homes)

By Tony Tie

WikimediaImages / Pixabay

Virtual reality has taken the tech world by storm over the past few years. Suddenly, the market is flooded with goggles, peripherals, platforms, and experiences that are opening new ways for people to interact with the world.

The newest wave of VR technology has appealed to brands and marketers since its earliest inception. The unique capability of VR to connect a consumer with a product is hard to overstate, particularly when it comes to illustrating product scale.

The forecast of VR consumers is just as exciting as the technology’s potential. Statista reports there will be 171 million active VR users by 2018. The most enthusiastic adopters are the young members of Generation Z. By 2020, these up-and-comers will make up 40 percent of all consumers, and according to research from Sonar, they’re 80 percent more likely to visit stores that offer a VR or AR experience.

Despite the enthusiasm for VR in the popular consciousness, however, it has not yet reached must-have status in the consumer electronics sector. A Parks Associates survey found that, as of May 2016, only 2 percent of U.S. households owned a VR headset. VR won’t realize its marketing potential until the goggles become something that the average person straps on every day.

Obstacles to Adoption

Anyone who has tried VR recently knows that it is an astounding experience. The imaginative applications devised for VR are proving the versatility of the platform. So why aren’t people rushing out to buy a set of goggles for every member of the family?

It would be naïve to deny that price is a significant barrier to entry. The cheapest setups still cost hundreds of dollars, and the best packages can easily cost more than $3,000. Only hardcore enthusiasts are willing to make an investment of that magnitude. The average consumer is priced out.

The VR market is also confusing and, quite frankly, intimidating for many. Consumers are understandably unsure about exactly what kind of equipment and living space they need, not to mention installation.

Finally, VR, in its current iteration, is individualistic and isolating. The whole point is to pull you out of the world and deliver a one-of-a-kind experience. It can be an exciting adventure, but until VR can offer a more social component, it will not connect with a broad base of regular users.

The Way to Use VR Now

The VR market still needs time to evolve, but that doesn’t mean this technology isn’t a viable marketing tool right now. In fact, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie said, “Virtual reality is the greatest technology that could have the biggest impact on our business that I know of.” At the shoemaker’s flagship store, shoppers are invited to sit in a “virtual reality chair” to view a 360-degree video of a Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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