The new face of digital marketing is here!

Virtual Reality, commonly known as VR, is a technology developed to provide a unique and close to reality experience through VR headsets or glasses.

Virtual Reality and where it is Mostly Used?

For sure, a Virtual Reality headset or glasses is not something strange to you. You have seen it in movies before. Perhaps you have used it in 3-D cinemas as well. Also, VR is used in military agencies like the marines and coast guards for training. Surgeons also started using this as a simulator for operations. This technology became popular among video gamers and movie enthusiasts, giving them a feeling that they are part of the game or the movie they are watching.

How many people use VR headsets?

Statistics show that around 171 million people are using VR headsets/glasses since 2018. The unit sale is expected to reach approximately 5.5 million by the end of 2020. Furthermore, the forecast shows that Virtual Reality headsets will sell more than 26 million units by the year 2023.

VR for business. How does it look like?

Virtual Reality is now making a hole in the marketing world. This evolution of technology is focused on its immersive form. Once you put the VR headset/glasses on, you can see product demos, a variety of products to choose from (some are not displayed in-stores) with a feeling that it is happening in reality. The high-quality animation makes you believe like you are part of the demo or you are visiting the store. Plus, you can engage during the process. This new fascinating “try before you buy” simulation takes you to a new world of digital marketing.

Marketing through Virtual Reality is a whole new experience and level of advertising for both the advertisers and the consumers. Focusing on the customer’s perspective, this makes every one of them feel involved by being the center of attention. It means if the advertisers have enough data from the users, they can put the customers in a personalized ad. For example, for someone who likes to buy maternity dresses, you can run ads like she is going to a maternity section in the shop and assisted by the store representative. The same with the in-store experience, she will get to see the dresses available and choose the sizes and colors. She can try them on using a hologram with her body measurements. Being the center of this marketing process can make the customer feel that they are valued.

Neil Patel, known digital marketer, owner of Neil Patel Digital and Kissmetrics describes it this way: “You're going to be able to go there, look at the products, feel, (and) touch them. You may not get the same sensation that you would in real life, but eventually, some of those feelings will start coming over through the web as they develop these technologies.”

VR versus current digital ads.

There will always be a comparison between VR ad and the existing digital campaigns (i,e. like banners, posters, and short clips). Soon, digital and social media marketing will become traditional. With Virtual Reality, the customer can have a unique and immersive experience of checking, trying products or services before purchasing them while doing in the comfort of their own homes. It is the immersion and interactive shopping experience that gives an advantage to VR ads versus the existing digital ads.

What will VR be like in the future?

More businesses are more inclined to spend their money on investing in VR space. Samsung, Apple, and Google are already racing to have their phones equipped with VR capabilities.

On the other hand, research conducted in Canada suggests that technology will replace jobs in the future as it helps reduce the risk of human virus contractions. To customers, this could mean that the safest way of purchasing items will be through a close-to-reality buying experience using Virtual Reality, and this is the time that ads are more in the VR channel. Businesses that are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to re-start once this kind of marketing starts to boom. Other fields like real estate, holiday tours, and travel agencies can also use VR tours to leverage their businesses. Moreover, it is expected that by 2030, VR will be completely more realistic in design. Thus, customers will spend more time using it. Digital marketers will not miss this big opportunity to reach potential customers. Once analytics show how VR changes shopping behavior, this will turn into being part of the new normal.

Are there companies that have used VR Marketing?

Yes, there are. Volvo cars released a VR test drive as part of their marketing strategy. They received positive feedback from car enthusiasts and other customers, especially those who have not tried doing the test drive of their dream cars. Marriot, a known hotel chain, also used VR tours to different tourist destinations all over the world. Customers who tried it were amused by how this technology brought them to beautiful places with a natural feeling.

Now that VR is foreseen to change the marketing strategy in the future, the next question is, are you ready to take your business to a new level? Are you willing to shift to a technology that extends the natural world?

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