How VR Experiences Influence Consumer Buying Decisions

There is no doubt in our mind that in the next couple of years we will see the virtual reality industry continue to grow at an unbelievable rate. The value of the industry is set to rise from 1.9 Billion Dollars (2016) to over 20 Billion Dollars!

So with that amount of money being projected to come into the industry, VR must be in some ways changing consumer behavior. Whether that’s by changing the amount of time they spend indoors or simply how they view marketing campaigns.

VR Marketing Campaigns

Marketing campaigns have always been seen/heard through Televisions, as posters, leaflets, radio broadcasts and much more. Although with the amount of VR headsets being sold rising on a daily basis maybe it’s time some major companies started to take a look at this platform as a good place to start an advertising campaign. In an industry that’s only set to get bigger what is stopping some organizations from investing in the VR marketing budget? There’s one simple reason for this, not enough people use their headsets on a regular basis! What would be the point in investing thousands of dollars into advertisements that will only be seen by a few, when you can put an advert on TV which will cost you less to produce and be seen by a much larger audience.

VR Experience – the new trend?

With the modern generation preferring experiences over material items, it may be the time that major companies change up their marketing campaigns. Is there any other way to provide an experience that will bring a consumer into a completely different world that’s like VR? We don’t think so and believe that in the next couple of years major organizations such as Sony and HTC will start producing advertisements to be shown in virtual reality.

This can deliver the younger generation with an experience they will remember instead of a physical product/advert (poster, TV, radio). An immersive experience is much more likely to keep you interested in a product than simply seeing a picture of it. This is proven by the fact that in a 2015 study, 72% of millennials said that an experience is more important than having physical items. Take another example, VR hire companies are starting to spring up everywhere in 2017 and we are not even half way through it!

The type of advert shown through a VR headset would be completely different to that of any other current platform. What could be an ideal way for holidaymakers to show off some amazing destinations and literally put customers in the middle of a busy city or a beautiful mountain within seconds? Imagine instead of looking through a booklet trying to decide which break is best for you, you can now be transported to different destinations around the world until you come across one which you like! You can look around and get a feel for what it would be like to go on a trip to that area.

Social effects of VR

One of the main positives when it comes to VR is the sheer enjoyment you get from being put into a completely different universe whilst being in the comfort of your own home. These experiences are something you want to share with friends and family and this has been proven by the fact that 81% of consumers will tell their friends about their VR experience.

This again confirms that an advertisement on this platform is much more memorable than for example a poster. Although to produce a VR advertisement will cost you much more than it would create a poster, so it depends on the size of the organization, what they’re advertising and how many people the advert could actually reach and whether it would be more effective to just make a poster.

The impact on consumer behavior

We don’t think that VR will have a singular massive effect on a consumer’s behavior, but over time there will be many small changes which may eventually lead to companies completely changing their marketing campaigns. It’s more the experience that virtual reality provides, experiences are what create memories and we can’t think of a better way to have an immersive experience which will make you feel like you are in a completely different place that even comes close to virtual reality.

IKEA pancake flipping in-store experience.

We have already seen some major organizations such as Samsung and Ikea experiment with VR and we think that more companies will soon try to create an effective advert for their fan base using these headsets! Also thanks to the Google cardboard and other less expensive VR headsets you can now enjoy a virtual reality experience without breaking the bank, this also helps companies get their advertisements out to a larger audience.

About the Scout

Stephen Davies

Stephen G Davies MSc writes about marketing, technology, and covers product reviews for global firms. Stephen has written for digital agencies, e-zines and maintains a passion for updating a number of his own blogs. Writer by day, reader by night, Stephen enjoys being aware of what drives technology in the 21st century and is passionate about related topics.

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