Virtual reality (VR) is here and growing. Businesses that understand this technology and put it to work will move themselves real steps ahead of the competition!
Virtual reality allows people to interact with virtual environments in a fully immersive way. Social VR, where people interact with others as if they are sharing the same physical space, is opening the door to virtual reality marketing. Because of the ability to interact with objects and people in a natural way, social VR is a great new opportunity to conduct effective research and marketing.
Social VR replicates real-life dynamics: it creates the sense of physical presence through avatars, and the avatar becomes the person in their interaction with others and objects. This gives businesses the opportunity to know more about their audience in greater depth than ever before, and in a cost-effective way.
Traditionally, market research is conducted by observing how consumers behave and by asking people about their behaviors through surveys or questionnaires, whereas virtual reality allows businesses to know the reason behind every customer behavior without asking.
How is that possible? Let me give you an example. Assume you are selling shoes on your website. You can pull analytics that give information about people’s behavior on your site by tracking clicks.
Now, let’s assume you have a VR-store, a store accessible in Virtual Reality. People can enter your VR store and look around as avatars; they can walk up and examine certain shoes before physically picking the ones they like. Through VR, you are able to follow the decision-making process that led to the action.
The 3D Store Environment
But there is more. Because avatar-based social VR takes place in a three-dimensional space, you can also spatially re-create a store environment and place objects in many different ways to draw attention to certain products. The way people pay attention to items in VR reflects the way people pay attention to things in real life. That’s a huge advantage as you set up your VR environment.
In VR, there is no longer a need to ask people about their behavior through boring surveys and questionnaires. This also removes the biases generated when people think about why they acted in a certain way because as we all know, the verbal response to the question “Do you like this product?” may not always be the true answer. Market research in VR allows marketers to assess spontaneous behavior and directly infer the reasons for behavior through unbiased results. Social VR can help capture people’s responses at the subconscious level.
What Avatars Will Do For Your Business
How can this be achieved? This is possible because it is social VR and therefore, avatar-based. It is possible thanks to eye and avatar tracking capabilities that measure viewing time, interactions with products, brands, other people; by tracking navigation (where do people go first?), dwell time (how long do they spend on each item?), and by depth of interaction, as well as conversation with company representatives.
The real revolution actually lies within this last element. Real-life interaction with company representatives allows brands to build stronger relationships with customers. Interaction means engagement. For the first time, you can make your brick-and-mortar corner store accessible from across the globe in VR and meet and greet every person that comes in.
Your Virtual Reality Marketing Wake-Up Call
Starting with social VR now is a tremendous opportunity that can get your company an amazing competitive advantage over those that conservatively opt for a wait-and-see attitude. The power of sharing a physical space with others with the ability to engage with them, talk to them the natural way, go around together in a physical virtual reality space and do business in VR can lead to more direct interaction, unbiased data, closer relationships, and can help businesses advance faster in their marketing and sales goals.
Have your tried Virtual Reality marketing? Tell us your experience in the comments below!