There’s no disagreement about the incredible potential VR (Virtual Reality), which has been one of the hottest topics of discussions in recent times. Most people are excited by the amazing immersive experience offered by VR, and companies such as Oculus, Microsoft, and Vive have already made considerable investments to tap into this excitement.
Most of this potential is being explored by brands for marketing purposes, as they feel that the digitalization of B2C commerce would drive customers to embrace the technology entirely. Hence, there has been an ongoing effort to use the power of virtual reality in enabling users to experience the edges of their imagination about the brand, which in turn could maximize the overall buying experience.
Listed below are different fields that have a massive scope for VR implementation.
• VR in Education
The innovative domain of eLearning has been growing at a phenomenal rate and is consistently listed as one of the fastest growing industries. While most students are taking up online courses, there is still a perceived gap between the online and physical education. Being able to engage with the students through better engagement is where online education is yet to score a point. Moreover, as the attention span of younger generation keeps decreasing, keeping the learners engaged has turned out to be the foremost challenges of online education.
The eLearning courses have tried it with infographics, gamification, videos, social network integration, etc., yet the desired level of immersion hasn’t been achieved by many. It is here VR can be used to maximize the immersive experience of the learners. Through VR, learners can be enabled to interact with characters and items in the virtual surrounding, which would induce higher levels of attention. Apparently, online courses would be able to provide a more engaging experience as compared to the brick-and-mortar classrooms.
• VR in eCommerce
Popular retail brands have turned to VR to provide an immersive experience that can help them to achieve high conversions. For instance, IKEA has developed a VR app that lets prospective customers visualize various kitchen designs by virtually viewing the dimensions, fixtures, and colors. Customers would no longer have to guess the outcome by just gazing at the images as they wouldn’t only be able to view the designs but also check how they would appear in real after installation.
By providing a fully immersive experience of the kitchen designs, customers can identify potential flaws, which they may not get to see until it’s too late. Such an experience would not just improve the customer’s buying experience but could even make them a brand evangelist.
• VR for Road Safety
Using a VR headset while driving, could be practically dangerous. But, on the contrary, Toyota’s new VR app is aimed to raise awareness of the dangers of “distracted driving”. Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, the TeenDrive365 app functions as a “distracted driving simulator”, which challenges people to drive safely amid distractions from virtual passengers, text messages, and traffic noise.
By installing the software on the Oculus Rift VR hardware in a stationary car, Toyota has been able to provide real-time results of distracted driving on the VR headset’s screen. The app, which is part of a wider campaign to promote road safety, is one of the ideal ways for an automobile brand to engage with prospects and customers, is sure to drive the overall customer experience to a new height.
Apart from these specialized purposes, VR can be generically used by Technical support teams to optimize their service. Conventionally, remote troubleshooting is done through phone, where representatives have to figure out the issue by relying on a customer’s description of the problem. In response, the executives have to describe each troubleshooting step in detail. The customers have to visualize it, and then try it out on their own. However, when the customers are technically naïve, wouldn’t be able to provide the accurate description nor be able to carry out the required step accordingly, which could end up destroying their overall experience with the brand. A two-way video communication can help to a certain extent, but even this might be difficult for some customers, and others may not like it (privacy reasons are often cited).
A VR interaction could provide an ideal solution in such cases. As it is easy to use, most customers could use it to share what they are seeing and doing with the representative as if they were in the customer’s shoes. It would not only allow them to guide the customers much more effectively through the troubleshooting process but also highlight what the customers need to do next as if they were present next to them.
Moreover, remote troubleshooting through VR could be used for any purpose, be it a simple plumbing repair or something as complex as rebuilding a combustion engine.
Thus, owing to these advantages, more and more companies are currently investing into VR. The potential benefits of being imaginative with the technology could help them not just enhance the customer experience, but also maximize the competitive advantage.