Why virtual reality isn’t just for gamers

From marketing to recruitment, VR technology offers powerful opportunities to businesses across many industries.
3 September 2018

VR is gradually making inroads into the business world. Source: Shutterstock

When you think of virtual reality (VR), you tend to think of gaming and entertainment.

Gamers everywhere are immersing themselves into barren, bomb-struck battlefields, magical kingdoms with dragons and mystic creatures swooping overhead, and cities of the future where your best friend and battle partner is a robot named Clyde.

However, although VR is transforming the gaming landscape, the technology also has possibilities outside of this space.

Enterprise VR is a quietly successful segment of this emerging industry that perhaps doesn’t get the attention it so rightly deserves.

There are some truly exciting enterprise use cases which have the capability to provide businesses with opportunities for customer engagement and process optimization.

Here are just three examples of how VR is being used in the world of business.

Marketing campaigns

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, standing out from the crowd using traditional marketing tactics is no longer enough. As a result, many brands are exploring immersive experiences in their marketing campaigns using virtual reality.

With VR, it is easy to create an engaging campaign that consumers are more likely to interact with. A VR headset submerges a consumer into a virtual world that a brand creates.

During Christmas time, Coca-Cola created a VR sleigh ride in which users in Poland could become Santa Claus for a day, soaring through the skies.

Training and education

Virtual reality is increasingly becoming a powerful tool in the training and education of employees. It adds a valuable interactive level to the more traditional methods.

This is especially valuable in situations where practicing training knowledge in real life would be dangerous or impractical. For example, VR is commonly being used in medical training, allowing surgeons to practice a procedure without endangering a real human.

First-year medical students at UC San Francisco use VR technology to understand anatomy better, bridging the gap between hands-on training and textbook learning.

To increase sales

Many businesses are harnessing the power of VR to promote their product or services. The technology allows customers to experience and visualize a product virtually.

This is proving especially valuable in the tailored presentation of products. For example, thanks to VR, consumers can picture their favorite color on a new car model they’re interested in.

Thanks to VR, customers shopping for clothes online can virtually try on an outfit to see if the garment suits them or not.

And thanks to VR, house-buyers can take guided virtual tours of a property without having to travel. It seems the possibilities for using VR to boost sales are endless for brands!

Car maker Mazda is allowing customers to test drive cars using virtual reality from the comfort of their favorite armchair. The company hopes that it will encourage drivers to test drive the real thing.

Virtual reality is so far proving to be a powerful tool for many fast-thinking businesses. Not only is the technology helping in the above areas, it is also making waves in many others including the recruitment of employees via virtual interviews, helping in product design through visualization, and much more.

In today’s digital age, the businesses who create engaging, immersive, and interactive experiences for customers will ultimately be the winners. It’s now up to businesses to seize the opportunity to set themselves apart.