While the debate will continue around businesses’ expectations of virtual reality's potential vs. the realities of consumer adoption, VR has gone ahead and found a growing number of ways to make business and industry more efficient, more effective and better connected to its customers. And not always in the most obvious ways. Take VR retail as an example.
With the holiday season at a fast-paced jog behind us, brick-and-mortar retailers are looking for exciting experiences to lure shoppers in-store, and away from clicking that death blow buy button with an online behemoth. VR retail has a place to play in deepening shopping engagement, regardless of whether shoppers own a headset or ever plan to use one.
The reality is that most of us probably won’t use VR to buy shoes or clothing — there wouldn’t be much point. VR wouldn’t solve a problem that still images and videos can’t resolve in terms of showing off the product. Indeed, some manufacturers probably don’t want to use VR, given that it’s all too real. A VR representation of the hottest new smartphone looks a lot like a black brick. It lacks the sharp gleaming corners and screen angle of a stylized still photo generated by a marketing department.