Virtual reality (VR) is fast becoming an actual reality. According to Goldman Sachs, the market for VR and its offshoot, augmented reality, could reach up to USD$182 billion (over NZD$250 billion) by 2025.
Video games – long said to be a natural home for VR – will only make up a small portion of this amount, which leaves plenty of room for B2B applications.
We take a look at the potential this engaging technology could offer to businesses.
Virtual elements, real financial gains
VR offers fantastic opportunities for those in the B2B space. When your potential customers don the VR headset, they become the very definition of a captive audience. By completely immersing them in a virtual world, you’re limiting the amount of distractions they’re exposed to.
This virtual environment is also completely malleable – it can be whatever you need it to be, giving you unprecedented control over what your customers can see and do. At the same time, it transforms them from passive viewers to active participants, further engaging them and forging more meaningful interactions.
Show, don’t tell
Perhaps the most striking advantage of using VR in a B2B context is the ability to show your product or service to a customer instead of telling them about it.
If you’re selling a product that helps streamline a customer’s workflow, it’s much more effective to show them how it works by integrating it into their processes than attempt to explain it using diagrams and hypothetical examples.
Or imagine using VR to create a virtual desktop environment and allowing your clients to freely explore your product and experience its benefits first-hand. These are just two examples of how VR can support a ‘show, don’t tell’ approach.
The technology also offers the opportunity to engage with your clients in the same virtual environment and answer any questions they might have. This is a lot more hands-on than simply sending clients a product demo and leaving them to their own devices. You don’t even need to be in the same country or continent as your customers to communicate in the virtual world.
Ultimately, VR allows users to get a feel for a product or service without the need to travel and see it in the flesh. For instance, you could create a virtual tour of a data centre, demonstrating the size of the hardware and even allowing customers to hear how quiet it is when running.
An affordable investment
What's more, VR is becoming more affordable than ever. High-end headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE still cost hundreds of dollars, but you can pick up the Google Daydream View for around $100. You can even make your own branded Google Cardboard headset for just a few dollars.
VR offers exciting potential for the B2B sector – and a whole new vehicle for reaching your customers. Isn’t it time you saw what it could do for you?