How VR Shopping Experiences Enhance Customer Gratification

The reem acra and sum 37 elixior in the abstract virtual space

The age of constant information has led to a worldwide drop in engagement time. The general public replaced patient observation with quick consumption because of fast digital messaging. In order to engage their customer base, some companies looked toward more immersive alternatives such as virtual reality (VR) digital marketing.

The prospect of VR digital marketing offers companies the ability to completely engage their audience from all angles. Beyond being a marketing tool, VR has the ability to turn hard-to-explain material into tangible, experienceable moments. Apply the digital landscape to a product or brand so consumers can appreciate a unique VR shopping experience.

As a communication medium, marketing teams and content creators underuse VR according to demand. The virtual world captures nearly all the senses while allowing for any environment to be created without limits. People love the immersive nature and imaginative creations.

In this blog we will discuss the following:

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VR at a Glance

From a general view, VR provides people a unique media experience unlike any other they can enjoy from traditional sources. From simple phone renditions of virtual spaces to immersive body suits, people engage with VR on a much deeper level.

Many research studies prove virtual reality’s ability to engage an audience. Even when explaining to audience members a complex message, the virtual world makes any concept understood and enjoyed. For example, researchers from the University of Oslo found that VR better engaged participants into understanding concepts of astrophysics. After interacting with the immersive lesson, users even rated the experience 4.6/5 with one saying they “didn’t want to leave.”

VR as a Means of Personal Gratification

One reason why people find VR enjoyable is because of its ability to offer gratification through its immersive media style. More specifically, people feel gratified when media can fulfill their needs and cooperate with their wants. Researchers at North Carolina State University defined five known gratifications which VR fulfills through its immersive media.

  • Utilitarian Gratification: The gratification gained from the efficiency/effectiveness of a device to complete a task.
  • Hedonic Gratification: The gratification received from consuming relaxing or entertaining media.
  • Sensual Gratification: The gratification derived from experiencing the stimulation of multiple senses.
  • Social Gratification: The gratification received from participating in social interaction.
  • Symbolic Gratification: The gratification gained from participating in activities which promote self-expression.

 

Depending on the environment and situation within the VR experience, the participant attains each of these gratifications more or less. Through these gratifications, users perceive more enjoyable experiences and hold a more positive attitude toward virtual spaces.

AR advertising

People are constantly finding new ways to enjoy the wonders of virtual reality.

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The VR Shopping Experience

People clearly enjoy VR as a medium for social interaction, entertaining media, and self-expression. This is why companies are using VR digital marketing with anything from product launches to entire virtually generated store rooms. Below are just some of the ways innovations in VR technology that positively affect the VR shopping experience.

Unique Product Placement

One of the first steps in establishing a presence in the virtual marketplace is for brands to advertise their product. Utilizing VR digital marketing to the fullest means coming up with a strategy to engage virtual audiences with the product. Product placement in spaces such as the Metaverse will be part of the next wave of advertising.

A recent study published under the Journal of Interactive Advertising conducted two studies on consumer reactions to VR product placement. Results showed that the interactivity and dynamicity in VR were the key factors in honing user engagement. Afterward, advertisers’ ability to subtly yet prominently promote their product was key in creating a positive attitude toward the brand.

Specialized VR Events for Customers

Offering customers specialized VR experiences is another way companies enhance consumer shopping experiences while promoting their brand. With nearly no limitations, advertisers have explored new ways to give the customer a memorable VR experience attached to their company. From Lowe’s Holoroom VR design studio to the Six Flags, Samsung rollercoaster crossover, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

Complete In-Store Experiences from Home

Being able to completely look over products before purchasing them is an essential part of the retail shopping experience. However, the move toward online retail is making it very difficult for potential buyers to know what they are buying. That is why sales mediums such as VR shopping centers are necessary for the future of online shopping.

Recently, retail management researchers from Ryerson University studied how people perceived VR shopping experiences versus online retail websites. They found that consumers rated their VR shopping experience as more satisfying rather than tasking, appealing toward their hedonic gratification. Additionally, certain products were seen as extensions of the body and therefore more appealing in the VR space.

Top View VR Tour Story of Whoo

Within the virtual space, environments can take shape out of your wildest imaginations.

How to Maximize Your VR Digital Marketing Campaign

Now you know how virtual spaces can create a unique VR shopping experience. But how can your company get their foot in the door to this opportunity? Maximizing the efficiency of the campaign hitting the two basic marks of VR digital marketing: engagement and gratification.

Engage Your Audience

Once you get your consumer into your virtual space, give them an engaging VR shopping experience. With their full attention on your brand, you need to provide them the proper tools and environment for interaction.

Utilize Your Space

A virtual space is limitless with no boundaries beyond the imagination. Utilizing this opportunity to your advantage is key in first garnering your audience’s attention. Virtual reality does not mean replicating reality, and brands that offer an extraordinary environment see more popularity among their customer base.

Make the World Enjoyable from All Angles

The advantage of creating your own reality is that users will be able to explore it from all perspectives. That means offering them an engaging experience from all areas and angles. This can be achieved in a variety of ways.

  • Offer an interactive VR shopping experience with the objects in the space.
  • Make the space visually appealing from all angles.
  • Create a floor plan that makes the users want to explore and stay around.

Make the Customer Feel Gratified

Whatever you choose to do to engage your audience, make sure by the end of their experience they leave feeling gratified. Even if you are not selling something, offering a memorable, gratifying experience garners a better reputation and produces future sales. From a marketing team’s perspective, there are many ways to accomplish this, as listed at the beginning of this blog.

Give the Space a Purpose

As beautiful or intriguing as your space is, you must still offer the consumer a purpose for being there. Whether you show off a product or sell inventory, the consumer wants to engage with your VR digital marketing campaign. Engaging with your audience through an entertaining visual or interactive task means they will stay longer to consider your product.

Define an End Goal

Once the consumer realizes the purpose of your creation, show them the end goal of your VR digital marketing campaign. Showing them your brand or offering them your product by the end leads to them appreciating the advertisement. You let them inspect your space and consider your product, so make the final sale an experience that satisfies their experience.

Kickoff Your VR Digital Marketing Campaign Today

The market for the commercial VR industry is still in its infancy, and big things are still expected. The predicted CAGR of the VR industry is expected to be upwards of 44% by 2028 or $84 billion USD. Consider getting your foot in the door and making your own virtual space before it is too late.

Contact us today with your ideas so we can make your potential VR shopping experience a reality. And for more on the benefits of VR, consider reading our blog detailing VR digital marketing strategies.

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