The Cost Reality
While the potential for VR is great, cost can be a hindrance for many businesses. Because VR is still in the early stages of adoption, companies have a limited reach when marketing directly to consumers. A recent forecast report showed that only six percent of Americans would likely own VR headsets in 2016, and of those headset owners, only a small number would opt for more expensive, high-end equipment like the Oculus Rift.3 And because mainstream virtual reality is still in the early stages, there are many unknown costs associated with marketing with VR.Change in Forecast
Originally predicted to be worth $30 billion by 2020, a joint report from Greenlight Insights and Road to VR showed that VR is making a slower climb.1 The report suggests that the VR market will be “very modest” over the same five-year period. With high initial costs and slower widespread adoption, companies might be hesitant to market via VR. Still, they should be looking at the long term. A Bright Future
In fact, by 2026, VR is predicted to be a $38 billion industry.1 And as more affordable VR headsets emerge, consumers will have more opportunities to adopt virtual reality. As seen from The New York Times promotion, Google Cardboard is an economical entryway to VR-based marketing. And more companies are looking to jump on the virtual reality bandwagon. IDC predicts that 30 percent of consumer-facing Global 2000 companies will work with AR and VR in 2017.3
The technologies behind VR continue to grow as well. Eyefluence, an eye-tracking startup recently purchased by Google, makes it possible for VR users to navigate and select objects with eye movements, eliminating the need for a mouse. Technologies like eye tracking can mean a great deal for future advertising and market research.