Will UK Businesses Catch the Drift of Oculus Rift? - eMarketer

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Will UK Businesses Catch the Drift of Oculus Rift?

UK businesses get on board the VR train

August 24, 2016

The consumer version of Oculus Rift finally got a UK release date—September 20, 2016. It’s an announcement that UK consumers have been keen to hear if survey sentiment is anything to go by. April 2016 polling by Ipsos MORI found that 63% of 16-to-24-year-old internet users were interested in experiencing virtual reality (VR). Even a third of respondents ages 55 to 75 were keen to get in on the act.

UK Internet Users Ages 16-24 vs. 55-75 Who Are Interested in Experiencing Virtual Reality, April 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

These users are interested in multiple use cases for the technology, though the study found that experiencing travel destinations and being part of crowd at a music concert were the most appealing uses.

Businesses in the UK are well aware of the potential offered by VR, and some are already starting to mull over the best ways they could be using the technology to drive custom. July 2016 research from Morar Consulting for marketing automation software provider Squiz found that among those UK businesses that planned to use VR, the majority—65%—wanted to use it in order to improve customer experience.

Ways in Which UK Businesses Plan to Use Virtual Reality (VR), July 2016 (% of respondents)

While marketing and events was the second-most-popular answer, it’s encouraging to see that businesses get the idea that VR is an “experiential” type of opportunity first and foremost. While marketing efforts may be able to be amalgamated into such experiences in time, putting the customer at the center of their VR play is a sensible way into this exciting marketplace.

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