38% of Shoppers Say High Cost Is a Barrier to Virtual Reality

Consumers are bullish on immersive advertising, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 360-degree video. According to a survey released today by online video advertising company YuMe, 63 percent of consumers who have tried immersive technology say it’s the next big thing.

Additionally, 60 percent of consumers believe virtual reality can help create engaging experiences and 51 percent think brands now using VR are innovators. The numbers are nearly as strong for 360-degree video, where 53 percent say 360-degree video can create engaging experiences and 45 percent say brands now using 360-degree video are innovators.

So what’s keeping more people from enjoying immersive videos? The cost. The perceived high price of VR is far-and-away the biggest obstacle. Asked what they see as the top challenge for VR to be a success, 38 percent said the price tag.

Cost is certainly a reason why the use of immersive devices is low. YuMe found that only 12 percent of those surveyed have a mobile VR device and 9 percent have a 360-degree camera.

Given those stats, is it too early for brands to make an investment in VR? Or should brands get in early and become trail-blazers?

“The time is now for brands to invest in immersive advertising as a new way to engage with consumers. Worldwide VR shipments are expected to be near 10 million in 2016 and expected to be near 16 million in 2017, a significant uptick in consumer adoption and usage,” explains Tripp Boyle, YuMe’s vice president of emerging platforms and sales consulting. “To put that in context it is roughly equal to connected TV shipments in 2011, which proved a pivotal year for brands to participate in the early CTV market and attain first-mover advantage. Those early adopters definitely benefited as the market has grown, which is what I anticipate will be the same for brands that deepen usage of  VR this year.”

One thing is certain: People who have tried immersive technologies have a much more positive view of them. For example, 60 percent of those who have tried immersive tech agree that brands using VR create a more positive image of themselves. Only 43 percent of the total group said the same.

How should brands dive into VR? YuMe says the best applications are creating an immersive demo for consumers to watch prior to purchase, offering how-to instructions in VR, and creating VR events and experiences.

YuMe’s data comes from an August 2016 survey of 811 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 54. Download the research and infographic for free (registration required).


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