Commentary

54% Want To Use VR/AR In Physical Stores

A few things still stand in the way, but most people globally say that virtual and augmented reality ultimately will become as popular as smartphones.

The main reason for not having tried VR or AR is the lack of opportunity, based on a new study.

However, consumers have high expectations for virtual and augmented reality, with more than half (55%) expecting it to become as popular as smartphones in years to come.

The study comprised interviews of 16,000 consumers who have heard about virtual or augmented reality in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, United States and United Kingdom. The study was conducted by research company Opinium for the payments company Worldpay.

There’s no shortage of what consumers want to do with VR or AR. Here are the most popular areas of interest:

  • 85% -- Travel experiences
  • 84% -- Museums and galleries
  • 84% -- Education, training
  • 83% -- For designing something
  • 79% -- Live entertainment
  • 77% -- Exercise or sport
  • 75% -- Navigation
  • 74% -- Retail and shopping
  • 70% -- Business
  • 69% -- Meditation
  • 63% -- Fully immersive gaming
  • 53% -- Gaming through mobile

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While gaming is currently a common use for virtual reality, it’s near the bottom of the list of desired activities.

There are numerous reasons some people have not yet used augmented or virtual reality, the chief among them being they haven’t had the chance. Here’s why those who have not yet used VR or AR:

  • 43% -- Have not had the opportunity to use one
  • 34% -- I haven’t needed to
  • 30% -- I don’t understand how it could help my everyday life
  • 24% -- They are too expensive
  • 10% -- Will wait until can do so for free
  • 9% -- Don’t know where to find one
  • 4% -- The equipment would make me look silly
  • 1% -- What I want to use it for is not currently available

While those are the reasons consumers haven’t jumped onto the VR/AR bandwagon, there are other barriers consumers see to using virtual reality or augmented reality for buying products and services. Most (61%) cite the high cost of devices, 44% are concerned with security of payment details and 22% say they would look funny wearing a headset.

On the upside, the top reason for using VR or AR to make purchases is that it would save time by not having to go to a store and consumers would insure they get the right product because they could check if clothes fit and how they look before making the purchase.

Retailers in the U.S. should take note: the majority (54%) of U.S. consumers said they want to use VR/AR technology in physical stores and 59% want to see it used in shopping apps, reporting it as a more fun way of shopping.

In the 25 to 34-year-old age group, those numbers shoot to 72% and 78%, respectively. 

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