Virtual reality in market research: A guide

4 min read

Virtual reality (VR) technology has the potential to transform how firms perform market research. Market research seeks to comprehend consumer preferences, behaviour, and trends in order to make sound business decisions. By giving realistic simulations and data-driven insights, VR creates an immersive and engaging environment that can supplement traditional market research approaches. Businesses can obtain a better understanding of consumer demands, improve product development, improve customer experiences, and refine marketing tactics by utilising VR in market research.

In general, virtual reality gives firms the chance to obtain more precise, useful, and thorough market research information. It offers a cheap and effective means to test goods, examine consumer behaviour, hone tactics, and come to wise business judgements. The use of VR in market research is anticipated to increase as the technology develops, giving companies more tools to remain ahead of the competition and satisfy changing consumer needs.

Use of virtual reality in market research

Several important uses of virtual reality in market research are listed below:

Client Journey Mapping: By simulating multiple client touch points in virtual reality, researchers can gain a comprehensive understanding of the customer experience. Researchers can uncover pain points, places for growth, and joyous moments by immersing participants in virtual settings, which will increase customer happiness and loyalty.

Focus groups and user interviews: By enabling participants to virtually meet and participate in a shared virtual area, VR can facilitate distant and collaborative market research. This offers a practical and affordable replacement for conventional focus groups and user interviews, removing geographic restrictions and enabling real-time data collecting.

Market Simulation and Forecasting: Researchers can test market strategies, model consumer reactions, and predict market outcomes by using virtual reality to construct simulated market environments. This aids businesses in making wise choices about product positioning, price, and market entry.

Assessment of the in-store experience: Researchers can analyse consumer behaviour, store layouts, and product placement by simulating retail environments in VR. Companies can optimise their in-store experiences, raise customer satisfaction levels, and boost sales by looking at how customers use online stores, interact with products, and make decisions.

Concept Visualisation: Researchers can develop virtual simulations or prototypes of novel concepts or ideas using virtual reality, which enables people to interact with and give feedback on these concepts in a more engaging and realistic way

Guide on how to use virtual reality in market research for businesses

Virtual reality (VR) can give organisations insightful information and improve their comprehension of consumer preferences. A step-by-step manual for incorporating virtual reality into market research is provided below:

Establish your research goals:  Determine the precise objectives and inquiries that your market research will attempt to address. This could entail studying consumer behaviour, experimenting with product ideas, analysing store designs, or investigating novel ideas.

Select a VR platform: Choose a virtual reality system based on your demands. There are many choices, from expensive headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to less expensive models like the Oculus Quest or smartphone-based VR systems like the Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard.

Establish a virtual environment: Establish a virtual setting that supports your study goals. Designing a virtual store, a space for product demonstrations, or any other environment that enables users to engage with your goods or services genuinely will help you achieve this.

Recruit participants: Find volunteers that suit the demographic or psychographic profile you want to examine by identifying your target audience. Think about elements like age, gender, locality, and other pertinent traits. You can find participants by using social media, online platforms, or market research firms.

Collecting and analysing the data- Utilising a variety of techniques to gather information and feedback during the VR research study. This can entail videotaping participants’ movements and interactions in the virtual setting, gathering eye-tracking information, or doing surveys and interviews while immersed in VR. Once the research study is complete, analyse the data that was gathered to draw valuable conclusions. Finding patterns, trends, or correlations within the data may be necessary for this.

Draw judgements and offer advice: Draw inferences regarding consumer behaviour, product preferences, or any other study objectives you established based on the data that has been analysed. Use the information to guide corporate decisions, improve marketing tactics, or create better products.

Iterate and improve: Market research is an iterative process. Continually adjust your VR research methods in light of the new information. Incorporate participant comments and draw lessons from each study to improve the efficacy and precision of upcoming research projects.

Industries that should use virtual reality in market research

Virtual reality (VR) has the potential to transform market research by giving users engaging and lifelike experiences. Here are some noteworthy instances of sectors that can profit from adopting VR into their market research strategies:

Automotive Industry

Entertainment and gaming

Education and Training

Real estate


Sports and fitness

Future and Potential of virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) has a bright future and a lot of potential. It is predicted to revolutionise several sectors and give people immersive experiences. Here are some numbers and facts that demonstrate VR’s potential:

Market Expansion: With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.2% from 2021 to 2026, it is anticipated that the size of the worldwide virtual reality industry will reach $125.19 billion by that year.

Gaming and Entertainment: One of the main forces behind the adoption of VR is the gaming sector. The market for virtual reality gaming is anticipated to reach $45.09 billion by 2026, expanding at a CAGR of 30.2% between 2021 and 2026. Virtual reality can change the entertainment sector. 

Architecture and design:. With a CAGR of 16.7% from 2021 to 2026, it is anticipated that the global market for virtual reality in architecture and design will reach $3.15 billion by that year.

Industries using Virtual reality in their market research

Market research is one of the many fields where virtual reality (VR) is becoming more and more popular. Here are some actual instances of businesses conducting market research utilising virtual reality:

Ford: The automaker Ford has improved its market research efforts using virtual reality. “Ford Reality Check,” a virtual reality experience they created, enables users to visually explore and interact with various Ford vehicles. Before releasing new car models, Ford uses this immersive experience to get comments and ideas from potential buyers.

Marriott Hotels: Virtual reality has been used by Marriott Hotels as a tool for market research in the hospitality sector. Before making trip arrangements, they offered a “VRoom Service” where clients could order a Samsung Gear VR headset and take virtual tours of several locations. Marriott Hotels learned about consumer preferences and travel decisions by observing guest interactions and preferences within the VR experience.

Walmart: Walmart has improved its market research efforts by utilising virtual reality technologies. To evaluate store designs, product placements, and all aspects of the shopping experience, they produced VR simulations. Walmart might optimise its shop layouts for greater customer happiness and more sales by enabling customers to virtually explore several store designs and track their behaviour.

These instances demonstrate how businesses have adopted virtual reality as a useful tool for gathering more precise and insightful data while boosting the overall consumer experience.


In market research, virtual reality (VR) has become a potent instrument that has the potential to considerably aid in corporate expansion in the modern world. VR enables organisations to gain an in-depth understanding of consumer behaviour and preferences through the creation of immersive and interactive experiences, resulting in better product or service development strategies.

In recent years, the use of VR technology has become more widespread and affordable, making it possible for companies of all sizes to include it in their market research plans. Now that VR headsets are more widely used and there are more tools available to create VR content, organisations may use this technology to seize new growth opportunities.

Businesses can use virtual reality in market research as a potent tool to learn more about consumer behaviour, improve product development, and generate more precise marketing plans. Companies can encourage creativity, enhance decision-making, and ultimately drive corporate success in today’s dynamic and competitive marketplace by utilising the immersive and interactive characteristics of VR.

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