Recovering After COVID-19: Which Industries Can Attract More Customers Through VR?

By: Sean Cummings

April 19, 2021

Recovering After COVID-19: Which Industries Can Attract More Customers Through VR?

Virtual reality tours may become the last resort for many businesses, especially hospitality and tourism, to fight against customers’ uncertainty.

With the nationwide lockdown still in force in many places, customers have stopped making plans and are cautious about going out. How do you retain them?

360 virtual reality tours did a good job before the pandemic, but now they may become the last resort for many businesses.

Which Industries Are Most Affected?

COVID-19 made some industries literally fight for survival. Every business based on serving customers in person has suffered.

Hospitality and tourism had particularly hard times. Their revenue generation completely ceased due to the lockdowns. Recently, restaurants could welcome their visitors again. But hotels are still closed in numerous states, says the interactive map launched by New York Times.

A Pursuit for Better Marketing

Even before the pandemic, these industries had to put a lot of effort into showing their customers what to expect upon arrival. Brochures, websites, video ads, advertorials, and other paid reviews worked to provide as much persuasive information as possible.

With COVID-19, the task has become more ambitious. Customers are now less willing to undertake the risk of making a reservation and then having to cancel it. This means that if you’re in these industries, you need to provide a precise understanding of what your customers’ experiences would be like, so they can be sure that it’s worth a risk.

And you need to guarantee that, in these situations of long-term revenue gaps, you use your financial resources for the right thing.

3D Virtual Reality Tours

An Underused Marketing Strategy

3D tours were not unusual for entertainment facilities that offer exclusive experiences, for instance, adventure parks and indoor climbing centers. Embedded into websites, they helped new customers get an idea of the place since no particular benchmark exists for such facilities.

In contrast, most of the traditional entertainment and hospitality locations didn’t use 3D tours at all. With the rising uncertainty among customers, hotels and restaurants might change their minds. They need to pull back their clients.

A simple 3D tour may not be enough, however, since we all have a baseline understanding of what a restaurant or hotel offers. Besides, 3D tours can’t simulate any interactions or encounters with other people inside the location.

Personalization Reaches Its Perfection

As a hospitality business, you should seriously consider 3D VR tours as an enhanced technical alternative. Customers don’t simply want to look at the place they plan to visit; they need a realistic experience of visiting it.

Let’s think about it from a different perspective. Old-school marketing materials emphasize advantages that marketers find important. For instance, a nice view from the hotel room. But a particular customer may be more interested in the room itself and how it’s equipped. A virtual reality hotel tour helps customers focus on what is actually essential for them and for their decision.

A 3D apartment tour replaces a real visit without losing on quality of the presentation. A VR restaurant tour can show your guests how the food would look on their plates. They can meet your chef in person even before they arrive!

Overcoming Your Customers’ Uncertainty

Hospitality customers are faced with two major concerns:

  • Will I actually like the place?—Does it look like I imagined?
  • Will I be able to go there?—Is a new lockdown still possible?

You can’t help them with the second set of questions, but you definitely can give the right answer to the first questions: Is your place actually worth visiting?

An experienced AR/VR team, such as Laminar Consulting, can build for you a virtual reality apartment or a restaurant virtual tour. Let virtual reality speak for itself.

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