Purchase previewing is most compelling VR engagement angle—so far

As an interactive medium that offers unparalleled immersion, virtual reality allows users to experience, preview, and escape reality. While early adopters are predominantly gamers, driven to the medium by the promise of ‘being there,’ given the huge growth potential of the market, it is becoming necessary to understand the demographics of VR owners and intenders to ensure that current and future use cases drive further demand.

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A recent report from the User Experience Strategies service at Strategy Analytics, Virtual Reality: Who are VR owners and VR Intenders?, explores the demographics of VR owners and intenders in the U.S., Western Europe, China and India. While using VR to try out other products before purchasing them drew the greatest level of interest, at present there is no single dominant use case or ownership demographic that prominently stands out above all others.

What should original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) keep in mind?

“OEMs must ensure that a range of use cases is available to meet the differing needs of region, age and gender,” said Chris Schreiner, director of syndicated research, UXIP and report author, in a news release. “Using VR to try out other products before purchasing them is unlikely to motivate consumers to purchase a VR device, [but] it is one that consumers will use once they have VR, regardless of demographic.”

young girl uses virtual reality glasses

Other key report findings:

Overall, VR owners are more likely to be aged 25-34 in China and India, aged 25-44 in Western Europe and aged 35-44 in the U.S.

VR intenders fit exactly the same age brackets in each region with the exception of the U.S. where VR intenders are more likely to be older, aged 45+

Slightly more males than females currently own VR headsets

In addition, slightly more males than females also intend to purchase VR in the future. Interestingly the split between males and females remains constant across all regions

Different use cases draw different interests by demographic by region

Overall, VR ‘try before you buy’ is of slightly more interest to VR intenders in all regions, closely followed by immersive gaming, immersive media/entertainment and virtually experiencing live events

The report is available for purchase here.

Virtual reality. New technologies.

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