Study: Virtual reality market to hit $9.2 billion by 2021
The proliferation of cheaper, mass-produced consumer-grade virtual reality (VR) applications are finding their niche in retail.
The technology, which was often synonymous with customized and expensive equipment, has been a long-time staple for military training, civil flight training, and industrial 3D modeling.
As more consumer-grade technology is developed, more enterprises, including retail companies, will adopt VR technology for training, simulation, and education applications, according to “Virtual Reality for Enterprise and Industrial Markets,” a report from marketing intelligence firm Tractica.
These applications, along with virtual prototyping and 3D modeling, public entertainment attractions, and medical therapy, will help drive the enterprise market for VR hardware and content from $592.3 million in 2016 to $9.2 billion worldwide by 2021, the firm predicted.
“Cheaper, more readily accessible consumer-grade VR equipment is opening up new enterprise use cases, some of which have vast addressable markets,” said principal analyst Mark Beccue.
A broad range of industry players, both new and established, are already aggressively developing applications leveraging this new consumer-grade VR ecosystem, and processes are aimed squarely at the enterprise market, he added.
Study: Marketers still rely heavily on email promotions to drive revenue
Email remains the go-to strategy for retailers to grab their piece of the digital pie — yet efforts don’t always meet their shoppers’ needs.
Three-fourths (76%) of marketers said they rely heavily on email promotions to drive revenue, and one-third said more than half of all emails sent include a promotion or discount, according to a new survey from Coherent Path.
Despite sending multiple emails to customers each week, 65% feel pressure to send even more emails to boost revenue and drive awareness, In fact, 57% of marketers reported sending three or more emails a week, while 11% of that group send five or more each week.
“Email continues to be a successful driver of revenue, so it’s only natural that marketers get addicted to the ROI and feel pressure to send more,” said James Glover, founder and CEO of Coherent Path.
However, companies driven by merchant-centric tactics often leave the customer’s wants and needs as an afterthought. Many email marketers (85%) are relying too heavily on what worked last year when planning email marketing calendars for the next 12 months, and a majority of retailers rely on major events and holidays (87%) to drive their efforts.
Only half (50%) of marketers are using data from an individual’s past email behavior to decide what email messages they will receive each week, the study reported.
“As retailers start to move toward a data-driven strategy, they should consider one that not only individualizes communications based on the evolving tastes and interests of their customer base, but also informs them on how to expose more of their product catalog to relevant audiences within their list,” added Glover. “This gets retailers away from relying solely on promotions and breaks the consumer of the growing discount mindset.”
Beauty retailer gets ‘virtual makeover’
A new kind of makeup consultant is assisting shoppers at Watsons Shanghai.
The health and beauty retailer’s flagship store in Shanghai now features a makeover kiosk. Equipped with the Consultation Mode augmented reality app from YouCam Makeup, the device enables shoppers to try on over 30 different products from their favorite makeup brands, including MaxFactor, Maybelline, and KATE Cosmetics.
Using Consultation Mode to digital display beauty products, Watsons enables customers to easily select and test colors and styles with true-to-life effects.
By leveraging AR, the retailer is transforming the in-store product discovery and selection process; increasing customer confidence before shoppers make a purchase decision, and driving higher customer satisfaction.