Not long ago, Virtual Reality (VR) was strictly for games and entertainment. However, VR has spread to business use. Despite this development, VR for smaller businesses was impractical because of the technology’s price. That’s changing. With broader virtual reality adoption, it’s becoming more affordable for small businesses to join the excitement. That’s good news for small businesses.

Marketing

Virtual reality is getting affordable for small firms; they can use it to spur on all areas of their marketing. From research to market tests, to sales, and product development, VR can shepherd each area to maximise success.

Market Research

For small businesses, research is vital to success. However, conducting surveys and questionnaires to find out customers’ preferences can be costly. Using virtual reality, you could design a store layout and present it on your website to get customer feedback before you implement your plan.

Product Testing

Smaller businesses also rely on product testing to get their product in front of large groups of people. With virtual reality, smaller firms can give consumers a tangible experience of their offering. Imagine a consumer putting on a VR headset to get the feel of a new show manufactured by a fledgling shoe company. Also, a customer can see how they look in a dress without going into a dressing room.

Promotions

Organizations have always used sponsorships to connect themselves to a specific event. Smaller businesses usually cannot afford sponsorship fees—virtual reality changes just that. With VR, businesses of any size can immerse consumers in their product at specific events. At a mountain bike race, spectators can feel what it is like riding your bike on the same racecourse on which the current racers are racing. The consumer will remember the event and the bike they rode while watching the race.

Sales

Without a doubt, VR has the most impact on sales of a product. VR commerce allows customers to visit digital boutiques, communicate with sales reps, and try out products and services. This use of virtual reality speeds up the consumer along their buyer’s journey.

Customer Relationship Management

While shortening the journey of the buyer, VR allows the customer and the company to build long lasting business relationship. Small businesses can create different virtual reality communities where loyal customers can collaborate on the best uses of their product. As a result, these smaller businesses effectively manage their customer relationships.

Product Development

If you are a small firm that relies on prototyping, the front-end investment can stop you before you get started. Larger firms have the money to invest in the cumbersome artistic process of building a model to scale. However, VR permits small businesses to create, view and interact with a full-size prototype. Thus, eliminating the significant investment in the artistic process.

Data Management

For small businesses, data management can get challenging to scale. If the company is a startup, investing in advanced analytics might be far off on the horizon. Sure, these businesses will use low-end data visualization software. However, virtual reality allows any size company to scale for data visualization and better data management. Startups can use 3D models that immerse them in data to visualize information from the complex to the simple. VR democratizes access to data so all businesses can gain actionable insights.

Recruiting

Most small business fail to talk about VR’s impact on recruiting. Startups face barriers to attracting top talent. Perhaps, they do not have the financial muscle to match more established firms. However, VR allows smaller firms to engage potential candidates by letting them get a feel for the role for which they are applying. Candidates can also see the office.

For managers at a small cafe, they might only have time to train a new hire on how to run the coffee machine. When potential new hires can immerse themselves in the role without being hired, it reduces training time and prepares the candidate for the job.

Training

Allowing candidates to plunge into a role during the interview process complements VR’s ability to make training easier. As above-mentioned, managers at small firms might not have the time to train all their employees. Virtual reality permits new hires to immerse themselves in individual training courses.  For example, new hires at a small textile firm might go through virtual pattern-making training before making patterns for real.

Virtual-reality platforms also make it easier to train employees on a broad range of business skills. Oculus’ VirtualSpeech, for example, allows users to teach in public speaking in a variety of different settings. This technology helps sales representatives with their presentations.

Virtual reality is an innovation every business should consider using.  As VR tools evolve, organizations of every size will feel all the benefits of this exciting technology. From marketing to talent acquisition and training to managing data, VR will enhance and inspire every sector of business.