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ROI or Return on Investment is an essential part of planning any marketing strategy and 360º images and immersive 360º video is no different.  We are fortunate to have several studies that have been conducted by independent organizations to measure the effectiveness of virtual tours for business.  The following is our findings after digging deep into the world of VR!

Research Paid For by Google

Google hired an independent firm to study the effectiveness of virtual tours. Here’s what they discovered:

Virtual Tours Help Double Interest In Business

Those who view a listing with a virtual tour are twice as likely to be interested in booking a reservation there. And among 18-34 year-olds in particular, prospects are 130% more likely to book based on a tour.

Google Stats on Virtual Reality Tours

In this study among people surveyed, 67% wanted more businesses to have virtual tours. Of the remainder, 26% were undecided, and 7% stated that more virtual tours were unnecessary. This means that the majority of people surveyed really like seeing virtual tours when they view websites, Youtube, and Facebook.

Statistics for Real Estate:

The National Association of Realtors is yet another group who has a specific interest in deciding if virtual tours are growing or shrinking their member’s businesses. NARs annual reports are a good reference on the subject. Some recent findings include:

  • More than half of adults in the U.S. who use the internet have taken a virtual tour
  • 54% of buyers won’t look at a property listing unless it has virtual reality tours
  • 50% Found VR tours very useful in making their decision

This data backs up additional findings from a Realtor.com study, that found listings with a virtual tour get 87% more views than those without virtual tours. In addition, Property Week found that virtual tours reduce the number of wasted viewings by 40% which means they are responsible for increasing the likelihood of visitors closing a sale while navigating on a given website.  Lastly, Planet Home’s ‘Trend Study’ concluded that 75% of potential customers and visitors consider a virtual tour to be a major decision-making tool before proceeding to purchase. It’s clear that virtual tours are becoming a vital part of marketing both businesses and homes.

Statistics for Hotels, Travel, and Automotive Businesses:

Outside of real estate, virtual tours and 360 content is thriving. Hotels are one such industry that has found great success by including them on their websites. According to research from Omni Hotels, a virtual tour on a hotel website increases bookings and look-to-book conversion rates by as much as 16 to 67%. That’s a massive increase in captured revenue from website traffic that would previously be gone to a competitor.

Other industries are also taking note of the success of 360 content.  Social Bakers recently studied which industries are making the most use of 360 content. They found that outside of Real Estate, 63% of travel company pages posted at least one 360 videos or photo in 2016. The automotive industry wasn’t far behind with 54% of company pages publishing 360-degree posts. To put this in perspective, the fashion and beauty industry pages had the lowest adoption rate, as only 10% published at least one 360-degree post. Social Bakers also found that 360-degree photos were far more engaging on Facebook rather than typical photos.