6 Ways to Enhance Your Business with VR Technology + Virtual Reality Examples

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn how to use virtual reality technology to enhance your business and explore a few virtual reality examples used by companies today.

[Featured Image] A woman uses a VR headset in her office to explore various virtual reality examples.

As virtual reality (VR) technology expands, companies use it more than ever to enhance business. Data suggests that the global market will be worth at least $22 billion in 2025, an increase of more than $10 billion from its worth in 2022 [1]. From manufacturing to health care to logistics and beyond, the VR experience has the power to drive operations and services forward to better meet consumer needs and boost profits.

Use this guide to discover how VR technology can improve your business by aiding in product development, improving employee training, helping you market and sell products, and more. But first, explore what virtual reality is.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality describes the three-dimensional simulation that computer technology can create, with varying degrees of user immersion. Virtual reality users can interact with or explore virtual environments through an app or wearable products like headsets or goggles.

How to enhance your business with VR technology

Originally introduced as a gaming and home entertainment product feature, virtual reality has expanded into the business environment. Discover a few ways to enhance your business with VR technology and explore a few virtual reality examples following each category.

1. Allow customers to try before buying.

Virtual reality offers customers a new, convenient way to shop. With this technology, customers can try a product without leaving their homes. Examples of try-before-you-buy services include applying different shades of eyeshadow to your virtual eyelids or experimenting with different pieces of furniture or various paint colors in your virtual living room. Some home improvement stores even allow customers to walk into their newly-designed space by donning a virtual headset.

Virtual reality try-on examples:

Warby Parker's Home Try-On for eyeglasses, Revlon's Virtual Try-On for hair color


2. Develop better products. 

Virtual reality technology might allow your company to design better products. Designers and product developers no longer have to gather in one place to design and build a product. Now, team members can gather in simulated environments and virtual spaces. They can interact with a product and make improvements to designs quickly and easily without rebuilding a physical product. The virtual design process helps companies design and build large products, but it's also rapidly expanding to smaller products.

Virtual reality product examples:

• Ford's Gravity Sketch to design cars

• Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory (CHIL)—Lockheed Martin's virtual reality lab for product design and manufacturing


3. Improve employee education and training.

Virtual technology can improve employee education and training and save your company money. Using virtual classrooms and lecture platforms eliminates the cost of booking a training venue and employee airfare, lodging, and meals. For employees, virtual training offers the flexibility of working from home (and sometimes at their own pace), but it can also provide a good tool for learning how to work in hazardous conditions. 

For instance, virtual training makes a good option for:

  • Preparing surgeons to perform delicate surgeries

  • Preparing employees for active shooter incidents

  • Preparing employees to handle hazardous materials or equipment 

  • Preparing employees to work in dangerous environments

Additional ways virtual training may help your business include:

  • Allowing employees to practice interacting with difficult (virtual) customers

  • Faster and more cost-effective employee onboarding using automation

  • Reducing risks of breaking new equipment by providing virtual training

Virtual reality education & training examples:

Virtual town halls and training platforms like Tele-Town Hall and GlobalMeet


4. Make your products easier to find.

Shoppers become frustrated when they are searching for a product they want but have trouble finding it. Creating a navigation app can help consumers find products in your store. Because a navigation app prevents shoppers from getting frustrated, it might also boost your customer loyalty and sales. By attaching product promotions along their navigational route, customers may spend even more money in your store. 

Virtual reality shopping examples:

In-store navigation apps from Lowes and Kroger


5. Provide customers with virtual shopping assistants.

Virtual shopping assistants allow customers to get the information they need any time of the day, and they might save you money on staffing. A virtual shopping assistant can help locate products for customers, offer product suggestions, answer product-related questions, book appointments for services, and make a shopping experience personal. 

Virtual reality shopping assistant examples:

• Sephora's Reservation Assistant that books beauty appointments

Find My Shade foundation finder that helps match cosmetic colors


6. Use immersive VR experiences to tell stories and market products or services.

By connecting with prospective buyers' emotions, immersive storytelling can help market and sell your brand, products, or services. Immersive marketing allows the customer to interact with your product, service, or brand, making them feel more involved in the marketing process. Whether you're trying to evoke joy or compassion, you can leave a lasting impression on your customers and form a bond with them by using immersive marketing. 

Virtual reality product story examples:

Merrell Trailscape VR experience, which highlights different shoe features while hiking along a trail,

Dove's reverse-selfie campaign, which highlights the negative effects of retouching apps on young people


Benefits and challenges of using VR in business

When deciding whether to incorporate VR technology into your business, it helps to consider some key benefits and challenges. Some of the essential advantages include:

  • Allowing customers to try products before buying saves companies time and money spent on returns. 

  • Virtual shopping permits customers to buy products anytime, day or night, while brick-and-mortar stores have limited shopping hours.

  • Designing products virtually removes some of the risk of developing a new product for company heads and stakeholders.

A few drawbacks of VR technology’s use in business include the following:

  • Companies need to understand exactly what their needs are and how VR can help.

  • Not all companies can afford the investment required for VR implementation.

  • Organizations must have professionals with adequate skills and expertise to implement VR technology.

Next steps on Coursera

To learn more about virtual reality, consider taking the Virtual Reality Specialization offered by the University of London on Coursera. This five-course series designed for beginners in VR starts with an introduction to the history and psychology of virtual reality and discusses various applications of VR. 

The course progresses to subjects like 3D models, building interactive 3D characters, and the social aspect of virtual reality. At the end of the course, you'll use the knowledge and skills you've learned to build your own virtual reality game. If you dedicate 10 hours per week, you should finish the course in about two months and earn a shareable certificate of completion. 

Article sources

  1. Statista. “Virtual reality (VR) statistics & facts, https://www.statista.com/topics/2532/virtual-reality-vr/.” Accessed March 20, 2024.

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