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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Virtual Reality Marketing: Optimizing Opportunities

Published: May 28, 2019


Svetlana Bialkova, Utrecht University; Enrique Bigne, Universitat de Valencia


The increasing number of VR applications changed significantly the landscape of marketing (communication) strategies. Consumers are no longer naive shoppers, but are offered experience via various VR/AR platforms, and thus possibility to explore brands/products in a new way. The goal of this session is to provide understanding on the brand-consumer relationship, and how to optimize the marketing opportunities when employing high tech VR/AR/XR platforms. The talks encompass variety of studies conducted across the globe (Singapore, Europe, US), employing different marketing tools, experimental designs, measurements and analytics. 
First talk: Consumers journey enhancement: The VR impact, by Svetlana Bialkova, aims at providing better understanding on the parameters (virtual/real worlds features) that might augment VR experiences. Two studies are presented offering experiential consumer journey within various VR environments. Cognitive and affective consumer responses are addressed as potential indicators of the observed behaviour change. The outcomes are discussed in a framework of consumer journey enhancement.
Second talk: Virtual Reality for Shopper Research in Dynamic Retail Contexts, by Raymond Burke, presents several VR studies to test the dynamic impact of marketing changes on shopper behavior over time and across competitive scenarios. The research reveals that price promotions can produce an immediate and dramatic sales lift, while new product introductions and package changes have a more gradual, positive impact on sales. Repeated price promotions increase brand sales mainly during promotional periods. New product introductions can get lost in the competitive clutter unless they’re accompanied by attention-getting merchandising and promotions.
Third talk: Examining the Purchase Conversion Effects of Virtual Product Testing on Mobile Apps: An Application of Augmented Reality in Online Retail, by Yong Chin Tan, Sandeep Chandukala, Srinivas Reddy, addresses  the purchase conversion effects of virtual product testing. Data from an international cosmetics retailer introducing AR platform are obtained to understand under what conditions virtual product testing translates to in-app purchases. Results show that products that are less expensive, products with narrower appeal, and brands that are less popular benefit more from virtual product testing.
Forth talk: A new methodological framework for Virtual reality in marketing, by Enrique Bigné, Mariano Alcañiz, Jaime Guixeres suggests a general methodological taxonomy for classifying virtual experiences in marketing (VEMs) according to their technical/content setup, purpose, assessment techniques.  A possible future research agenda is offered on how the use of XR technologies in marketing studies will enable the collection of naturalistic big data to enhance consumer behaviour theory and marketing theory in general.