VR ‘is the category for retailers to lose’

Consumers are more inclined to buy virtual reality (VR) devices and accessories from specialist technology retailers instead of etailers, according to new data.

A survey of over 2,500 people in France, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy carried out by ICT channel tracking organisation Context has found that specialist technology chains lead as the place to buy VR devices, ahead of etailers such as Amazon.

When asked where consumers think they will buy VR devices and accessories, 26.3 per cent of the general public and 23.2 per cent of gamers said that they would go to a specialist technology retailer. 

16.1 per cent of the general public said they would purchase from Amazon, while 16.3 per cent would buy from other etailers.

In terms of gamers, 20.3 per cent said they would buy a VR device from Amazon, while 15.5 per cent said they would purchase from a ‘mass merchandise retailer’ (or supermarket). 

There are a multitude of reasons as to why consumers are turning to physical retailers for their VR purchases. 68.4 per cent of the general public said that demo opportunities are an important factor when deciding where to buy a VR headset.

The full survey results, available from Context, show that almost three-quarters of the general public have heard of VR, with almost 80 per cent of members of the general public in Germany being aware of it. 

Adam Simon, global managing director at Context, was speaking today at a summit hosted by the company’s virtual reality research group.

He said: “People are looking for the demonstration – they’re looking for the expert advice and the post-sales support.

"This is the category for retailers to lose. We hope that in the next few months, retailers will have the opportunity to demo the equipment. This is going to be the way in which people really start adopting."

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