Virtual Reality is gathering all the hype since last couple years. With $3 billion funding in 2017 and amazing use cases of VR, consumers are actively waiting for VR to reach the mainstream market. But this news does not really interest women. And we’re still struggling to figure out why VR industry has failed to interest 50% of the world’s population. According to an EY survey, women have not tried VR technology as much as men. Additionally, 65% of women say that they are not interested in using VR in future as well. However, we feel that women’s uncertainty towards VR is because female consumers have high hopes from VR.
What the VR industry needs to know is that female consumers expect their VR experience to exclusive and personalized. If a product doesn’t trigger their emotions, they won’t stick to it. But there are few ways through which VR industry can interest more female consumers. Basically, they need to offer women-centric content. But how? Here are few ways that will help you generate women-oriented content and build female customer base.
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Create Social VR Apps
For better understanding, we are going to talk about Facebook Spaces, Facebook’s VR platform that took the VR arena by storm. Facebook Spaces, one of its kind platform, was used to virtually hangout with connections. It made virtual interaction lot more personal. However, you can only interact with three people at a time on this beta version platform. Anyways, with the advancement in VR, there are ample opportunities for the VR industry to create social VR apps that can interest women. For example, with VR apps, mothers could spend time with children when traveling. Female users could use VR apps collective activities with long-distance friends such as joining a book club, taking language classes etc. Basically, VR companies can design apps that help women socially connect with their loved ones. It will increase their female user base.
There are many short filmmakers such as Jayisha Patel who are already taking advantage of the VR technology to tell stories. A recent short film by Jayisha Patel tells the story of a human-trafficking survivor. The filmmaker agrees that VR technology has empowered her to tell the story in a compelling manner.
Further, BBC entertainment showcases No Small Talk, a VR chat show about millennial women. The channel has intentionally created the show to capture women attention towards VR and encourage them to use it. Therefore, entertainment networks can create many shows like cooking shows, sporting games, etc. that can attract female users. Moreover, for women who love to game, many VR-oriented games can be designed to lure them to the technology. The objective is to create and offer women-centric content to increase female consumer base.
Help with Productivity
The biggest advantage of Virtual Reality is that it helps its users to visualize things very easily. Hence, the technology has been successful in areas like retail, interior design and travel.
In interior design, VR allows users to take a tour of their homes that has doesn’t even exist in real. When talking about travel sector, VR enables travelers to enjoy destinations, hotels, and get a preview of their tour. The technology can also be beneficial for enhanced shopping experience where you can provide your customers a virtual tour of your product gallery. Don’t you think women would love better shopping experience?
For example, Expedia is currently developing a traveling VR app that will let their potential customers choose hotel rooms in a better way. Also, Gap, the famous clothing brand has already designed a VR app for customers to check out clothes virtually. Additionally, Amazon offers AR experience to its customers to view and shop conveniently before paying for the product.
Therefore, there are lot of opportunities for VR-based apps that are designed for a female user base. Unfortunately, VR products have still not hit mainstream market as the above-mentioned stores like Amazon and Gap don’t have sufficient content for their customers to view. The reason behind the lack of quantity is that designing these things take much time and effort. Big stores such as Amazon will take at least 3 years to complete its entire library. Thus, the industry needs to crowdsource content creation, and share models efficiently to get VR hit the mainstream.
Also Read: Great Inventions By Incredible Women
Fitness & Wellness Content
Though there are several ways to enjoy music in today’s world, music videos still stand apart. For instance, the music video ‘Despacito’ was well received by billions. In addition, there are many videos that like Gangnam Style that we can’t forget. Now just imagine enjoying these videos in VR. How dream-come-true does it sound to dance alongside your favorite star?
For VR apps, they can exploit this opportunity to augment VR into fitness content. For women, VR industry can develop more fitness content that can attract women who are into wellness regime. It can help them learn exercises and dance moves quickly and effectively. VR apps can support various fitness activities such as VR apps could be made for women who run on treadmill. The apps could provide the experience of running cross country or running at the beach. There are no limitations when it comes to visualizing things in VR. Hence, we can involve fitness content with VR to interest more women.
Promote Creative Content (Stories and Art)
Industries should make women realize that technology exist for them and can enhance their lives as well. Storytellers and artists can use VR to amplify effect of their work. Therefore, VR developers and artists can work together to develop creative content that attract more female users and encourage them to use VR technology. However, the industry has just started to use VR in different ways. One of the best example is Tiltbrush where artists/users can paint and visualize their work, share room-sized creations, and even take a tour around their art. Another app called Gravity Sketch allows users to draw artwork and 3D models in immersive VR.
If there are few female supporters for VR, it doesn’t mean that they don’t like the technology. They just don’t see a point to stick to. But if market leaders and developers start to produce more women-centric content that helps them become more social, creative, productive and active, it will certainly increase the number of female VR users. Hence, VR developers who are able to fill in the gender gap, will take advantage of an untouched VR market, increase VR applications and eventually earn more profit.