Virtual Tours Worth the Cost?
Several studies have shown that virtual tours can be very effective in a variety of industries, particularly in real estate, office leasing, hospitality, education, retail and improved SEO positioning.
Here are some key statistics that highlight their impact:
- Increased online exposure: Listings with virtual tours receive 87% more views than those without them, according to Realtor.com.
- Reduced wasted viewings: Property Week found that virtual tours can cut down on unnecessary in-person viewings by 40%, saving both buyers and sellers time and money.
- Higher sales prices and faster closings: Homes with virtual tours tend to sell for 9% more on average and close 31% faster than those without them, according to studies by PhotoUp and the National Association of Realtors.
- Decision-making tool: A Planet Home Trend Study found that 75% of potential buyers consider virtual tours to be a major factor in their decision to purchase a property.
- A study by Bisx found that 80% of tenants said that virtual tours were helpful in their decision-making process.
- A study by CBRE found that office listings with virtual tours received 40% more inquiries than those without them.
- A study by Cushman & Wakefield found that virtual tours can reduce the time it takes to lease an office space by 20%.
- Increased bookings: A study by TIG Global and Omni Hotels showed that virtual tours on hotel websites can boost look-to-book conversion rates by 16% to 67%.
- More interest: Hotels with virtual tours are twice as likely to spark online interest and generate 41% more bookings, according to research by Panomatics.
- Improved brand perception: Virtual tours can help hotels to showcase their amenities and create a more positive brand image.
- Enhanced learning: Studies have shown that virtual tours can improve student engagement and knowledge retention. For example, a study by the University of North Carolina found that students who took a virtual tour of a museum performed better on a subsequent quiz than those who did not.
- Increased access: Virtual tours can make educational resources more accessible to students who are unable to travel to the location in person.
- Improved enrollment: Overall, while virtual tours have the potential to be a valuable tool for improving school enrollment, they should not be seen as a replacement for traditional in-person visits. They can be most effective when used in conjunction with other recruitment strategies, such as open houses, online information sessions, and personal interactions with school representatives.
Virtual tours offer numerous benefits for retail stores, making them a valuable tool for attracting customers, enhancing the shopping experience, and ultimately boosting sales. Here’s how:
Increased engagement and brand experience:
- Statistics: Studies show that website visitors spend 5 to 10 times longer on sites with virtual tours compared to those without. Additionally, 67% of users prefer listings with virtual tours, indicating a strong desire for this interactive experience.
- Impact: Virtual tours allow customers to explore the store layout, product displays, and overall atmosphere from the comfort of their homes. This immersive experience fosters engagement, helps them visualize themselves in the store, and creates a memorable brand experience.
Increased Accessibility and Convenience:
- Remote exploration: Potential customers can explore the store from anywhere, anytime, without traveling physically. This is especially beneficial for those with limited mobility, living far away, or having busy schedules.
- 24/7 availability: Unlike physical stores with opening hours, virtual tours are always open, offering flexibility for customers to browse at their own convenience.
Enhanced Engagement and Information:
- Immersive experience: Unlike static photos, virtual tours provide a more immersive experience, allowing customers to feel like they’re actually walking through the store. This fosters a deeper connection with the products and the brand.
- Detailed product showcase: Virtual tours can highlight specific products in detail, showcasing features, functionalities, and usage scenarios more effectively than traditional imagery.
- Improved product discovery: Interactive elements like hotspots and product information pop-ups can guide customers through the store, aid in product discovery, and answer their questions directly.
Marketing and Branding:
- Stand out from competition: Visually engaging virtual tours can set your store apart and attract customers seeking a unique and innovative shopping experience.
- Showcase store atmosphere and brand identity: Immersive virtual tours can effectively convey the store’s ambiance, layout, and overall brand image, creating a lasting impression on potential customers.
- Targeted marketing: Integrate virtual tours into your social media marketing and website, increasing online visibility and attracting customers who align with your brand.
Sales Conversion and Customer Satisfaction:
- Pre-purchase confidence: Virtual tours can help customers make informed purchase decisions by allowing them to virtually visualize products in the store setting and assess their suitability.
- Reduced returns: By providing a clearer understanding of products and the store layout, virtual tours can potentially lead to fewer returns due to incorrect expectations or sizing issues.
- Improved customer experience: The convenience, information, and engagement offered by virtual tours can contribute to a more positive customer experience, potentially leading to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.
- Employee training: Virtual tours can be used to train new employees on store layout, product placement, and brand messaging, even before they step foot in the physical store.
- Data collection: Tracking analytics from virtual tours can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, informing marketing strategies and product placements.
While Google doesn’t offer its own dedicated virtual tour platform, integrating virtual tours within your Google Business Profile (GBP) and wider SEO strategy can significantly benefit your business. Here are some key statistics highlighting the impact:
Increased visibility and website traffic:
- Studies show that businesses with virtual tours on their GBP listings receive 50% more website visits. (Source: Moz)
- Virtual tours can improve organic search ranking by up to 147 positions, making your business more discoverable online. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
- Including a virtual tour in your GBP listing increases the likelihood of appearing in Google Maps’ “Local Pack,” which drives high click-through rates. (Source: BrightLocal)
Enhanced engagement and user experience:
- Users spend 2-3 times longer on webpages with virtual tours, indicating deeper engagement and interest in your business. (Source: Matterport)
- Virtual tours can increase conversion rates by up to 20%, as users feel more informed and confident about their purchase decisions. (Source: Matterport)
- Positive reviews mentioning the virtual tour experience can further boost your SEO ranking and attract more customers. (Source: BrightLocal)
Improved brand perception and trust:
- Virtual tours give potential customers a transparent and immersive view of your business, fostering trust and credibility.
- Showcasing your unique offerings and facilities through virtual tours can differentiate your business from competitors.
- Positive virtual tour experiences can lead to increased brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.