Millenials rely mostly on visuals when it comes to buying habits. Social media platforms like Instagram or Depop now act as “shop windows” into a seller’s stock, and trend researcher that these platforms now influence 75% of user purchase decisions. 38% of 18-34 year olds (commonly thought of as the Millenial generation) have previously expressed a want to purchase directly from the Instagram app, and many retailers are already taking advantage of this visual trend with “click-to-buy” functionality.
Millenials are already inclined to assess items visually, so it’s only natural they’ll try to imagine themselves in a place they’re thinking of visiting. Video promotions can do a great job of cherry-picking some of the best aspects of a hotel or spa, and a virtual tour will go further to capture the atmosphere offered by an establishment.
It’s Not Just Fantasy Tech
Alongside StreetView, where customers can get their bearings and view hotel interiors before visiting, younger generations are also looking to get a feel for the atmosphere and layout of a building before making their booking. StreetView’s interiors can often be disorienting, and when viewed on an ordinary screen, a little underwhelming
The availability and lowering costs of 360° video (it only costs around £150 for a virtual tour to be filmed) means they’ll soon be ubiquitous. They’re already set to be the next big trend on social platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and most of these platforms are already supporting 360° video integration. Many people already have access to the sorts of technology that truly utilise the power of 360° video, and it only takes a piece of kit such as Google Cardboard and any regular smartphone to transform a 360° video into a true virtual reality experience.
Viewing is Believing
Once a user immerses themselves in the video, they’re opened up to everything that still photography and regular video can only hit towards.
This includes all of the features that make up tiny icons or footnotes on a hotel’s listing page. ith 360° video, users can really get a feel for the rooms, the décor, the aesthetics. They can choose which size bed is right for them, or which style of ensuite they might prefer. Lobbies, swimming pools, tea rooms or spas, previously only mentioned via text on a website, can come alive in a virtual tour.
Make Way For the Future
As more and more economic decisions are influenced by the visual, and the still image slowly makes way for the immersion of video, smart proprietors will want to stay ahead of the curve. Thumbnails and dated photographs may suffice for retail items, but when a customer’s looking to spend a substantial amount of time in a hotel, they’ll want to assess every aspect for themselves first and foremost.
Virtual tours are set to become a huge influencing factor on customers’ booking decisions. As our engagement with the visual goes up, our hunger for it grows, and immersive tours satiate our need to assess something before we go ahead and purchase.
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