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Is a 360° virtual tour worthwhile for your company?

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360° tours 
Facts

There are some studies that show measurable success:

1. Virtual tours effectively generate more views (about 87% more).

2. You get longer visit times (5 to 10 times longer) on your site.

3. You achieve more qualified leads (up to 67% more).

The following four questions will help you determine if virtual tours are worthwhile for your business.

Do your competitors have virtual tours?

What does the competition do?

Look at companies in your industry. If the majority already presents itself in 360° view you should probably have your virtual tour created yesterday rather than today. Otherwise, it just makes your business look old-fashioned (because you’re not keeping up with the times) and inconsiderate (because you’re not offering potential customers the chance to learn about your business in advance based on a virtual tour).

This is especially true for companies in the real estate, hospitality, travel and automotive industry. Virtual tours are already a fixed component there. So there’s no good reason for your company to do without them. If only a handful of companies in your industry are using 360° virtual tours or it’s not clear if they actually work address the next question.

Do virtual tours match your overall business strategy?

Who are your customers?

Virtual tours convey a certain image. They make your brand look innovative (because you are open to new technologies), transparent (because you show people what your company is like) and customer-oriented (you provide your customers with all the information they need about your company – regardless of time or place).

If these values are important to you you should definitely think about adding virtual tours to your marketing concept. According to a report by U.S. online real estate database company Zillow, 45% of generation Z (born around 1995 to 2010) and 41% of millennials (born around 1981 to 1996) describe video walkthroughs and 3D tours as particularly helpful when furnishing an apartment or house. 24% of generation X (born about 1961 to 1980), 18% of the baby boomer generation (born about 1946 to 1964), and 14% of the silent generation (born about 1925 to 1945) share this opinion.

If your clientele tends to be the older generation without a computer or smartphone a virtual tour may not be of much use to you. If, on the other hand, you want to appeal to a younger, tech-savvy generation you’re guaranteed to be right on target with a 360° tour.

What do your customers think about virtual tours?

Is the tour being used?

Now you know the role virtual tours play in your market and the impact they can have on your business strategy. To get even more clarity on whether 360° tours are actually effective for you it can’t hurt to ask your customers directly.

·Have your customers ever seen a virtual tour?

·How did they like it?

·What would they think if you too published a virtual tour of your shop or company?

·What kind of virtual tour do your customers like?

Let’s assume you’re a restaurant owner. Would your guests like to get an impression of the premises and ambience of your restaurant on your website? Or do they want to pass the time until their order is served by viewing your entire supply chain in 360° view? This way, they can immediately convince themselves of the sustainability and fair sourcing of your products.

If a virtual tour is uninteresting to your customers what should you focus on instead? If virtual tours are still too risky for you and you want to be 95% or 99% sure before you decide to go for it read on.

Do virtual tours pass your A / B tests?

Let's test!

For example, let’s say you operate several hotels. You’ve heard about virtual tours and you think you can get more bookings by posting 360° tours on your website. Virtual tours for all hotels could therefore become a larger investment for you, depending on the effort involved. Who knows if it’s even worth it? With A / B tests you can find out exactly. Publish only one virtual tour of a hotel that is particularly popular with your guests. With the help of a web developer or using an A / B testing service like Google Optimize, create a mirrored version of your home page and embed your tour there. Then split your web traffic so that half of your visitors visit your current homepage while the other half are directed to your test homepage. After one to three weeks, analyze your web traffic. Did the version with virtual tour lead to more bookings than the one without? If so, is the difference significant enough to make the investment worthwhile?

Conclusion

Virtual tours offer your company great opportunities to present itself to the public in an authentic, transparent and customer-oriented way.

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