A virtual reality user at a small business

5 Ways to Use Virtual Reality as a Tool for Your Business

Thinking of virtual reality as a tool to grow your business can help you improve operations, shift the employee experience and stand out to customers. Here are five ways to use it.

Thinking of virtual reality as a tool, rather than a toy, can help you streamline your operations, improve the employee experience and stand out to customers. Many growing businesses are using this cutting-edge technology to gain a competitive advantage.

Here's a closer look at five ways that innovative companies are using virtual reality in their business:

1. Marketing

Businesses of all size can take advantage of virtual realty for marketing, according to The Guardian. Realtors use VR experiences to market properties for virtual walk-throughs, for instance, and VR helps construction clients envision a remodel or addition. Even boutique hotels are on board, using 360-degree VR videos to introduce prospective guests to their properties as part of the booking process.

2. Data Management

Virtual reality also has the potential to change the way business owners manage their data. For example, Intuit recently hosted an event that used virtual reality to help business owners visualize complex financial data related to their companies in a hands-on and interactive way. As virtual-reality tools become more sophisticated, they may make it easier to get updates on how your business is performing and change the way you interact with your company's most important data.

3. Recruiting

Jobs and career website Recuiter reports that businesses have begun exploring how virtual reality can improve interviews with remote job candidates. Video conferencing calls often leave participants acting stilted and unnatural, but interviews set up in a virtual environment can loosen up participants and encourage a free-flowing conversation. VR is also being used to gather better data during the hiring process by putting candidates through hands-on case studies and drills.

4. Training

Virtual reality makes it easier for companies to put their teams through detailed training, especially when safety and security are prime considerations. For example, new hires in the industrial sector may go through a virtual hazardous-waste training before receiving advanced training that puts them in contact with chemicals. Virtual-reality programs are also making it easier to train employees on a wide range of business skills. Oculus' VirtualSpeech experience, for example, allows users to train in public speaking in a variety of different settings.

5. Customer Experiences

Perhaps the most exciting impact of virtual reality is on the customer experience. Forbes reports that businesses will increasingly rely on virtual reality to sell their offerings. Thanks to VR commerce, customers will be able to visit digital showrooms, interact with sales assistants and virtually try out products and services. Nascent examples of this are available globally, with more commerce-focused technology hitting the shelves every quarter.

Exploring the uses of virtual reality as a tool will change the way you do business and can give you an important edge in today's tech-focused climate. Focus now on understanding the range of possibilities and investing in the technology needed to make the most of virtual reality. Whether you're training your team or offering a cutting-edge digital experience to customers, VR can change the way you interact and do business going forward.