In July 2015 an independent market research firm initiated a research study to understand the impact of virtual tours on increasing consumers’ interest in local businesses (specifically in booking a reservation at a hotel or restaurant).
- An online survey was conducted with consumers who had searched online for a restaurant or hotel within the previous 30 days
- A sample of over 120o respondents was collected between July 21st and August 2nd, 2015
- Different versions of a local business listing (one for a hotel, the other for a restaurant) were created to include basic info, photos and/or a virtual tour
Respondents were asked to view one of the different versions for each business (in a randomized order). Each respondent viewed:
- 1 hotel listing + 1 restaurant listing; and
- 1 listing with a virtual tour + 1 listing without a virtual tour
- After viewing each listing, respondents were instructed to rate their interest in booking a reservation.
- Ratings for alternate listings (with a tour versus without) were aggregated to understand impact of virtual tours on interest in the featured business.
Two out of three people want more virtual tours
Among people surveyed, 67% want more business listings to have virtual tours. Of the remainder, 26% were indifferent, and 7% stated that more virtual tours were unnecessary.
Virtual tours help double interest in business listings
Those who view a listing with a virtual tour are twice as likely to be interested in booking a reservation there. And among 18-34 year-olds in particular, prospects are 130% more likely to book based on a tour.