As a relatively new technology, virtual reality (VR) has so far mostly been used within the gaming and entertainment industries. 

However, as its benefits and value become clearer and more consumers begin to demand it and engage with it, its speed of adoption across other sectors (including ecommerce) is set to increase. 

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Virtual Reality Market Growth

In fact, analysts are forecasting rapid virtual reality market growth in the US over the next few years. 

As it is, the virtual reality market size has been increasing. In 2019, there were 43.1 million users in the US engaging with virtual reality content every month. 

Of these, just over half (51.7 percent) were non-VR-headset users. This can mean anything from experiencing VR with cardboard headsets and viewing 360-degree tours in museums to using Google street view.

Just a year later, the number of VR users in the US rose 16.5 percent to 50.2 million. Again, non-VR-headset users form a slight majority (55.8 percent).

Virtual Reality Market Forecast

According to experts’ virtual reality market forecast, there will be 58.9 million monthly users in 2021. This marks a 17.3 percent annual increase, faster than the growth rate of the previous year. It also represents 17.7 percent of the entire US population. 

As with the previous two years, most (51.9 percent) of the VR users in 2021 are non-headset users.

Market experts had revised their virtual reality market forecast estimates upwards as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As the population was forced to stay home, many people started to use virtual reality as a substitute for in-person encounters.

Analysts say this will lead to an increase in the virtual reality market size as users’ growing demand spurs supply.

This is so much so that the number of monthly VR users is expected to continue increasing – albeit a slight slowdown in rate – through to at least 2023. 

Industry analysts’ virtual reality market forecast for the number of VR users in 2022 is 64 million, an 8.7 percent annual increase. This will rise by a marginal three percent the following year to 65.9 million VR users in 2023. 

The virtual reality market growth is attributed to technological advancements such as 5G connectivity and developments in artificial intelligence. Both of these factors are likely to make it less costly for suppliers to offer users a smooth and fun VR experience.

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