WHAT IS A VIRTUAL 360 DEGREE TOUR AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Technology has become an essential and indispensable part of the business world.
As is often the case, the real estate sector was a pioneer in this area and now virtual tours are becoming more common.
Before you understand the benefits of a 360-degree virtual tour, you should already know what it really is.
Many companies and professionals in this field already use them and benefit from them. However, these virtual tours are also used in many other areas.
To better understand the interest and benefits of this technology it is necessary to first understand what a virtual tour really is and then analyze the benefits businesses can get from it, especially in the current economic and health context.
What is a 360 degree virtual tour?
If you’ve used Google Street View before, you’ve probably used virtual tours.
Since its founding in 2005 and its official launch in 2007, Google Street View has enabled virtual navigation in cities and on streets and paths. This provides a simple 360 degree view of the city’s streets with limited interactivity for navigation and very little additional information.
Despite this limited interactivity, the use of this interface has increased rapidly in recent years because it allows you to see and understand your surroundings better, and thus more easily.
The current technology now makes it possible to offer extended virtual 360-degree tours.
In fact, these modern tours not only allow for an understanding of the surroundings, but most importantly, by adding sounds, music, videos, additional photos and important information, visitors can see each other even better.
These virtual tours are not only really impressive, but also interactive!
Each visitor can therefore navigate from their computer, tablet or smartphone at their own pace, depending on their needs and wishes.
You can find examples in our “Portfolio” section
HOW IS A VIRTUAL TOUR CREATED?
To create a virtual tour, the photographer must take a series of photos to create a panorama.
You need at least 5 photos to create the first panorama.
As you can see in the image above, a photo is taken from the left side of the scene, then the front, right, and finally back. One final photo, facing up, completes the 360-degree view.
Sometimes a photo of the ground is taken to remove all traces of photographic equipment. However, this last photo is optional and this view of the floor can very well be replaced with a logo.
As soon as these photos have been taken and the panoramas created, they are compiled in special software in order to finally create a virtual 360-degree tour.
These virtual tours created in this way can be supplemented with points of interest, photos or videos that are inserted into the panoramas. You can even add music or sounds to make the visit even more intense.
Finally, with more advanced software such as that used by Fred Le Pon Photography, we can even create e-learning modules based on virtual tours.
This has been the case for several weeks in France, where several hospitals have opted for virtual visits and e-learning modules to train staff in health procedures related to Covid.
360 ° Virtual Tour: What interests for my company?
The advantages are many. Here are the 5 main benefits of taking a 360 degree tour for a business … or even an individual!
# 1 save time
With a virtual tour, your prospects or future customers don’t have to travel to visit your business, stores, or homes for sale.
Among other things, this means considerable time savings, which can therefore be devoted to other more lucrative tasks: time is money, right?
# 2 make a difference
It is very difficult to stand out from the competition these days.
A virtual visit to your website, your Google My Business account (and therefore Google Street View) or your online real estate ad will pique your visitors’ curiosity and make the difference.
In addition, it shows that your company is modern by providing a fun, interactive and inspiring interface for its customers.
# 3 Sales and SEO development on Google
With the virtual tour you can significantly increase your sales. According to a study carried out by CAPGEMINI and published on September 7, 2018:
In addition, a virtual tour will help improve your SEO on Google. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely Google is to believe that your website will be of interest to visitors. It therefore improves your ranking in the results of its search.
# 4 No more time or distance constraints
View your property 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
24 / 24- 7/7
# 5 transparency
By offering virtual tours of your premises, you interact with your customers in complete transparency.
There is nothing better for a prospect than seeing the good or the product they want to buy clearly, clearly and precisely. No photos hiding part of a car, house, etc. Trust is there!
And these are just 5 advantages of a virtual tour.
The possibilities are endless and it would take too long to list them all here, but think of universities, for example, that want to attract more students by showing them the premises.
Also think of its distant customers looking to settle in another country (military PCSing from USA to Germany for example). Making an initial selection of homes through virtual tours and finding the perfect school for their children can really help … and make a difference.
Finally, think of those soccer clubs, concert halls and theaters that not only offer their prospective customers a glimpse into their facility, but could also give them the opportunity to choose and purchase the perfect seats for them.
Which companies can use the virtual tour?
Let’s take a look at the areas of activity that the 360 ° tour has continued to use over the years.
# 1 hotel industry (bars, hotels, restaurants …)
As with real estate, the ability to visit a potential vacation spot is a crucial factor when planning a vacation or weekend.
Living is valued for professionals and is only more attractive. If we sometimes dream of inaccessible hotels or heavenly corners, the virtual tour benefits local accommodations by helping to get known through blogs and social networks.
For the future customer, this is a way to be reassured and see unpleasant surprises as much as possible.
# 2 tourism (museums, town halls …)
For regions and cities, this is an opportunity to highlight landscapes and cultural heritage and to enrich these virtual tours with all the information that is useful or necessary for visitors. Sights, historical anecdotes, opening times – everything is done to create a complete interactive guide. Craftsmen and traders can also take photos of their workshop and make themselves more visible. (See visit to Stiftsplatz in Kaiserslautern)
On the cultural side, visit museums, past exhibitions or even places that no longer exist. The virtual visit then before the memory of the place …
Whether they are temporarily inaccessible (health crisis, work) or permanent (destruction), cultural sites are offering more and more virtual tours.
It thus promotes access to knowledge and cultural enrichment. Not only national museums can benefit from this: cultural institutions of all sizes can use it to make themselves known nationally or globally, as barriers to working time and space have been removed.
# 3 beauty & wellness (spa, massage, wellness center …)
# 4 events (sports, concerts, shows …)
# 5 real estate (real estate agency or individuals)
In 2017 a study by the IFOP (INSTITUTE FOR OPINIONS AND MARKETING STUDIES IN FRANCE AND ABROAD) with 1,500 people showed that 85% of interested parties want to visit a property virtually before they physically move.
The Se Loger Group (equivalent to immoscout24 or Immonet) claims that goods sell five times faster if they offer the virtual tour.
In addition, thanks to the ability to hold Visio conferences while virtually visiting properties with potential buyers, real estate agents retain control of the visit and can continue to act as advisors.
# 6 industry
How can you organize a visit to your facilities at your customers’ premises without getting involved in complex logistics?
By giving them access to your virtual tour and playing the guide remotely.
The virtual tour in an industrial environment also means time savings and a modern way of presenting your workshop or factory. Places that require strict security measures suddenly become accessible.
It can provide information about the manufacture of a product and the different industries, or even serve as training for your employees on health and safety measures.
The 360 virtual tour is a permanent medium that you can distribute at your stand during a trade fair or a meeting.
No need to worry: for example, this factory in Norway had fun creating a hybrid tour that combines 360 ° interactive video with scenario and actors.
# 7 art and culture
How can a virtual visit help combat the economic consequences associated with CORONAVIRUS?
As we all know, this epidemic has completely changed our lives and forced us to adapt to new habits.
Measures such as the compulsory use of masks, stimulating teleworking and repeated hygiene measures are not enough to reduce distrust.
Take the real estate industry for example, there is now a strong tendency among consumers not to come to someone else for health reasons.
As an alternative to physical access, the use of the virtual tour in real estate offers customers the opportunity to experience and visit a property in detail and in complete safety.
This is an upward trend and a measure that will allow real estate professionals to continue to operate successfully even during the coronavirus era.
You now know what a virtual tour is and how to create it. You also saw that it is very popular and in different industries and can really make a difference.
And you? Do you dare to take a virtual 360-degree tour?
Currently, the virtual tour offers enormous potential in terms of sales and conversions.