Purpose: This study aims to provide an exploratory analysis of the role of virtual reality (VR) in the cruise context as a contribution to the limited literature on this topic. In particular, the research investigates immersive VR as a critical touchpoint at the pre-purchase stage of the customer journey. Design/methodology/approach: To achieve the research aims, the authors use a case study approach by analysing the “immersive configurator” (essentially a virtual catalogue) implemented by the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). Findings: Three innovative functions emerged from the study of the MSC’s virtual catalogue. First, it improves the customer experience and engagement through its interactivity. Second, it allows customization of the prospective cruise experience by selecting and changing types of ship, the level of service, the position of the cabin and much more. Third, it becomes a new digital marketing system endowed with large amounts of data. Research limitations/implications: This study advances the current state of knowledge by presenting an empirical case study on the role of immersive VR at the pre-purchase stage of the customer journey. Second, it offers interesting implications for managers who want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by VR. Originality/value: The present study analyses the pre-purchase stage in tourism marketing focused on the use of VR in the tourist experience at the time of service delivery. Second, it enriches the tourism literature by integrating supply-side and demand-side perspectives. Third, from a methodological point of view, this paper offers an in-depth qualitative study in a context where scholars have mostly applied quantitative methods.

Boosting the pre-purchase experience through virtual reality. Insights from the cruise industry

Simoni M.;Sorrentino A.;Leone D.;Caporuscio A.
2021

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to provide an exploratory analysis of the role of virtual reality (VR) in the cruise context as a contribution to the limited literature on this topic. In particular, the research investigates immersive VR as a critical touchpoint at the pre-purchase stage of the customer journey. Design/methodology/approach: To achieve the research aims, the authors use a case study approach by analysing the “immersive configurator” (essentially a virtual catalogue) implemented by the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). Findings: Three innovative functions emerged from the study of the MSC’s virtual catalogue. First, it improves the customer experience and engagement through its interactivity. Second, it allows customization of the prospective cruise experience by selecting and changing types of ship, the level of service, the position of the cabin and much more. Third, it becomes a new digital marketing system endowed with large amounts of data. Research limitations/implications: This study advances the current state of knowledge by presenting an empirical case study on the role of immersive VR at the pre-purchase stage of the customer journey. Second, it offers interesting implications for managers who want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by VR. Originality/value: The present study analyses the pre-purchase stage in tourism marketing focused on the use of VR in the tourist experience at the time of service delivery. Second, it enriches the tourism literature by integrating supply-side and demand-side perspectives. Third, from a methodological point of view, this paper offers an in-depth qualitative study in a context where scholars have mostly applied quantitative methods.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/98511
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