Marketers will use the power of virtual reality advertising to pull at consumer emotions and prise open their wallets, experts say.
Dow Design digital designer Michael Evans said virtual reality technology's ability to immerse people in a pretend world could make big purchasing decisions easier to agree to.
Like e-commerce, virtual reality could remove spenders from financial reality, Evans said.
Imagine putting on a headset and becoming immersed in a refugee camp, it would make you more inclined to give money to charity, he said.
Managing director of advertising agency Augusto Leon Kirkbeck saidit was an inevitable that virtual reality would be used for advertising because people wanted to be told stories in a new ways.
Augusto created a virtual reality experience for the Auckland City Limits festival in 2016.
Festival goers could put on a Samsung Gear VR headset and be virtually transported to the side of the stage.
Evans said tourism and event companies stood to gain the most financially from virtual reality by putting customers in a holiday destination,or seat them at a concert or sports game without actually being at the venue, he said.
The United States National Basketball Association reportedly plans to sell virtual reality tickets to its Final Four basketball games this year.
The association has created an app for fans to watch virtual footage that would make them feel like they are at the game.
Kirkbeck said it is something consumers would pay for.
Managing director of digital agency Point Zero, Chris Mather, said virtual reality could also be used by companies to encourage customers to buy optional extras, known as up-selling.
Car companies such as Ferrari created a virtual reality app that let potential buyers customise their own car.
"It is good for the retailer because they can up-sell features easier," Mather said.
"It is also good for the customer because it helps them visualise what they are going to get."
Ikea and architectural firms have used virtual reality to allow customers to visualise their dream home.
Virtually reality was still limited to companies with big marketing budgets, but as the cost reduced and became mainstream smaller New Zealand business would also adopt the technology, Evans said
Evans said artificial reality technology would not replace shopping in person.
"You cannot really tell if a shirt will fit you or how that car will drive until you are behind the wheel," Evans said.
"But it will build empathy towards a situation."