Is it too early for brands like e.l.f. Cosmetics and Lowe’s to jump on the Apple Vision Pro bandwagon?

Apple’s VR headset, the Apple Vision Pro, became available in the US on February 2. Almost immediately, brands began announcing immersive experiences that would be available for download on the headset, including:

  • A multisensory app from e.l.f. Cosmetics called “your best e.l.f.,” which features three “environments” themed after popular e.l.f. products that are available for sale within the app
  • Lowe’s Style Studio, which helps customers design their kitchens with 3D renderings of Lowe’s materials, fixtures, and appliances
  • The alo Sanctuary app from Alo Yoga, which enables users to meditate in virtual outdoor environments and also shop Alo’s entire collection of products in 3D
  • J.Crew’s Virtual Closet, a hyper-realistic styling tool that allows users to browse a curated selection of products using intuitive hand and eye movements
  • A “reimagined” TikTok app, which is promising for brands with a strong social strategy

The early bird gets the worm? Brands that are quick to adopt the latest technologies may have a leader’s advantage when it becomes mainstream. But there are quite a few hurdles to overcome before we see widespread adoption of VR headsets like Apple’s.

  • Only 8% of internet users worldwide say they are likely to buy an AR/VR headset or device within the next 12 months, per a November 2023 survey from Capgemini. This is much lower than the 30% of consumers who say they’ll invest in smart home security or the 29% that would buy health wearables/tracking devices.
  • Marketers are a little more bullish on the tech, with 37% of CMOs and executives worldwide saying they will use the tech frequently to engage with customers over the next two to three years, per December 2023 data from Capgemini. But this is also less than those who say they’ll use social (46%), direct messaging (45%), or voice search optimization (45%).
  • Plus, at $3,499, even consumers who are interested in using VR headsets may not be able to afford one.

It’s not all bad news: Consumer attitudes toward VR indicate that the Apple Vision Pro could gain momentum in the coming months or years.

  • Over a quarter (26%) of US adults say Apple is the company they trust most to build a VR experience, more than Google (15%), Samsung (10%), Sony (7%), Meta (3%), or HTC (1%), per June 2023 SurveyMonkey data.
  • The percentage of US adults interested in shopping with VR increased from 14% in April 2022 to 21% in April 2023, suggesting consumers are becoming more open to the tech, according to an April 2023 survey by YouGov.

How to get started: Brands looking to increase adoption or engagement of their Apple Vision Pro apps should target younger consumers first.

  • Gen Z consumers are the generation most likely to own AR/VR devices, with a quarter (25%) of the cohort currently owning a device, per June 2023 SurveyMonkey data.
  • Baby boomers are the least likely, with just 7% ownership.
  • In terms of gender and income level, ownership is pretty evenly spread, which should make it easier for marketers to target consumers across the board.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.

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