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Mobile dominates the online reality of virtual reality sales

by Taylor Stanton - February 23, 2019

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While the E3 gaming conference drew to a close last Thursday, the industry’s adoption of virtual reality continues to be covered in top tier media outlets.

Although virtual reality compatibility for the PlayStation was a main story at expo there is an equally large VR drive being made by mobile developers, pitting console titans against mobile brands like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. Slice Intelligence donned the data goggles to get the first look at the early online virtual reality market and found that buyers mostly purchased mobile models, and 57 percent of VR devices sold online since January 2015 have been the Google Cardboard.

March Preorders on PlayStation VR outpaced sales on Google Cardboard, and Samsung VR. Slice Intelligence will continue to track these trends as new console products launch.

Virtual reality players are big video game spenders

Gamers who buy virtual reality devices online spend more on video games than their VR-less friends, and spent 10 percent more on games during the 90 days following their initial VR purchase. Individuals who purchased console games and VR products are the biggest spenders. These hardcore gamers spent nearly $194 dollars more on games annually compared to their console exclusive counterparts.

Nearly all VR owners are men

The traditional view that men account for the majority of game sales is true in the online space, but the gaming gender gap is only 11 percent wide. This male skew account for two-thirds of the population when we exclude mobile games and focus solely on console game sales. Online VR buyers are virtually all men, as women are responsible for only 14 percent of virtual reality purchases.

About this data

With a panel of over 4 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world.