Suggested Citation

Meißner, M., Pfeiffer, J., Peukert, C., Dietrich, H., & Pfeiffer, T. (2020). How virtual reality affects consumer choice. Journal of Business Research, 117, 219–231.



Prof. Dr. Martin Meißner,
Prof. Dr. Jella Pfeiffer,
Christian Peukert,
Holger Dietrich,
Dr. Thies Pfeiffer
Publication title
How virtual reality affects consumer choice

How virtual reality affects consumer choice


With high-immersion virtual reality (VR) systems approaching mass markets, companies are seeking to better understand how consumers behave when shopping in VR. A key feature of high-immersion VR environments is that they can create a strong illusion of reality to the senses, which could substantially change consumer choice behavior compared to online shopping. We compare consumer choice from virtual shelves in two environments: (i) a high-immersion VR environment using a head-mounted display and hand-held controllers with (ii) a low-immersion environment showing products as rotatable 3-D models on a desktop computer screen. We use an incentive-aligned choice experiment to investigate how immersion affects consumer choice. Our investigation comprises three key choice characteristics: variety-seeking, price-sensitivity, and satisfaction with the choice made. The empirical results provide evidence that consumers in high-immersion VR choose a larger variety of products and are less price-sensitive. Choice satisfaction, however, did not increase in high-immersion VR.


  • Prof. Dr. Martin Meißner, SDU
  • Prof. Dr. Jella Pfeiffer, Professor of Business Administration and Information Systems, University of Stuttgart
  • Christian Peukert, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Holger Dietrich, Senior Researcher, NIM,
  • Dr. Thies Pfeiffer, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer
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