Kellogg has partnered with Accenture and Qualcomm Technologies to develop a solution that embeds eye-tracking technology in a mobile virtual reality (VR) headset to determine the best way to stock shelves for retailers.
The Accenture Extended Reality (XR) practice developed the VR merchandising solution using a Qualcomm VR reference design headset.
The resulting experience immerses customers in a simulated store, enabling them to shop, pick up products and place them in carts – all while monitoring what they are looking at, for how long and why.
It has been designed to allow companies to extend their reach to more geographically dispersed participants and perform market research faster and on a larger scale.
Kellogg tested the solution as it launched its Pop Tarts Bites product. The companies said that the VR technology provided “far deeper” behavioural data than standard testing, which typically relies on online surveys and in-home user tests.
Rather than placing Pop Tarts Bites on higher shelves, which conventional testing indicated was where consumers expected to find new products, the VR solution demonstrated that optimal placement for the new product was on lower shelves. This led to an increase in brand sales of 18% during testing.
Jenny McDaniels, senior manager of category strategy at Kellogg Company, said: “When trying to best assess a future product’s shelf placement, this new methodology provided optimal guidance from both a product and category perspective. This approach provided multiple data outputs, which in turn, created a holistic solution that would drive success for both the category and product.”
Raffaella Camera, global head of innovation and market strategy at Accenture Extended Reality, said: “Our VR merchandising solution has the potential to transform product placement by examining consumer buying behaviour in a holistic way.
“By combining the power of VR with eye tracking and analytics capabilities, it allows significant new insights to be captured while consumers shop by monitoring where and how they evaluate all products across an entire shelf or aisle. Ultimately, this enables product placement decisions to be made that can positively impact total brand sales, versus only single product sales.”
Qualcomm Technologies senior director of business development Patrick Costello added: “XR provides transformative value to the enterprise. At Qualcomm Technologies, we develop foundational XR technology through our VR reference designs that are engineered to enable companies to evaluate and quickly launch devices.
“This proof of concept with Accenture and Kellogg Company demonstrates the benefits of full immersion and eye tracking and we expect several customers to follow with similar deployments.”
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