Nielsen today launches Smartstore in the UK, a new VR tool that helps retailers and manufacturers understand future shopper behaviour. Smartstore recreates the layout of existing or planned stores and lets retailers test and evaluate the space to improve consumer experience.
Leveraging breakthroughs in virtual reality gaming technology, Smartstore builds a live environment and creates realistic and immersive scenarios to analyse shoppers’ experiences. This is enabled through features such as tracking shopper head, eye and feet movements and 3D heat maps. A ‘playback’ function allows the in-store shopper journey to be reviewed and possible problem moments to be tagged for review.
The solution helps retailers and manufacturers measure, evaluate and optimise a range of retail concepts including multiple shelf layouts or new locations, POS designs, promotion displays, and packaging options in a variety of store formats, aisles or shelf layouts – all in a 3D, 360-degree virtual store environment.
Testing in a virtual environment eliminates the unnecessary risk of trial-and-error execution or disrupting stores.
Sue Temple, Executive Director, Nielsen Shopper says,” Traditional research methods such as exit interviews, surveys and accompanied shops are useful for capturing current behaviour, but not the future state. Nielsen Smartstore is set to change that, transforming shopper research with a more dynamic, interactive and cost-effective solution to help you to get closer to shopper behaviour at the moment of truth to uncover what’s next.
“We’re bringing together the smart integration of store planning, merchandising and shopper research techniques to not only get richer insights into shopper behaviour, but also to convert them into something actionable for clients. Smartstore uses the latest virtual reality technology and will allow retailers to more easily deploy store planning, merchandising and shopper research”, Temple adds.