Biometrics & Cognitive Neuroscience
Using VR to inform pack design / shopper insights
Nature - Australia
Traditional pack-testing on screen, or navigation in-store is expensive, clunky, and difficult to test multiple scenarios/permutations without massive on-site locations, and significant resource.
Using VR wherein one can walk around in a space lets us simulate wandering supermarket aisles, and we can present anything we like to consumers. From changing pack designs, to designing new shelf-layouts, we can test it all, capture stated behaviour, and observe unconscious data (eye-gaze, linger times, etc.)
Development Stage: Conceptual
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The solution is different to others as it allows companies to test different shelf layouts, pack designs, etc., and understand how consumers interact in real time - both stated and from unconscious behaviour.
Allows companies to understand shopping behaviour, both what is seen and what is unconscious. Also permits testing of multiple pack designs without physically having to manufacture for a face-to-face test or test on a smaller scale using a screen, as well as multiple shelf layouts.
Utilises existing gaming VR technology in a new way.
Can be used by any retailer or CPG manufacturer - from a telco to inform how to layout their store, to a retailer and aisle navigation, to pack design, etc.
Once the software is finalised, the fees are quite minimal and the solution can be easily implemented by any research company anywhere in the world. 
1) Client wishes to change their pack design to enhance shelf standout. 25 designs are considered. First we invite the client to our office, and we can render multiple shelves with these 25 designs 'in situ'. This will let us reduce the designs down to only a handful. Then consumers are recruited to a central location and asked to wander the aisle / find the product. We can then assess time to find versus current pack design, whether it stands out, and what impact on sales / brand perception. 
2) A client wishes to understand whether products should be grouped by type of product (i.e. all Vitamin C together, all multivitamin together), or by brand (i.e. all of that brands products together regardless of type). We can render these two scenarios and see which is easier for consumers to find what they want, and which they prefer. 
The solution is simple: a small travel case houses a computer, HTC Vive headset, controllers and sensors. In a matter of minutes, any location can be set up to serve as our test location. Consumers are then recruited to a location, and walk through multiple shelves, wherein we can test pack designs, shelf-layout, or understand how consumers shop a category. 
When looking down with the headset, the left controller might be a shopping basket, and the right a pointer. Consumers could then 'point' and 'pull the trigger' on an item they want, and move it into their basket, mimicking real life shopping. 
Author
Joel Vermaas
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