Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has been working with third-party VR companies to help it determine the best way to display its new products in stores.
Kellogg’s is reported to have been working on a pilot scheme with Accenture and Qualcomm. Accenture is a Dublin-based global management consulting and professional services firm with a strong digital skill-set, and Qualcomm Inc is a US-based world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies.
The pilot’s aim was to determine the best in-store placement for Kellogg’s new Pop Tart Bites. This involved the use of Accenture’s Extended Reality (XR) software and Qualcomm’s VR headsets. This combination gave test subjects an immersive and 360-degree experience of a simulated store environment in which they were able to ‘virtually’ pick products, place items in shopping trolleys and make purchases.
The VR headsets and XR software enabled Kellogg’s to closely and precisely monitor the user’s eye movements. The analytics meant that this test was also able to yield data such as which new products the test subjects looked at and how long they looked at the products.
New Insights Reveal Surprising Result
Whereas traditional understanding of in-store product placement points towards eye-level (or close to it) as an ideal spot, the new insights that the technology provided in this pilot concluded that positioning the new product on a lower shelf could increase sales of the product by 18%.
The use of a combination of VR, AR and analytics in retail environments has been a growing trend among big brands in recent times.
Brick-and-mortar retail chains have, however, been criticised for reacting slowly to the introduction of technology that could help them and have found themselves at a disadvantage to online retailers who have been able to use digital technology to hyper-personalise retail experiences for their customers. The brick-and-mortar retailers have also been faced with challenges caused by economic and cultural shifts, e.g. customers moving more towards online shopping.
Change In The Landscape
It’s not just manufacturer brands that are now able to take advantage of the technological change in the landscape to benefit sales.
Retailers now have access to many affordable and relatively easy-to-use AI development tools available, such as those offered by big tech vendors e.g. Google, Microsoft and Amazon. This means that building an AI system/machine learning system has never been easier. Retail chains, for example, also have the advantage of having access to massive amounts of data which can be used in a value-adding way with analytics and AI.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
This story illustrates how the combination of new technologies such as VR, AI and advanced analytics have yielded new insights which could make a greater contribution to sales than more traditional methods.
The portable nature of the technology (and the AI aspect) mean that they are also able to deliver these value-adding insights more quickly and cheaply than before, thereby contributing to faster and more effective product launches and more successful product strategies. The superior insights gained from combining new technologies such as these mean that it is now possible for business product placement decisions to be made that could positively impact total brand sales, versus only single product sales.