Our virtual reality platform, ShopperMX™, grew organically out of our need to provide more efficient, cost-effective custom research projects. Because we started out doing mostly planogram arrangement and assortment tests, we had to have a way to assemble and visualize planograms in a 3D space, so “planogramming” became a natural starting point when ShopperMX™ was in its infancy.
But it didn't last long as a solely planogramming software solution. It quickly became evident as we started having conversations with our clients that there just wasn’t enough substance to provide a stand-alone 3D planogram software product. No one was going to pay for something so confined to the shelf.
It was at that point of the ShopperMX™ evolution where we widened our sights on shopper marketing and saw a pretty big gap in the market. In fact, there didn’t seem to be anyone creating shopper marketing solutions with such a broad scope and as ambitious of a road map as we had started to plan.
Fast forward six years—and we're still the only cloud-based virtual simulations and insights platform with our unique set of capabilities for retailers and manufacturers. This doesn't mean we ditched planogramming; in fact, it’s one of the most used features of the platform. Instead, we took an integrator’s approach, rather than a trailblazing one. By integrating with the fine, well-established planogram packages out there we could give users the ability to leverage all the intellectual property and sweat equity they’ve built up in those software tools, thereby eliminating double entry work.
Since planograms are only a piece of the ShopperMX™ pie, what else can the platform do?
- Serves as a extensive library of retail store footprints, 2D and 3D digital assets and integrates SketchUp for uploading new and existing content.
- Visualization - a way for teams to virtually ideate new concepts by viewing what they will look like in-store, before any real-world changes are made.
- Optimize collaboration with live, immersive and interactive navigation.
- Indicators – fast and cost-effective retail evaluation tools for systematic and rapid evaluation of new shelf or marketing concepts created in ShopperMX™.
- Visual Attention Analysis (VAA) - heat mapping to learn how shoppers scan the shelf in the first 3-5 seconds.
- Quality and immersive images, videos and large-screen centers for partner buy-in and activating new concepts to win at retail.
- Virtual Shopper Decision Trees - capturing more data, from specific channels and for specific occasions than traditional decision tree methods.
The fact is, ShopperMX™ serves as the backbone for our enterprise solutions here at InContext. It supports our Digital Content, Virtual Simulations, Insights & Analytics and Retail Tech Innovation components, creating a holistic flow when it comes to creating successful concepts that will engage shoppers and increase sales.
So while we inevitably get questions asking us if we’re trying to replace or compete with the successful planogram packages out there—we’re not. We’ve embraced them and welcome further integration in the future as content and information flows seamlessly both in and out of ShopperMX™ and into these tools.
I suggest you take a look at all the other things ShopperMX™ provides; most importantly, a look from the shopper’s point of view across any and all of your marketing concepts. You’ll see much, much more than just a planogram tool.
Interested in learning more?
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated for freshness and to reflect our latest solutions.