5 Research Methods Proving the Value in Virtual

This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Rich Scamehorn. The disruption and evolution happening to retail right now reaches far and wide. Nearly every aspect of the industry is undergoing some sort of transformation—and that includes the various methods used to gain insight into shopper needs and wants at the shelf. As stores become more experience-focused and retail gets better at balancing the digital and physical spaces to better mirror the way people shop, market researchers need to innovate the way they learn about their shopper, store and product data. We’ve moved beyond purchase intent, you guys. Mixed reality technology is making it faster and easier than ever to gain deeper, actionable insights into the shopper mindset. The following are five common methods of market research that you’re likely familiar with, and the reasons why they need a virtual upgrade, right now:   

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Retail Trends Aren’t Data: How to Know What’s Best for Your Shoppers

The influx of news surrounding store closings, mergers, buyouts, and the ever-changing needs of consumers can seem overwhelming and confusing. Which trends will turn into long-lasting practices and which will fizzle out? Should stores be shrinking their footprints? Should the same shelf arrangement that works for a Walmart be the same as the arrangement in a Kroger?   There’s no doubt the landscape is changing, and quickly. Instead of constantly trying to play catch up with shifting trends, doesn’t it make more sense to base decisions on what resonates with your specific customer base, right now?

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It's in the Data: Brands & Retailers Can Be Confident in VR

It’s not unusual for people to be a bit leery of the concept of virtual reality. Because it doesn’t yet exist in every household, the technology comes with a bit of a stigma—it’s something futuristic and sounds exciting, but the lack of mass market status means some predict its eventual demise. But those people aren’t thinking outside the box.

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FDA Guidelines Don’t Have to Spell Disaster

             Image courtesy of fda.gov The evolution in shopping preferences toward organic, health-focused, sustainable and locally-sourced food and products has had a large part in creating the intensely competitive landscape the retail industry finds itself in today. Policy changes from local public health officials and the FDA—such as the recent “soda tax” laws that have gone into effect across the country—reflect society’s demands, but have put even more strain on CPG manufacturers struggling to keep up. Whether it’s a relatively small change or a big statute overhaul, these kinds of evolutionary rule enforcements can wreak havoc on a company’s go-to-market process.

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Getting Comfortable with Virtual Reality Market Research

It’s impossible to deny that the world of commerce is changing in leaps and bounds. So it just makes good sense to learn about the latest technological innovations—and it’s more important than ever in order to compete in today’s retail space. But I’m not talking about beacons or mobile apps—although those are important too. I’m talking about virtual reality.

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VR's Evolution in the World of Research

When you think of the many exciting uses for virtual reality technology, market research is not always the first vertical to come to mind. Yet VR has been a key component in improving research processes for manufacturers and retailers since 2009. VR has an important history in the world of research, and even more, is going to be a huge player in the way we conduct research now and into the future. 

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3 Tech-Enabled Tools To Easily Elevate Your Market Research Game

Researchers have a lot on their plates. As time and technology advances, so do the needs and demands of companies looking to gain the best insights available into how shoppers shop their brands. Most researchers now know that relying on surveys alone, with imperfect measures like purchase intent, isn’t going to cut it anymore—but what will? Rather than depending on the traditional approach of trying to squeeze a little more value out of survey questions, there are new tools and techniques that leap frog the limitations of self-reported data. Here are three of the latest tech tools that innovative researchers are leveraging as part of a modern testing toolkit: 

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