We know that some of the bigger up-and-coming retail trends are all about leveraging technology to create new and exciting customer experiences. And while some of that technology is consumer-facing—such as augmented reality shopping apps—there are other areas where retailers and brands are creating more streamlined and efficient workflows behind the scenes, using cutting edge innovation.
Virtual reality is one such technology that is changing the game for retail organizations when it comes to planning new in-store concepts. That's because it creates a risk-free platform to visualize and test new ideas, while allowing for deeper, more accurate insights into customer behavior. Here's a peak into why VR is becoming an invaluable tool for today's retailers and brands:
Virtual creates synthesized behavioral and attitudinal data, allowing us to get into the nitty gritty of shopper decision-making. That’s because it mirrors the actions of shoppers in a real store. So we know how they shop certain aisles and shelves, what they put into their carts, and we can survey them directly after their shopping trip to learn why they made those decisions. Retailers and brands can now base their in-store concepts on data-backed analysis—no more guessing or conducting cumbersome mock center studies.
Virtual is faster and less expensive than in-store testing. There's no travel required, testing is done through cloud-based virtual shopping exercises and collaboration is all done through a shared platform. Because this approach is continuous and organic, there can be any number of iterations and concepts that can be analyzed—unlike pricey one-and-done studies. In fact, ShopperMX™ Indicator reports can take as little as a couple of weeks to deliver shopper-backed insights.
By leveraging a simulated store to test concepts, virtual gives us actionable, real-world behavior. Through virtual market research, InContext has gathered shopper data that has proved people behave very similarly within a virtual simulation as they would if they were shopping in an actual store. The results showed a correlation of .9 and higher.
As the retail world continues to evolve and improve it's processes, virtual is quickly becoming a go-to method for agile and streamlined retail strategies. For even more on how VR is leading this change, listen to our latest webinar, How Virtual is Driving a New, Iterative Approach to Market Research.