Launching a VR Retail Program Isn’t Nearly as Hard as You Think

We love talking with prospective and new clients about our virtual technology platform, ShopperMX.  Everyone gets the “wow” factor—the ability to jump into a retail store from anywhere and the high ROI potential is all exciting. There’s no denying the benefits, and we get a lot of enthusiastic head nods. But, when it comes to implementing an enterprise virtual program, these same prospective clients can quickly go quiet.


We understand the hesitation. We’re talking about a transformational approach to category, insights and sales and getting started can be overwhelming.


The good news is it’s not nearly as daunting as it might first seem. We love helping companies make this transformation, so we’ll share our process here in hopes that it helps you take that first step. It’s a plan you can follow at any pace that is right for your company.


Set your goals

What is your objective? What are the key strategies? How will you measure success? 


*Pro Tip – Align with an executive sponsor who can help be the voice for organizational change


Map out use cases – Where do you want to use VR?

There are a few areas you can think about:


  • Category Visualization & Planning
  • Shopper Insights
  • Collaboration and Presentation
  • Sales and Field Support
  • Training and Development

*Pro Tip: Its okay to start with just 1 of these areas – and probably a good idea!


Pick a pilot project

Depending on your project, this can be done over the course of a few weeks or a few months.


  • Learn the steps associated with visualization and testing in VR
  • Get a win that can be shared internally to demonstrate the value

Determine user license needs

We typically group users based on their support in one or more of the following:


  • Insights or Research Projects
  • Customer Presentations
  • Retailer Collaboration
  • Content Set-up and User Management
  • Employee Training and Development

Determine how many users you need in each area to support the needs of the business.


*Pro Tip: You’ll need to establish “Power users” – people who can be on-going champions within your user group – bring them into the journey early.


Assess content

Evaluate your existing product image library – this is the starting place for how you’ll create 3D models for products on the shelf and in displays.


  • Estimate additional content needs
  • InContext will build anything you need but don’t have on hand
  • Establish cadence for content updates

Training

Time spent in training will expedite the adoption curve. We offer specific trainings to support the unique needs of each user group. Our amazing team is there to not only train, but to “workshop” through those first few projects until you’re running at 100%.


Create best practice workflows

The best workflows are the ones we learn from you! They are often specific to each company, reflective of the number of users, size of company and existing resources—but we’re happy to share our ideas.


The workflows also help ease future internal transition with the inevitable turn-overs and changes in position, but also help supporting teams learn the new plan.


*Pro Tip: Build these workflows into the job descriptions for relevant roles.  Then it becomes truly ingrained in your teams process.


Develop a learning plan

Insights is central to most of our clients use of VR, and learning plans help us tie the research and visualization into your most pressing business issues.


  • These are typically built annually
  • We’ll work iteratively off the plans through the course of a year

Review, assess, improve

We’ll work with you to build an annual ROI based on the initial success measures agreed.


  • Maintain those established use cases.
  • Identify additional areas of your business that can benefit from VR support
  • Repeat

Keeping these steps in mind and gaining a better understanding of the process helps alleviate any uncertainty when it comes to adopting a virtual program for your team. Plus, you’ll be well on your way to saving time, money and reducing the risks of changes that don’t work out. Innovation at its best.  

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