Retail Innovation, and the Benefits of the Virtual “Test Drive”

Right now, retail is in a pivotal position where it has access to innovative tools that help create amazing experiences for shoppers. But it requires embracing technology and trying something new.

While that in itself can seem daunting, there are big paybacks to technological innovation. Mitigating risk is one of them. And it’s a big benefit of retail merchandising software, like we offer at InContext. Leveraging our virtual simulation platform for in-store decision making is what we often compare to test-driving a car before you buy it. It gives you a peek (or rather a very detailed and data-backed view) of how your ideas would play out in the real world. Virtual has an innate capacity to supply a space—free of real-world constraints—to create, test and share ideas.

In a recent webinar, InContext’s GVP of Retail, Doug Waller, talked about removing risk as one of the five different benefits of the “virtual test drive.” When we assess risk in the retail merchandising space, we can actually look at it from a couple different perspectives:

Time – When it comes to manually rearranging products on the shelf, one changed mind or a simple miscommunication can result in starting from scratch – and a major log-jam when timing is crucial.

Money – Which of two, or more, retail concepts will generate the greatest ROI? Which concept will fall flat with shoppers, creating loss in brand and category sales? Relying on best-guesses, or fielding a long and expensive in-person study, takes dollars.

3D store simulations help lower these risks. By visualizing and testing concepts in a virtual store, we can test-drive new ideas and get them right, before doing anything in the real-world.

Listen to the webinar below to learn more about how virtual simulation software creates a more streamlined, risk-free approach to retail merchandising.

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