Business Objective: Save money on cost and labor associated with building out physical mock-ups when pitching new concepts to retailers.

Business Functions Impacted:
Category Management

Business Situation: Budgets were tightening, so our client looked to virtual to save money on spend in product, marketing, labor and travel associated with mock centers. 

The mock centers created other challenges as well.

While highly impactful for visualizing new concepts, they created a bottleneck due to product availability, marketing content production and scheduling key executives to be present at the mock center. 

Also, once new concepts were agreed to, getting those ideas from the mock-up to market was cumbersome. 

ShopperMX™ Approach

1. Preparation: Marketing and Category Management teams worked together to create new concepts in ShopperMX™.

  • Store – They selected a virtual store template for each of their top retail partners.
  • Planograms - POG files for each retailer were imported and then updated in ShopperMX™ to reflect the new vision.   
  • Signage & Displays – New communication materials were added to the shelf and aisles. 

2. Initial Presentation: Category Management Team and Retail Executives met in-person to review new store concepts.

  • They presented on a large, life-size screen which rivaled the mock center experience. 
  • The presentation was a store walk-through, as you would in the real world.
  • During the presentation the client was able to pick-up products, look at signage and navigate the store.
  • The presentation was enhanced by Highlighting and Heat Maps that visualized data and insights associated with the simulation.
  • The initial presentation concluded by capturing retailer feedback and updating the virtual concepts during the meeting so executives could see the immediate impact of changes discussed.  Changes included moving around products and signage. 

3. Follow-Up Presentations: Category Management and Retail Executives met virtually to review final concepts and approve.

  • After capturing all client feedback, the category team created a finalized concept in ShopperMX™.
  • Images and videos captured in ShopperMX™ were presented to showcase the final recommendation.
  • Retail executives gave final approval to move forward.


4. Execute In-Store: Category management team moves to execute new concepts.

  • The category team sent finalized store concepts plus videos and images to field teams using ShopperMX™. Field teams then accessed content through ShopperMX™ Connect on their tablets.  
  • Teams presented the new approved concept to buyers, merchandisers, store managers and sales operations to gain further buy-in and execution support.
Customer ROI

Our client immediately saved on product & marketing expense associated with mock centers plus labor, for an average of $50,000 in savings per new retail concept created in virtual.

Beyond that, virtual strategy scaled across many of their retail partners.  Compared to mock centers that could be relevant only for one channel or one retailer at a time, ShopperMX™ and virtual simulations enabled visualization of new ideas across all retail channels and specific retailers simultaneously. The result was a 10% improved acceptance rate by their retail partners, as well as 125% improved speed to market.

While the first use of ShopperMX™ paid for itself, the combination of physical world cost savings, scale and support of creative thinking far exceeded their ROI expectations.