Thursday, July 16, 2009

VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS, REAL SOLUTIONS, with Candace Adams (formerly of Wal-Mart)

Playing to a standing room only crowd at this afternoon's Shopper Insights conference, Candace Adams, CPG manufacturers Kimberly Clark, Sara Lee and Unilever, and representatives from Red Dot Square exhorted the value of using virtual technology to improve store layouts.

All agreed that collaboration, not only between retailers and manufacturers but between manufacturers and other manufacturers is necessary to enrich the offering and opportunity for insights that will benefit all concerned. Virtual technology particularly improves departmental merchandising, enhances the customer experience, identifies the strongest category adjacencies, helps optimize SKU assortment, and improves use of signage both inside and outside the store.

All agreed that the top benefit of virtual research is the ability to collect data points and customer reaction without having to ask any questions of the shoppers; all their responses are measured through the use of biometrics. Eye movement, brain waves, and pulse rates are evaluated to gain insights on the emotional and cognitive impact that consumers experience from different sections of the store.

Most importantly, the goals of increasing shopability, browsing time, and money spent can be efficiently realized in an manner not possible without employing virtual technology.

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