Kelloggs trials VR shopper data gathering

Accenture, Qualcomm Technologies and Kellogg Company have collaborated to develop and pilot a solution that embeds eye tracking technology in a mobile virtual reality (VR) headset to reinvent how retailers gather consumer data.

The Accenture Extended Reality (XR) practice developed the VR merchandising solution utilising a Qualcomm VR reference design headset.

The VR solution features embedded eye-tracking, along with mixed reality software from InContext Solutions, and eye-tracking data analytics capabilities from Cognitive3D.

The resulting experience immerses consumers in a simulated store, enabling them to move through the space, pick up products and place them in carts – all while monitoring what consumers are looking at, for how long and why.

A statement explained that the mobile solution is designed to allow companies to extend their reach to more geographically dispersed participants and perform market research faster, more affordably and on a larger scale.

It has been tested in collaboration with Kelloggs around the launch of its new Pop Tarts Bites product. The new data led to an entirely different merchandising conclusion than what was determined by traditional methods.

Rather than placing Pop Tarts Bites on higher shelves - which conventional testing indicated was where consumers expected to find new products - the VR solution demonstrated that optimal placement for the new product was on lower shelves. This led to an increase in brand sales of 18 per cent during testing.

“Our VR merchandising solution has the potential to transform product placement by examining consumer buying behaviour in a holistic way,” said Raffaella Camera, global head of innovation and market strategy at Accenture Extended Reality.

“By combining the power of VR with eye-tracking and analytics capabilities, it allows significant new insights to be captured while consumers shop by monitoring where and how they evaluate all products across an entire shelf or aisle.”

Jenny McDaniels, senior manager of category strategy at Kellogg Company, commented: “When trying to best assess a future product’s shelf placement, this new methodology provided optimal guidance from both a product and category perspective – this approach provided multiple data outputs, which in turn, created a holistic solution that would drive success for both the category and product.”

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