Kellogg’s see’s 18% bump in sales through VR marketing research.
The next time you’re shopping looking at items neatly stacked on shelves in every aisle – some high, some low, some with promotional signage – take note that where supermarket employees place these products isn’t random. There is actually quite a bit of research and science that goes into the process of deciding where to place your favorite snacks on the supermarket shelves for maximum exposure.
Traditional marketing research involves consumers taking surveys about a products placement and its visuals while shopping in a real store, and since shopping in a VR environment closely reflects how people shop in the real-world, researchers have recently been using VR to reconstruct supermarket shelves – which can yield the same results.
However, there is a layer of data-rich information that merchandising strategists have struggled to collect. Thanks to VR and eye-tracking technology, that data is now obtainable.
When it came down to strategizing the best placement of Kellogg’s new Pop-Tart Bites on store shelves, the Battle Creek, MI based company worked with Accenture and their Extended Reality practice to come up with a VR merchandising solution that uses eye-tracking technology to let Kellogg’s marketing specialist the ability to literally look through the eyes of the shopper and observe their gazing habits while choosing items before placing them into their shopping carts.
The pilot program collects various data, including: “How many seconds did you look at an item?” “Did you look at merchandising signage? “What direction did your eyes go when scanning a shelf?” “Did you look at the competitor’s products?”
The program uses Qualcomm headsets powered by the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform with eye-tracking technology made possible through software from InContext Solutions and eye-tracking data analytics capabilities from Cognitive3D.
The results of Kellogg’s efforts equated to an 18% increase of total brand sales.
Through the technology of VR and eye-tracking, Kellogg’s was able to tap into the minds of shoppers and collect data they normally would have missed through traditional testing.
“With a VR store, it’s much easier to alter variables such as placement, assortment or signage to test configurations and see how those change impact consumers,” spoke Raffaella Camera, global head, Innovation & Market Strategy, Accenture Extended Reality in an Accenture video.
Accenture took advantage of VR for the pilot program by exploring multiple scenarios to determine the best placement for Kellogg’s Pop-Tart Bites on shelves:
- Pop-Tart Bites were placed just below products from another brand on a high shelf at eye-level along with signage.
- Shoppers eyes were drawn to the sign and Pop-Tart Bites, but also drew consumer eyes to competitor’s products just above the Pop-Tart Bites.
- Pop-Tart Bites were placed on a lower shelf with promotional signage and surrounded by other Pop-Tart brand items. Competitor’s products remained at the top shelf.
- Shoppers eyes were drawn to sign and nearby Pop-Tart brand products only with decreased gazing time on competitor’s products located at the top shelf.
Traditionally, eye level placement was considered prime real-estate for products on a shelf. Yet, Kellogg’s and Accenture was able to prove the opposite through VR and eye-tracking technology – and the increase in sales is the proof.
“XR provides transformative value to the enterprise,” said Patrick Costello, senior director of business development at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., “This proof of concept with Accenture and Kellogg Company demonstrates the benefits of full immersion and eye-tracking and we expect several customers to follow with similar deployments.”
For Kellogg’s and other companies, the impact of VR merchandising solution has the potential to transform product placement by examining consumer buying behavior in a faster, more affordable at a larger scale, with more holistic conclusions.
“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,” said Camera, adding, “Ultimately, this enables product placement decisions to be made that can positively impact total brand sales, versus only single product sales.”
Kellogg Pop-Tart Bites are available in stores now and come in Frosted Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavors, and if you’re thinking you came up with the idea of bite size Pop-Tarts back when you were a kid, and Kellogg’s owes you money – get in line pal..