New Virtual Reality Technology Helps Marketers and Brands Avoid Making Bad Decisions

virtual reality

Research suggests that shoppers routinely purchase the wrong item because of similarities in packaging and where products sit on a shelf, resulting in frustration and dissatisfaction. Acuity Intelligence announces the launch of AcuityVR:Shopper Edition, a new tool which applies their research expertise to help marketers better understand modern buyer behaviour using an immersive, virtual reality environment for the first time.

AcuityVR combines virtual reality and eye-tracking technologies to generate powerful insight into how shoppers respond to packaging, brands and the retail environment. This direct integration of technologies provides instant access to powerful analytics that enable brands and retailers to make better decisions about the factors influencing shopper journeys and decision making at the point of sale.

“It is imperative that brand marketers and retailers understand the interactions that are occurring in-store so they can make better informed decisions regarding their brands. Yet, all too often they struggle to make good decisions due to the difficulties associated with analysing increasingly complex data sets and AcuityVR aims to overcome this,” explains Dr Tim Holmes, Director of Research and Development, Acuity Intelligence. “By combining eye tracking technology with virtual reality and our expert insight, we can make budgets work harder and empower brands and retailers alike with insightful consumer behavioural data.”

AcuityVR helps retailers understand the entire shopper journey without them needing to set foot in a physical store. It analyses unrestricted movement through the environment, what catches the eye, the level of engagement and interaction with products and signage, through to the ultimate purchase decision at the shelf. The combination of VR headsets and AcuityVR provides a truly portable research lab, meaning researchers are no longer constrained to testing in expensive facilities.

AcuityVR works with multiple VR headsets and eye-tracking platforms, has the ability to use new or existing virtual reality environments and has the capability to synchronise with additional data streams. This unique approach maximises existing investment and is designed to integrate future innovations in a rapidly evolving field. The automated analytics it provides immediately generate actionable insights, at least 30 per cent cheaper and 2 times faster than current commonly used methodologies.

“The immersive nature of virtual reality provides new opportunities for marketers, in terms of research design, measurement and insight as it allows studies to be conducted in a controlled and replicable environment. The possibilities are endless,” adds Dr Holmes. “AcuityVR eliminates data paralysis delivering relevant metrics and easily accessible results. It’s easy to make the wrong decision; better research with smarter tools like AcuityVR reduces this risk and enables brands and retailers alike to start making great decisions.”

Dr Holmes presented new research into shopper behaviour, conducted in partnership with GSK and the British Brand Group at Marketing Week Insight Show at Olympia, London earlier this month. The paper which highlights that more than a billion pounds worth of unconscious errors are being made by shoppers at the point of sale won Paper of the Year at the show.