How eye tracking and VR changes the landscape of shopper testing

Shopper testing or shopper insights refers to research that focuses on in-store and near-store consumer behavior. Insights gathered from shopper testing ensure that your in-store experience is not just enticing customers but also engaging them and driving more sales. Gathering these insights can be complicated because a lot goes on in the customers’ minds when they shop. Shoppers consider factors like product packaging, design, placement, and their budgets, among others while making a purchase. Capturing and analyzing all such factors make shopper testing incredibly challenging.

Traditionally, organizations used to do sample runs of a new product in the market for testing. Now, with the emergence of technologies like Virtual Reality and eye-tracking, the idea of shopper testing is completely transformed.

How eye-tracking VR impacts shopper testing

Integrating eye-tracking software into VR devices can make shopper testing much more cost-effective than it used to be. And it also enables researchers to gain deeper and more accurate insights to help them increase sales in the following ways:

Simulate virtual store

VR enables market researchers to simulate a physical store virtually and use it as a lab to perform shopper testing. This makes shopper testing easier to conduct and less time-consuming. It eliminates the need to build physical prototypes to test new products and designs. In fact, with virtual stores, you can monitor your audience’s interaction with product packaging and in-store branding accurately. It also helps to test your product designs on the shelf when they are placed beside your competitors’ products. This allows you to design products and packaging that can make you more competitive in the market.

Analyze consumer behavior

Eye-tracking is an emerging technology that has the potential to transform marketing completely. Along with facial coding, eye-tracking can help you capture and analyze all the aspects of consumer behavior throughout their shopping experience. Facial coding can monitor the changing expressions of customers, and eye-tracking monitors the movement of their eye-balls. And together, they can monitor and analyze what products customers view, what they feel about them and their designs, and what causes distractions throughout their shopping journey.

Measure on-shelf product performance

Virtual stores and eye-tracking can enable you to understand on-shelf product performance for accurate testing. Insights generated by eye-tracking and facial coding in a virtual environment will help you place a product at the most appropriate place on a shelf to enhance product visibility to customers. It will also help you understand what factors among product design, packaging, and surrounding environment, affect consumers’ decision hierarchy the most. Such insights and on-shelf product performance metrics will help you bag more sales.

Eye-tracking VR has become essential now more than ever. Consumers’ behavior and their decision hierarchy are constantly changing. Businesses and researchers now need more accurate insights for developing new products that can prove to be successful in the face of increasing competition. And VR eye-tracking can help you get exactly that — insights that are more accurate than the ones gained from other shopper testing practices.

Affect Lab