Retail is investing in the testing of new ‘measurable’ opportunities of consumer involvement in the shopping process.
Virtual reality solutions that are capable of replicating shops, supermarkets and even real shopping centers with incredible realism, will soon change the way we all shop.
The use of this software will help analyze even further the shopping behavior of the consumer and will have a direct impact on the functions of store design, space allocation, category management, branding, consumer/market research and VR-commerce.
Creation and evolution of Eye Tracking
About a decade ago, Nielsen researchers asked themselves how would a shopping experience change if they were able to register the data that our brain takes in while we are busy doing the shopping at the supermarket. Thanks to the numerous solutions of mobile eye tracking already available on the market, retailers are now able to track and monitor a consumer’s view, taking in valuable information that is transformed into business opportunities.
“The technology of eye tracking – citing Valeria M. Iannilli in Visual Merchandising. The sense of setting up space – had first been applied in areas such as ergonomics, cinematography, and the analysis of reading texts and, only later, in the world of consumers.”
As for sales points, in fact, “eye tracking provides information about the readability of a shelf product, its packaging, the ways in which a consumer researches the different references, the amount of time for the selections and the relationships that develop with the products”.
Today, these solutions are more commonplace with producers rather than retailers. In fact, multinationals such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Kimberly-Clark, use eye-tracking applications to test their products in order to best determine their positioning within the retail space.
According to, Adam Simon, Global Managing Director Retail of Context, seeing that the technology linked to virtual reality can easily spread among consumers, there is still reluctance to exploit it in the everyday shopping experience. It is necessary that producers and retailers come together to make it better known.
According to Matteo Esposito, CEO of inVRsion, a start-up specializing in the production of B2B virtual reality content, ShelfZone, “it can revolution the way one approaches planning, the research, and presentation of the projects of space allocation, promos and proximity.”
The application allows the replication of stores, supermarkets and even authentic shopping centers with absolute realism. The freedom of movement within the virtual space will allow one to fully appreciate the spaces and to verify the best solutions for space allocation and category management.
Within three years, the online shopping experience concept will be completely revolutionized.
Thanks to the mass diffusion of these solutions, (with over 52 million high-end devices sold in the US by 2020), the consumer will be able to shop from home, browsing the shelves and lanes of the sales points of their favorite store chain.
Since there are no retailers who have officially begun a trial run, it will be interesting to follow the developments of the pilot that inVRsion will launch in 2017, confident they have to begin immediately to reap the benefits of a phenomenon that between 2019 and 2020 will become a routine daily habit such as shopping online.
“Visual Merchandising. Il senso dello spazio allestito”. Valeria M. Iannilli – Esculapio – Edizione n. 1 (03/11/2016)