- Nielsen Global Connect, a division of Nielsen Holdings, unveiled a new suite of shopper marketing tools that adapts extreme reality and gaming technology for its in-store shopper marketing program in the U.S., the company announced in a press release.
- The new virtual suite includes three tools: Nielsen SmartStore, Nielsen SmartShelf and Nielsen SmartShopper. Nielsen SmartStore is a virtual reality (VR) tool that lets CPGs and retailers test in-store shopping simulations in a 3D virtual store environment using a 360-degree controller, headset tracking, realistic graphics, directional audio and HD haptic feedback.
- Nielsen SmartShelf uses 3D virtual simulation software in partnership with InContext Solutions so marketers can test aisle, category and shelf scenarios. Nielsen SmartShopper, which will be available in July, is an augmented reality (AR) smartphone tool that uses interactive gaming tech so in-store shoppers can explore product images, in-store marketing artwork and seasonal or special event concepts.
With its new suite of tools, Nielsen wants to enable brands to dramatically increase the speed at which they test new concepts while reducing the cost by providing a way to get consumer feedback in a safe environment as they look to better understand shoppers' quickly changing needs.
The shopping landscape was already evolving before the coronavirus pandemic hit as brick-and-mortar retail struggled to drive in-store traffic as a result of online browsing and purchasing's popularity. The health crisis appears to have hit the fast forward button on these changes by giving a boost to the adoption of digital experiences overall. Leveraging tech like 3D imaging and virtual simulations for shopping marketing could appeal to CPGs right now as companies continue to limit in-person activities.
By adopting extreme reality and gaming tech for in-store shopper marketing programs, CPGs and retailers can do more advanced concepting for shelf layouts, point-of-sale designs, promotional displays and whole store redesigns. The new tool suite lets marketers track beyond eye movements, tracking shopper head and foot movements as well as see 3D heat maps of a store, shelf or aisle.
These simulations are designed to emulate realistic first-person actions so retailers and brands can create marketing programs based on real shoppers' behaviors. Marketers can use the tool's "playback" function to review in-store shopper journeys and identify actions for review.
The partnership with InContext Solutions comes as Nielsen beefs up its retail solutions business. Nielsen Global Connect acquired Precima, a retail strategy analytics startup, in January. The deal expanded the media and ratings company's division that focuses on retail and CPG.