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Kellogg’s VR merchandising headset leads to 18% sales increase

Kellogg’s has been testing out a virtual reality (VR) headset to find the best placement for its products on grocery shelves.

The consumer goods company has been working with Accenture and Qualcomm to pilot the VR merchandising system which tracks eye movement to gather market research from customers.

Using Qualcomm’s VR reference design headset, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform. Accenture’s Extended Reality (XR) practice tested the technology using the launch of Kellogg’s new Pop-Tart Bites product.

While regular market research uses online surveys and in-home user tests, the mobile VR eye-tracking solution provided deeper behavioural data, which led to a different merchandising outcome than is usually made using traditional research.

While traditional merchandising research dictates the higher shelves to be the prime position, the VR solution determined that optimal placement for new products was on lower shelves. By moving the products further down, Kellogg’s saw an 18% uptake of sales during testing.

“When trying to best assess a future product’s shelf placement, this new methodology provided optimal guidance from both a product and category perspective,” said Jenny McDaniels, senior manager of category strategy at Kellogg Company. “This approach provided multiple data outputs, which in turn, created a holistic solution that would drive success for both the category and product.”

Raffaella Camera, global head, innovation and market strategy, Accenture Extended Reality, added: “Our VR merchandising solution has the potential to transform product placement by examining consumer buying behaviour in a holistic way. 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. Ultimately, this enables product placement decisions to be made that can positively impact total brand sales, versus only single product sales.”

By using VR headsets, retailers can expand their customer reach for product testing at home, while also decreasing costs usually associated from creating a test shelf layout which can now be accessed virtually.