Virtual reality for marketing research is celebrating its 25th year. We’ve come a long way since we started using VR back in 1993. In those days, VR was limited to 2-dimensional representations of shelf sets. Ray Burke’s Visionary Shopper program let us move to 3D, although there were still a lot of 2-D sets and 2-D products being passed off as VR. Advanced Simulations added some background context in the early 2000’s, and new competitors did the same, but that has been the extent of advancement – UNTIL NOW.
At this year’s IIeX NA conference, we introduced 4D Shopper Plus. Using Azure Knowledge’s Digiwalks technology, we can put shoppers in an immersive environment based on thousands of photographs of actual stores. With simplified movement through the store and the ability to insert shop-able categories into the photo-real environments, we can only increase shopper engagement with the research.
But wait, there’s more!
There is the introduction of 4D Shopper VR! We can turn these immersive environments into true virtual reality, viewable on even simple VR headsets. By focusing on movement arrows, shoppers can walk through the store and pick up and interact with products (including purchasing them, our primary measure in a test).
Our website (www.advancedsimulations.com/demo/) has videos showing you how these programs work. And for those of you who are more adventurous, there is a link to a live VR demo (and we’ve thoughtfully provided instructions on how to do this).
Take a look – this is what virtual reality marketing research is supposed to look like.
Dr. Stephen Needel is managing partner at Advanced Simulations, LLC. He can be reached at moc.l1506202569iamg@1506202569lsaev1506202569etsrd1506202569.