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One of the most interesting trends we have observed lately is a tendency to use virtual store research at the very first stages of the innovation process, instead of mainly at the execution phase just before the launch. This trend indicates that brand and innovation managers place increasing value upon quantitative shopper insights even when a new product is still in its concept phase. What this tells us is that the value of virtual store research is important at a strategic level, when taking decisions about portfolio and distribution management. It also illustrates that shopper research and shopper marketing are becoming an integrated part of marketing strategy and that they are taken very seriously at board room level. Proof that the industry is embracing ‘shelf back thinking’. In other words, include in-store execution as a part of all stages of the innovation process. The key insights gained by using virtual store research in the innovation process are related to stand-out power (packaging), cannibalization, shelf position and pricing strategy.

If you would like to know more about our experience in this area and how to use virtual store research during the innovation process, just send us an email and we’ll get back to you.

Virtual Store used in first stages of innovation process  
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