Studying new product performance in virtually created retail environments

Date of publication: February 1, 2004


This paper describes recent attempts to use virtual reality components for studying the in-market performance of a new product at the pre-launch stage. Virtual shopping systems today offer intriguing opportunities for a flexible generation and realistic presentation of product, shelf and store concepts, and the rapid collection of relevant consumer feedback.These advantages are all the more critical if and when time and budget constraints, logistics, and non-available research alternatives severely reduce pre-testing of new products under today's severe time and budget constraints. A recently completed research study of consumer purchases of a new ice cream product line is used to demonstrate the advantages of a 'virtual' approach.

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