The role of virtual shopper research in category management
This presentation describes recent attempts to use virtual reality components for studying market effects of new category management-driven initiatives in retail settings. Virtual shopping systems today offer intriguing opportunities for a flexible generation and realistic presentation of shelf and store concept, 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 category management concepts. A recently completed research study of consumer purchases of wound-care products in pharmacies is used to demonstrate the advantages of a 'virtual' approach.
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