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Thursday, September 22, 2011

P&G Shaping the Store with Virtual Reality

In CGT, an excellent and fairly detailed article on Procter & Gamble's development of the virtual store concept within it's  innovation centers.   The first time I have seen this detailed publicly, including a picture of a life-size virtual store display.  This was previously mentioned in less detail in A.G. Lafley's book:  The Game Changer of a few years ago.

The development and use of virtual reality capabilities started in 1997 and have dealt with the construction of trials to improve the understanding of how shoppers shop.  Virtual reality allows shelves to be arranged and placed quickly in preparation for experiments to understand the nature and details of shopper shelf interaction with aisle, shelf and package in a retail context.  Real people or simulation models can be used to load the interaction for tests.

' .... “Together, we delivered a set of virtual solutions tools that better deliver on the needs of our businesses, customers and consumers,” says Bernard Eloy, associate director, Virtual and Modeling Simulations Services for GBS. “This enables P&G to go to market smarter, faster and more efficiently, and empowers internal collaboration and external connections to consumers and customers.”

Over the years, 19 more virtual solutions centers have popped up in P&G facilities around the world. These centers have life-sized screens backed by computer modeling, simulation and 3D technologies that present new P&G products as they might appear on store shelves. Consumers are then invited to view and assess these virtual product representations, which helps P&G to better understand their wants and needs. Meanwhile, sophisticated software helps P&G record consumer reactions to product placement, shapes, colors and designs.

According to Eloy, virtual solutions tools are now used in almost 80 percent of all P&G initiatives and have yielded critical capabilities in three key areas ..... '

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