Romain BaczykatQ-Fi Solutions

February 22, 2016

Benefits of virtual shopping cart and Market Research Applications

Technological advancements have made virtual shopping research opportunities available.

The virtual shopping cart has made duplicated test-marketing practical for a broad range of establishments and applications. Simulation on Virtual shopping can assist managers in making tactical decisions in areas such as new products and promotions, packing and merchandising. The tool promises to modify the way companies innovate and how they counter different tactical issues that vary from how to enter new markets to how to respond to an attack from a competitor.

What is it appropriate for?

Progress in tech proposes to bring about simulated test marketing to a wider range of products, companies, and applications – by allowing the marketer to recreate the environment of a real retail store on a computer, with speed and ease. For instance, in the Marketing Simulation Lab of the Harvard business school, a customer can check shelves stocked with all kinds of products. The person who is shopping can select items simply by clicking the image on the screen. In response to that, the item moves to the middle of the screen where the buyer can see the item from all sides by turning the package using a three-axis trackball. Just like real-time marketing, the selected products will then pile up on the cart as you shop. While you shop, the computer automatically records the time spent on each product category and the time spent trying to see the products from all sides. It also shows the order in which the products are being bought and the quantity bought overall.

Benefits of virtual shopping research over in-store research

Environments that are simulated by computers like this one proposes numerous advantages over older research strategies. There are five ways it can be used to propel successful business outcomes.

  1. Unlike focus groups and other lab approaches, the virtual store replicates the distracting confusion of a real market. Consumers can buy products in a realistic environment with the same level of variety and complexity.
  2. Researchers can start and stop tests quickly and easily. The researcher can make interchanges in the arrangement of the pricing, promotions, brands, and shelf space in a few minutes. The collection of data is also fast and without errors since the information that is produced by the purchase is tabulated automatically.
    Since displays are being created electronically, costs are extremely reduced. With the right software, the cost of a test is mostly a function of the amount of respondents.
  3. The recreated program has a high level of flexibility. It can also be used to test totally new market concepts or to enhance existing programs. This simulation makes removal of noise that occurs in field experiments possible.
  4. The most significant advantage of this strategy is the freedom it gives researchers and marketers to work their imaginations. It results into a complete makeover of the simulated test market from a go-or-no-go difficulty that often comes late in the process of planning an active marketing lab for new idea experiments. The product managers can run new ideas before taking on manufacturing costs or the cost of advertising, paying slotting fees to the trade. It can also be done before getting competitors in the know, or knowing if the new concepts are good, bad, appalling, or fantastic.

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Romain Baczyk is EVP of Sales and Business Development at Market Research technology specialist Q-Fi Solutions. Q-Fi Solutions' flagship product is Q-Fi Surveys, the most customizable online data collection solution designed with market research organizations' needs in mind. He can be reached at romain@qfisolutions.com

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