Kimberly-Clark creates virtual store to test ideas

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care company Retailing

Kimberly-Clark has invented a virtual reality studio with
eye-tracking technology to help the personal care company test out
marketing ideas and product concepts.

Presentation can make or break a new cosmetic product, so testing packaging design and in-store marketing on customers is a vital. Kimberly-Clark's Innovation Design Studio is a visualization room that recreates stores in virtual reality in order to test how customers react to products, design ideas and promotional stunts before launch date. The technology allows customers to shop in a virtual store using a touch screen panel and track their eye movements and physical motions in order to monitor their reactions to product ideas, colors, graphics, layouts and displays. For example, it would be possible to compare the visual impact of different packaging designs on the appeal of a certain product. Kimberly-Clark has already tested the impact of ideas developed from using the Innovative Design Studio on the sales of its own products in Safeway stores over an eight week period. The personal care company found that applying the new ideas increased sales of all toiletries tested. "To open up new paths of growth, both marketers and retailers need to create innovative, differentiated solutions that address unmet consumer needs,"​ said Kimberly-Clark executive Don Quigley. He added: "K-C's ability to collaborate with our customers in virtual environments will help elevate the way we design and deliver the right solutions for shoppers and users of our products."​ As well as using the system to trial new products and packaging ideas companies can work with retailers to identify which aisle formats, shelf arrangements and in-store promotions are most effective.

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