Accenture is testing a virtual reality (VR) merchandising solution that it hopes will transform brand and retail strategy as part of a collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and Kellogg’s.

To develop the solution, Accenture Extended Reality (XR) practice used Qualcomm VR reference design headset, mixed reality software from InContext Solutions and eye-tracking data analytics capabilities from Cognitive3D.

The solution combines eye-tracking technology with a mobile VR headset to create a full-scale, simulated store experience for consumers.

They can explore, shop, pick up products and place them in carts while the solution tracks data related to customers’ choices.

Accenture and Kellogg tested the VR eye-tracking solution during with the launch of the latter’s Pop Tarts Bites and gathered behavioural data of shoppers.

From data collected, Accenture determined that the optimal placement for the new product was on lower shelves, which resulted in an 18% increase in sales for the product.

“By combining the power of VR with eye-tracking and analytics capabilities, it allows significant new insights to be captured.”

Accenture Extended Reality innovation and market strategy global head Raffaella Camera said: “Our VR merchandising solution has the potential to transform product placement by examining consumer buying behaviour in a holistic way.

“By combining the power of VR with eye-tracking and analytics capabilities, it allows significant new insights to be captured while consumers shop by monitoring where and how they evaluate all products across an entire shelf or aisle.

“Ultimately, this enables product placement decisions to be made that can positively impact total brand sales, versus only single product sales.”

In addition, Accenture noted that the VR retail merchandising solution can offer deeper data while expediting the merchandising process and reducing costs.

It will also allow retailers to expand testing reach to geographically dispersed consumers by inviting them to use the mobile VR headsets to test products in their homes, as well as at physical stores and other locations.