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Smart Innovation Starts with Smart Testing

CPGs and retailers collectively look to push the boundaries of both creativity and adaptability to future-proof their business models through smarter, faster, and bolder innovation. Embracing innovation, however, is sometimes easier said than done, especially with compounding costs, rapidly evolving consumer sentiments, and seemingly shorter and shorter time windows to go to market. The need for speed and accuracy in verifying the viability of new ideas is cementing the need for better testing methodologies in-store.

At VideoMining, we’ve been piloting testing and learning programs to better understand consumer behavior and optimize retail environments for well over a decade. Our innovative approach combines advanced video analytics with cutting-edge machine learning techniques, allowing us to gather deep insights into shopper interactions and preferences. With hundreds of in-store testing projects under our belt, we know a thing or two about the right market research methodologies to give you the tools you need to innovate faster and smarter.

When it comes to in-store testing, here are some of the key attributes of winning projects:

  • Make it quick, but make it count.
    • With the accelerated speed of change in our industry, it’s no surprise that many of our innovations and initiatives are launched with super speed. When the answer to the question when do you want that launched? is always “yesterday”, it’s hard to stop and plan and make the best decisions. Make it count...but also make it quick. Insights are perishable, after all. This is one of those golden moments where you really can have your cake and eat it too, if you have a testing partner who has the turnkey capabilities and support model in place for rapid iterative testing.
  • The where matters just as much as the what.
    • Next time you step foot in a grocery store, stop for a moment and take it all in. Listen carefully to the noises you here - from background music to squeaky shopping carts. What do you smell? What do you see - the lighting, the colors, the signs, the displays, the products, the fixtures? Shoppers are hit with countless bits of stimulus every second of the retail experience. And they all play a role in shaping behavior. Testing in artificial settings is likely to produce artificial results, in that it is virtually impossible to recreate every single element of the store experience. Testing in a real store with real stimuli is the best way to guarantee real results.
  • Seeing is believing.
    • To truly evaluate the viability of an idea, you must see how it plays out in a real setting. For us, the clear answer is observational research, which gives an honest, unbiased, and unprovoked look at how shoppers authentically react. The beauty of technology, and machine learning tools like VideoMining’s, is that you can generate an objective analysis of detailed behavioral reactions. What’s more - the results are backed by a large sample size of tens of thousands of shoppers. Seeing the natural environment and the natural reaction of shoppers helps pinpoint hidden insights along the path to purchase that will empower yo to build better programs with better conversions.
  • Iterative growth wins the race
    • Sometimes, the smallest tweak can turn a struggling idea into a smashing success. For retail marketing, that could be as simple as tweaking the language on in-store signage, or swapping the location of that wine display with the location of the hard seltzer display across the store. But if the first idea is the only idea, often bigger wins are left on the table.

Embracing innovation is not just a choice but a necessity in today's competitive market, where those who dare to think differently are the ones who will ultimately thrive. Ready to infuse your shopper strategy with fact-based data? We’re ready when you are.