Improving communication with partners, better use of resources, and demands for innovative consumer research brought Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Virtuplex
P&G makes a wide range of cosmetic and personal hygiene products from world-famous brands including hair, body, and skin care products as well as household and healthcare goods. It has operations in 70 countries and its cosmetics products are used by 5 billion people worldwide.
Whether presenting new products or discussing various shelf placements, direct contact with partners is crucial for proposing displays.
However, new technologies, efforts to improve product presentations, and the COVID-19 pandemic led P&G to seek innovative and effective tools to implement across the company, especially for better consumer research and the presentation of products.
While consumer research is rather difficult to perform in the physical world, virtual reality relieves the client of many problems, especially closing specific points of sale to perform testing, or building product shelves and their re-configuration after each set of questions potential customers answer during the survey.
All Virtuplex needed to perform a consumer survey in VR were the necessary 3D data used to build a virtual store including shelving in its 600m2 virtual reality space. In cooperation with IPSOS, a survey of 90 respondents then took place at the Virtuplex. The goal was to learn about consumers’ shopping habits, how to set up shelving, and how quickly customers can find their favourite products. The VR testing was preceded by a questionnaire that was repeated after the testing.
P&G saved time and money using surveys in VR, reducing the costs of performing consumer research by about 40%.
“We see a future for consumer surveys in virtual reality, especially because of its flexibility where a single click allows you to change product shelves, eliminating tedious refitting and preparing new versions. We also realized it was very practical to discuss specific shelving configurations with our partner in VR,” Procter & Gamble Senior Category Manager Jozef Vnenk said.
P&G also experienced presenting products in VR for the first time at the Virtuplex. Business partners could experience 5 different worlds tailor-made by Virtuplex’s developers to be characteristic for the specific product being presented. Users could thus walk across a frozen Arctic landscape, an alpine setting, or a tropical rainforest, encountering the product each time. This allowed them to experience the product in the environment it is meant to evoke.
“Discussions with our partners were certainly more effective because you’re talking about something you can see and not just an idea that’s on paper. The entire experience was very pleasant. We also appreciated a certain environmental sustainability of the entire solution. We had 8 presentations in the Virtuplex without having to transport special equipment or other marketing materials. Once everything is prepared in virtual reality, you can return again and again,” P&G Marketing Director Barbora Líška Kratochvílová said.
“Preparing virtual worlds the way we did for Procter & Gamble was something new for us that we had to adjust to. We used gaming elements, which is something we don’t normally do. Furthermore, we didn’t work with static graphics but entire product stories including employing an environment we came up with on our own,” Virtuplex’s Lenka Kriššáková explained.