Using virtual reality (VR) to optimise a new store concept 

Issue:

Dutch lingerie retailer Hunkemöller, wanted to introduce a new sub-brand HKMX into the German market and then expand into other territories, but first they needed to understand how they could successfully expand their range into sports apparel…

What we did:

A concept store had opened in Berlin, but in the other countries no physical store had opened. We conducted a qualitative study in-store with Google Glass in Berlin and then tested this in Amsterdam by replicating the in-store environment in VR.

Replicating the concept store in Berlin in 360º video

Berlin

  • Qualitative shopper interviews with a mixed group of Hunkemöller customers and non-customers
    • Free browsing for participants with Google Glass allowing us to monitor their shopper behaviour without interviewer interference
    • After the free browsing exercise, there was an in-depth interview while watching the Google Glass footage
    • Finally, an accompanied shopping trip to discuss the remaining topics in-store
  • Concept store in Berlin was captured in a 360º video recording

Amsterdam

  • The recording was used as the input for the VR experience in Amsterdam
  • We invited 12 shoppers and interviewed them in two steps:
    • First a ‘free browsing’ in VR
    • Afterwards there was a follow-up interview while watching the VR footage

Key insight:

Overall, we found the new store concept was very relevant and appealing with spontaneous behaviour and rich feedback from participants to store elements. The VR environment allowed for flexible A/B scenario testing. The methodology in Berlin allowed us to approach reality as close as possible and to cover real behaviour. When watching the Google Glass footage, we could discuss both conscious and unconscious behaviour.

Impact:

The study provided the client with actionable consumer insights, directing them to refine and improve their offering in the following areas:

  • Overall relevance and appeal of the concept
  • Navigation and lay-out
  • Assortment
  • Communication and visual merchandising

Approach:

Learn more about virtual reality (VR)

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