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Another busy week for us as we were pitching some of our latest innovations to the P&G and Partners Corporate Day, organised in collaboration with the European Innovation Council.

We picked up a prize for best pitch: another one to go into the trophy cabinet.

We won for a new approach to pre-testing point of sale materials. Our winning idea combines our accurate webcam eye tracking with Hollywood-style special effects create a scalable and affordable pre testing tool for point of sale materials.

Pre-testing POS is hard. There’s no point showing people designs out of context because the question you want to answer is ‘will people notice these materials while shopping?’

To get over this problem, brands and retailers have in the past adopted two approaches. You could do live tests, printing up various design options and then sending in hundreds of people into store wearing eye tracking glasses to see if they notice or act on design more than another. It’s highly accurate, but pretty expensive and disruptive in store.

Or you could build a 3D virtual store – a bit like a computer game - and insert various POS options into the environment. You can then get people to explore the environment and see if they notice the POS. This is also pretty expensive, and is, at the end of the day, still a computer game.

Our solution is a bit different. We send in a team to make a short film of a shopping trip from the shopper’s point of view. We then edit and manipulate the film with the help of special effects company Mirriad, swapping header boards in and shelf barkers out at will. We then conduct eye tracking tests on these different films at scale and speed using our proprietary webcam eye tracking technology. It’s easier and more scalable than conducting a glasses-base study; more realistic than shopping within a computer game; and quicker and cheaper than both.

Here are a couple of stills from the demo films we showed in Brussels. The first image from the ‘base’ film we made for Tesco.

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The second image comes from the manipulated test film, where we have added in some barkers, and changed the header board. And, okay, we pandered to our European audience!

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Get in touch if you would like to learn more about this revolutionary approach to testing and optimising POS.