Update: Shelfzone is a Retail Virtual Reality Simulator

Marketing agencies are cottoning on to using virtual reality (VR) to entice customers to purchase products, but what about using VR to learn how customers behave and react to shopping environments? This is where Shelfzone a VR retail simulator comes in.

Shelfzone is a supermarket shopping simulator designed to test how consumers walking through a shop react to the layout, product placement and various other elements. With this information managers can alter the arrangement of products to help maximise the shelving space and increase turnover.

The system, developed through studies by Imille, a communications company based in Milan, Italy, uses an Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) surrounded by twelve motion sensors that capture the users movements, along with a device resembling a shopping trolley to aid in the immersion. Users can then walk around the virtual shop picking up products to look at them in closer detail. The system records the user behaviour, analyzing the eye placement, what the eye is drawn to as well as the choices made.

While large supermarket chains have had to do this physically before, designing shop layouts and changing product placement by walking around, the Shelfzone simulator brings the benefits of VR immersion to the retail sector whilst having the added benefit of exploring the data and exporting it quickly and easily.

VRFocus will continue to follow the latest developments in VR and report back.

UPDATE: Matteo Esposito, CEO of IMILLE has been in contact with VRFocus to say that Shelfzone wasn’t developed by IMILLE but by InVRsion, a company founded by Esposito and other partners, that is focused on VR.