Grocery store shelving

Customer story

Eye tracking x Metaverse

Used to analyze new product packaging for Unicharm Corporation

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    4 min

In the quest to better understand the mind of the consumer, attention has become a critical measurement. When exploring product packaging, store-front design, shelf space allocation, promotional materials, and UX research, attention data gives insight into implicit behaviors and motivations.

The background

Eye tracking offers the ability to decipher the consumer’s unconscious mind and understand attention and intent in every phase of the behavioral process. By combining verbalized interviews, questionnaires, and brain measurements, we can uncover the underlying reasons behind impressions, memories, and understanding. Tracking consumer attention means that brands can optimize their offerings to be more impactful, exciting, and engaging. Achieving these unbiased consumer insights early on sets any project on a strong footing.

The method

Eye tracking studies for measuring attention have historically been conducted in person, in real environments. While these studies are powerful, practicalities often increase time and cost while limiting the number of potential participants and the sample size. For some organizations, another approach is required.

This is where eye tracking in the metaverse comes in. By conducting attention computing studies within a virtual space, we can design research scenarios that are logistically complex in real-world environments. For example, with VR, it is possible to design and create a digital storefront, eliminating the need to occupy a complex physical environment and allowing large numbers of people to participate. These kinds of digital spaces allow researchers to control bespoke conditions which can be easily adjusted to specific needs, enabling reliable analysis of anything from packaging variations to store designs.

Unicharm, who are well experienced in using cutting-edge technologies to conduct market research, decided to use eye tracking and VR research to identify the most impactful packaging for sanitary products. Unicharm partnered with the Tobii Insight team to create a VR study in which ten women in their twenties viewed a digitally rendered shelf that held different packaging types. The test also included a follow-up interview with each participant after the VR segment.

Shelving heat maps
This was the first time we used an eye tracking research service with a VR headset, and our first impression was that it was more realistic than we had expected. I feel that this is a technology that can be used to evaluate variations in packaging and shelf space, albeit in a virtual environment.
Manager of consumer marketing, Unicharm

The results

The research showed that the new standing pouch package was more noticeable than the regular packaging.

Another advantage of this technique is that it can be prepared with digital images, so the physical labor of creating dummy packages for new products and setting up the venue, which was necessary for conventional realistic shelf surveys, is no longer necessary. I don't expect all surveys to switch to VR, but I hope we can use it for different purposes.
Manager of consumer marketing, Unicharm

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Resource Details

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  • Read time

    4 min

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    • Customer story

    Tagged products

    • Consulting services

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    • Consumer research and user experience

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