Press Release

Nielsen brings gaming technology and immersive virtual reality to U.S. shopper research with the launch of Smart Store

Press Release

Nielsen brings gaming technology and immersive virtual reality to U.S. shopper research with the launch of Smart Store

New York, NY, March 17, 2020  Today, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) Global Connect celebrated the U.S. launch of Smart Store, a unique immersive virtual reality tool designed to radically transform how the industry conducts shopper research today. Smart Store is the only such solution in the U.S., enabling consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers to create and test customized, in-store shopping simulations and scenarios within a dynamic, 3D, 360-degree total store environment.

With this launch, Nielsen brings the latest in gaming technology to the forefront of market research. Smart Store’s immersive simulations of unprecedented, realistic quality will allow the CPG industry to measure, evaluate, and optimize a range of retail concepts, including multiple shelf layouts and locations, point of sale (POS) designs, promotion displays, packaging options, and even whole store designs. Addressing the need to understand consumer behavior in a non-disruptive shopping environment, Smart Store users will be able to use the insights generated to adjust their retail ecosystem according to store type, business objective or in-store audio or visual stimuli, vital in physical retail’s ability to compete with online retail.

Smart Store captures comprehensive analytics of shopper experiences. Tracking beyond just eye movements, Smart Store gathers a read on shopper head, eye and foot movements, in addition to providing a 3D heat map of the store, shelf or aisle. With a precise, 360-degree controller and headset tracking, realistic graphics, directional audio, and HD haptic feedback, Smart Store simulates realistic first-person movement and actions in the virtual world. The unique “playback” function allows users of this tool to review the in-store shopper journey and tag possible problem moments for review, converting observations into actionable insights. Within the playback function, researchers can also choose to ask test shoppers qualifying questions as to why they chose or reacted in a certain manner at the shelf, giving retailers and manufacturers new, richer insights into elements such as merchandising, pack ingredients, or marketing and promotional activities.

Manufacturers will also be able to visualize new brand initiatives to retailers in a tech-forward innovative way, showcasing how they will look in that retailer’s particular store for their shoppers—all within a cost-effective, accurate research environment. Smart Store further encourages collaborative testing between retailers and manufacturers to create mutually beneficial category and brand concepts, all aimed toward enhancing the in-store shopping experience for consumers.

Amanda Tilley, Vice President of Category Leadership at Anheuser-Busch InBev U.S., commented, “This technology enables us to put shopper insights at the heart of everything we do, giving us versatility and speed not always possible with other shopper research approaches. We are excited about integrating Smart Store insights into our wider category management reimagination program.”

“With the pace of change in today’s shopping landscape, it is challenging to stay ahead of consumers and anticipate their needs,” said Susan Dunn, President, U.S. Sales, Nielsen. “Nielsen’s Smart Store capitalizes on new technology to dramatically increase the speed and reduce the costs of testing new concepts for brands, allowing them to get real, personal consumer feedback at scale. Our U.S. launch of Smart Store represents the next step in our commitment to shaping a smarter market for our clients.”

“Traditional research methods such as exit interviews, surveys, and accompanied shops are useful for capturing current behavior, but not the future state,” said Sue Temple, Vice President, Global Consumer Insights Product Leadership, Nielsen. “Nielsen’s Smart Store is set to change that, transforming shopper research with a more dynamic, interactive and cost-effective solution to help our clients get closer to shopper behavior at the moment of truth to uncover what’s next.”

Smart Store is the newest addition to Nielsen’s existing shopper toolkit available in the U.S. For additional information, please visit

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

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