This guest post is written by Rose Grabowski, global industry marketing, at Microsoft Partner Dassault Systèmes

Social media growth has led to consumers having a greater voice and seeking stronger connections with brands. Introducing them to the product development process is one way to connect with consumers while taking advantage of their real-time feedback to deliver better products and succeed on the shelf.

Improving the In-Store Experience
Store layouts and product shelving optimization are two critical factors tied to the consumer’s shopping experience. The ultimate goal for both retailers and CPG companies is to design a shopping experience that exactly fits the consumer’s wants and needs, allowing them to find what they want when they want it – quickly and easily – which results in increased sales.

Achieving the Perfect Shelf
One way to improve the in-store experience is to define, design and deploy a shelf space strategy leveraging Perfect Shelf, a 3D Industry Solution Experience from Dassault Systèmes that enables CPG companies and retailers to more clearly visualize, discuss, optimize and interact with shelving and store layout ideas in order to better imagine, validate and deploy optimum shopping experiences.

Perfect Shelf also enables consumers to become part of the shelf design process by allowing them to experience various store layouts and shelves virtually. CPG companies and retailers can then measure how consumer sentiment changes when modifications to the virtual shelves are made, before making any decisions on layouts or investments.

Steering Business in Real-Time: How Perfect Shelf Can Influence the In-Store Process
The following six stages outline how CPG companies and retailers can benefit from using Perfect Shelf in their shelving strategies:

  1. Discover: Understand consumer trends, shopper behavior and category results to define a new shelf strategy.
  2.  Design: Design new shelf strategy, planogram, fixtures and merchandising elements.
  3.  Adapt: Adapt merchandising strategy to multiple store formats and local needs.
  4.  Convince: Deliver shelf space recommendation to management and partners.
  5. Operate: Assist store managers to implement at point of sale.
  6.  Measure: Measure impact of new shelf strategy.

 The primary benefits include:

  • Cost Savings: Though there is some initial cost to invest, it’s typically far less expensive than current market tests.
  • Flexibility: Virtual technology enables multiple scenarios to be tested simultaneously.
  • Speed: Although initial setup can take a few weeks longer than traditional research methods, virtual tests are faster in the long term, especially in comparison with field tests.
  • Scale: 3D technology enables the ability to scale across the enterprise with ease.
  • Confidentiality: Tests are conducted in private settings out of the eyes of competitors.

With Perfect Shelf, CPG companies optimize processes from end to end, allowing them to enhance their view of the product category (validated by consumer feedback), gain category leadership, increase presence and revenue, and achieve quicker time to shelf. Retailers transform insights gained from Perfect Shelf into in-store execution, resulting in enhanced revenue and profit, an improved consumer shopping experience, precision retailing across stores, operational excellence and shelf compliance.

Better, Faster, Smarter Shopping Experiences
By realistically simulating retail settings inside immersive, lifelike 3D environments, CPG companies and retailers can better imagine, validate and deploy optimum shopping experiences while increasing product appeal, brand and category profitability, and differentiating themselves from the competition.  Consumers gain enhanced brand perception and an improved overall shopping experience. In a world where consumer is king, those brands that provide the best in-store feel will gain a significant edge in the increasingly competitive CPG industry.

Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, provides over 150,000 customers in more than 80 countries with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations.  Its world-leading solutions transform the way products are designed, produced, and supported.  Dassault Systèmes’ collaborative solutions foster social innovation, expanding possibilities for the virtual world to improve the real world.

For more information, visit www.3ds.com