The use of predictive visual analytics processed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows brands and retailers to take proactive, data-informed steps to improve the shopper experience and boost chances of their products being noticed and bought. In a recent article for Forbes entitled ‘Unlocking the power of predictive analytics with AI’, Kevin Beasly writes: “The recent pandemic shined a light on the power of predictive analytics paired with AI. […] We are gathering more data than ever — but we need AI to transform it into predictive and actionable insights.” AI helps to analyse and optimize your product’s visual saliency, which in turn streamlines the shopper experience and drives more sales. Beasly observes of the savings this can make you: “AI is expected to grow to a $309 billion industry by 2026, and 44% of executives report decreased operational costs as a direct result of implementing AI.”
In this article, we look at three ways in which Dragonfly AI technology can help you to analyse your shoppers’ user experiences and provide instant insight to improve the visibility of your products in complex retail environments and to maximise attention drawn to your visual merchandise (VM) and point of promotion (PoP):
1) Identify what grabs attention in real-time: Traditional eye-tracking experiments usually result in heatmaps that show you how an audience of 40 participants reacted at first sight to your product. These descriptive heatmaps are describing events from the past and require a long, convoluted process that involves people (active participants and supervisors), laborious equipment and software, ethical considerations and contracts, and, of course, significant expense to you and your company. With our predictive heatmaps Dragonfly AI shows you exactly where a customer will look in the future, in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost without needing any human intervention. What’s more, our AI software simulates real-world customer journeys and shows you exactly how all of your VM assets and POP campaigns are performing, from product packaging right through to signage.
2) Improve the experience of the in-store environment: Predictive visual analytics processed by AI can show you – ahead of time – exactly where customers will look as they travel through the physical or digital store environment, which thereby helps you to ensure your VM and POP campaigns are ‘human-ready’ to achieve the best attention they can be before the shopper ever walks in. By knowing exactly what grabs a customer’s attention, you can benefit from:
1. Optimising the saliency of your product in the context of the shelf amongst the competitor set.
2. Organise those shelves more efficiently.
3. Arrange store layouts to ensure prominence of calls to action
4. Craft clearer messaging for VM and POP. Consumers like to make decisions quickly, especially regarding low-cost, FMCG purchases.
One study found that such consumers make decisions in a third of a second and that 61% of customers claim that a good shopping experience requires finding what they want quickly. This demonstrates the importance of optimizing your store experience to make it as seamless as possible.
3) Optimize your packaging design: Optimized visual saliency is particularly useful in the packaging design of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). If a shopper is looking for a typical FMCG product, like a chocolate bar or a tube of toothpaste, the packet or box can make all the difference between the product being noticed or ignored.
Customers like to spot a product quickly and understand from the first glance exactly what it is. Predictive heatmaps clarify whether your product is catching the eye in the way you intend, and – if not – shows you precisely where to improve the hierarchy of key design elements until your brand information is seen in the correct order: logo; flavour; size; weight; colour; vegan; nutrition and organic ingredients; etc. If you are investing money on enhanced visual features, like extra graphics, special POP banners or display units, we can show you clearly if you’re getting the best bang for your buck, and where to tweak your design until you do. What’s more, our new Studio 2:0 allows you to run up to 26 different multi-variant tests on a single product, helping you to measure and ensure your package design’s effectiveness with ease before launching your campaign into the real world.