March 23, 2012

Have a look at the new virtual supermarket of Wageningen University

In the video below, Erica van Herpen (my colleague at the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group) explains the advantages of doing research with the virtual supermarket. This simulated supermarket looks like a real supermarket with various shelves which display three-dimensional images of a wide range of products. As a consumer, you can walk through the aisles of the store and put products in your virtual shopping cart. The virtual supermarket allows us to easily manipulate various types of choice environments and promotion techniques. Interesting shopping patterns can be tracked, such as the time spent shopping or looking at a particular shelf, the number of products bought and the amount of money spent.

As reported in a previous blog post, we are currently working on a nudging project. Nudges are simple, low-cost interventions to move consumers towards healthier choices without banning food products or telling them how to live. According to what many consumer say themselves, health and sustainability are key reasons to select a certain product. In practice, however, this does not always appear to be the case. How can we best help these consumers in making the right choice by changing the shelf lay-out of healthy and sustainable products in supermarkets? Our new virtual supermarket is now used to study choice environments to stimulate healthier and more sustainable food choices.

Keep an eye on this blog, I will update you about new study results obtained with this exciting and innovative research tool.

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