Press Room

Nielsen Launches ‘Smartstore’ VR Tool in UK

Virtual reality tool will help retailers understand consumer behaviour 

London, 20 September 2018 – Nielsen today launches Smartstore in the UK, a new VR tool that helps retailers and manufacturers understand future shopper behaviour. Smartstore recreates the layout of existing or planned stores and lets retailers test and evaluate the space to improve consumer experience.

Leveraging breakthroughs in virtual reality gaming technology, Smartstore builds a live environment and creates realistic and immersive scenarios to analyse shoppers’ experiences. This is enabled through features such as tracking shopper head, eye and feet movements and 3D heat maps. A ‘playback’ function allows the in-store shopper journey to be reviewed and possible problem moments to be tagged for review.

The solution helps retailers and manufacturers measure, evaluate and optimise a range of retail concepts including multiple shelf layouts or new locations, POS designs, promotion displays, and packaging options in a variety of store formats, aisles or shelf layouts – all in a 3D, 360 degree virtual store environment.

Testing in a virtual environment eliminates the unnecessary risk of trial-and-error execution or disrupting stores.

Sue Temple, Executive Director, Nielsen Shopper says, ”Traditional research methods such as exit interviews, surveys and accompanied shops are useful for capturing current behaviour, but not the future state. Nielsen Smartstore is set to change that, transforming shopper research with a more dynamic, interactive and cost effective solution to help you to get closer to shopper behaviour at the moment of truth to uncover what’s next.

“We’re bringing together the smart integration of store planning, merchandising and shopper research techniques to not only get richer insights into shopper behaviour, but also to convert them into something actionable for clients. Smartstore uses the latest virtual reality technology and will allow retailers to more easily deploy store planning, merchandising and shopper research”, Temple adds.

Madhur Mehra, Head of Consumer Insights UK, Nielsen says, “The UK retail landscape is experiencing significant and ongoing changes, which in turn means changes to consumer shopping mindset and behaviour. With shoppers increasingly rationalizing their spend, in-store execution and shopper activation take center stage. It is essential that manufacturers and brand owners understand in-store shopper behavior and their priorities in order to lure them with the right offering. The introduction of Smartstore is a testimony to our innovation capabilities, a cutting edge solution, enabling our clients to plan for what’s next in order to win in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Smartstore is a new addition to Nielsen’s existing shopper toolkit.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit