Fuel Cycle

Best Practices for Qualitative Package, POS and Product Testing Online

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Lauren McCluskey
VP, Qualitative Research

Any packaging-savvy client knows that it is not just a beauty contest. Packaging design and POS displays always need to start with context, so you need to find a way to get consumers to the store – even when we researchers can’t stand next to them at the shelf during a shopalong.

Before COVID-19, the idea of running online qualitative for packaging-related research was never an option. It just wasn’t in the consideration set. Researchers and clients alike assumed it was better to be in-person or in stores at the shelf. What we have found is that we can get just as much – and sometimes even richer and more focused – consumer experience insight online.

The perfect recipe for online packaging success

When the pandemic hit, I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to prove the efficacy of online packaging research, but I needed the right tool that would allow me to replicate the most important elements of the in-person experience.

Enter ConceptSauce – our virtual shelf partner, and the missing piece of the puzzle I was looking for. Their innovative platform, when paired with our packaging expertise, makes the need for full-blown 3D ‘live’ stim a thing of the past. We’ve collaboratively developed a winning formula for delivering the packaging insights clients need to make critical packaging and point-of-sale decisions – all from the comfort of your computer.

At the 2020 FC Connect digital summit, we shared best practices for how to:

  • Leverage virtual shelves in a qualitative context – and knowing when to have a static vs. ‘live,’ shoppable shelf
  • Navigate partnerships with platform providers to successfully integrate virtual shelves into your pack test methods
  • Avoid classic pitfalls and headaches of stim creation, managing bias and groupthink online, and more

COVID-19 has forever changed how we gather insights.  But I believe the mix of partners we’ve assembled will serve as our ‘go-to’ approach – even when we can stand next to one another again.

Watch the recording of our session to become better equipped to navigate package testing online, even in the post-pandemic world.

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