- All Community
InContext Solutions was featured on thefiscaltimes.com, below is an excerpt of the article, explaining how we can help manufacturers and retailers understand, expand and grow their businesses through virtual market research.
Imagine a shopping environment that looks like a well-known retailer – but it’s completely virtual. Customers can browse aisles, examine products, and compare prices with just a few clicks on their laptop. Better yet, the answers they give to a few highly targeted questions from manufacturers and retailers can significantly drive down market research costs for their firms – and help companies sell their products more effectively.
That’s the premise behind Chicago-based InContext Solutions, a tech startup that makes savvy use of three-dimensional replicas of the floor plans of major retail chains. The technology, offered over the Internet, expands the ability of manufacturers to query more consumers about pricing, packaging and shelf location without incurring significant expense. Retailers provide access, allowing InContext to collect images and study exact store dimensions required to build the simulations.
“They can much more effectively talk with their customers in a live environment and show them what it might look like,” said Bob Gillespie, CEO and one of the company’s three co-founders. “It’s much more efficient.”
Gillespie, 43, contends that his venture, now two and half years old, helps manufacturers bring goods to market faster because of the fresh insight gained from his company’s service. Virtual stores are also discrete, unlike traditional methods, such as polling customers in actual stores – an approach that retailers find disruptive and time consuming -- or creating focus groups in malls, where respondents view hypothetical product scenarios in screening rooms.
“Our process takes about a quarter of the time and runs a third the cost of doing traditional research,” said Gillespie, an entrepreneur with a background in software startups.