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Purina Pilots Interactive Endcaps in Pet Aisles of 200 Supermarkets

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Seeking to provide the same depth of product information that’s available online in a brick-and-mortar environment, Purina has partnered with Perch to create interactive endcaps in the pet sections of 200 Meijer stores. The solution provider’s “lift-and-learn” computer vision technology senses when a shopper picks up an item, and this triggers displays of videos and information related to the product without requiring any further action by the shopper.

Purina is launching the pilot with education on the Purina ONE 28-Day Challenge, showing pet owners the health differences its products can make over a four-week period. It includes product category information along with mobile integration into an augmented reality (AR) experience.

“We are excited to have a storytelling platform in the pet category that communicates Purina’s expertise and commitment to providing the leading products that keep pets safe, happy and healthy,” said Kenneth Endermuhle, Manager of Category Experience Design at Purina in a statement. “With Perch, we can deliver the right product message at the right time, at the point of consideration, so that Purina can stand out where the majority of shoppers purchase pet products — in-store.”

The Perch platform uses AI-powered computer vision to detect product behavior at the shelf, anonymously detecting shoppers’ presence as well as what products they touch and what content they engage with. The technology has been used in categories such as beauty, CPG and accessories, primarily in department store environments. This pilot, expected to roll out to 200 stores by the end of June 2021, represents Perch’s largest deployment in the pet category and the supermarket vertical.

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“Online you can click on a product to get information, and we’re able to provide the ‘clicks’ in-store when a customer picks up a product,” said Trevor Sumner, CEO of Perch in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Seeing exactly what people do and don’t touch has revealed a number of insights; for example, people talk about ‘eye level is buy level,’ but our data indicates that it’s the edges of an endcap that may be more valuable than anyone imagined.”

If shoppers opt to scan a QR code to get the AR experience, this action allows the retailer and the brand to “cookie” the in-store customer, “so that you can continue marketing to them outside the store,” said Sumner. “This can take the large audience of in-store shoppers and move them into being omnichannel shoppers. In the future, the data gathered and the opportunity for retargeting can affect customer acquisition and customer loyalty.”

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