Eye Tracking x Consumer Behavior
Figure. Consumer Behavior analysis
In the era of information explosion, consumers are exposed to a vast amount of marketing information (both physical and digital) on a daily basis. Standing out in this cluttered landscape and driving consumer behavior has become a primary focus for most brand manufacturers.
Vision serve as the primary channel for information transmission in today's world. Whether it's advertisements, packaging, product presentations, or other marketing designs, they are all initially perceived by consumers through the visual medium. Therefore, understanding the strategies behind consumers' information taking and decision making behavior can significantly enhance the likelihood of marketing messages being effectively received by the audience.
As an overt index of attention, eye-tracking information serves as the most direct tool for exploring how consumer select and perceived the information. Through the use of Ganzin SOL wearable eye tracker, we have recorded the eye movement behaviors of three consumers while they searching for and purcahsing a product.
Eye tracking data reveals clear observation biases among consumers (Figure 1). Consumers tend to focus their attention earlier and spend more time gazing at the central and upper regions of the shelf (Figure 2 and Figure 3).
Figure 1. Heatmap of the three consumers.
Figure 2. Area of Interest (AOI) analysis - vertical position of the shelf.
Figure 3. Area of Interest (AOI) analysis - horizontal position of the shelf.
In addition, compared to non-selected items, consumers tend to gaze more frequently and for longer durations at the chosen products. They also exhibit a higher rate of re-fixation on the selected items (Figure 4). Similar eye movement patterns have been observed in previous studies (Chandon et al., 2009; Goyal et al., 2005; Rothensee & Reiter, 2019).
Figure 4: Differences in Consumer Gaze Behavior between Chosen and Unchosen Products.
The spatial analysis mentioned above reflects the distribution of consumers' attention. Integrating temporal and spatial information can provide further insights into the consumer decision-making process. For instance, video 1 depicts the changing relationship between the gaze positions of Consumer 2 and the Areas of Interest (AOIs) over time.
Video 1: Temporal Variation of the Correspondence between Consumer Gaze Positions and Products.
As shown in video 1, innitially, consumer scans various poducts boradly. However, in the 10 seconds before the decision, the consumer's gaze repeatedly moves back and forth between the chosen product (AOI 14) and other products. According to Van der Lans and Wedel (2017), this pattern could indicate that the consumer has entered the decision evaluation stage.
In summary, eye-tracking data allows brand/product designers to directly observe consumers' visual information taking and even their dynamic decision-making process. By leveraging eye-tracking information, designers can reflect on the shortcomings of their designs and further enhance them to stand out in the competitive marketing landscape.
- Chandon, P., Hutchinson, J. W., Bradlow, E. T., & Young, S. H. (2009). Does in-store marketing work? Effects of the number and position of shelf facings on brand attention and evaluation at the point of purchase. Journal of marketing, 73(6), 1-17.
- Goyal, S., Miyapuram, K. P., & Lahiri, U. (2015, November). Predicting consumer's behavior using eye tracking data. In 2015 Second International Conference on Soft Computing and Machine Intelligence (ISCMI) (pp. 126-129). IEEE.
- Rothensee, M., & Reiter, P. (2019). Neuromarketing. Eye Movement Research: An Introduction to its Scientific Foundations and Applications, 819-855.