Helping your brand stand out on the shop shelf by using eye tracking
Given the visual clutter common across the retail stores globally, most brands struggle to really stand out from competitors and to be noticed at the first point of sale.
Facing short product cycles and relatively low brand loyalty among consumers, most brands need powerful tools to objectively evaluate package design and shelf layout, and to understand what the pack is communicating about the brand and the product.
Eye tracking offers a solution and opens up the “black-box” in the middle of the sales cycle; providing detailed objective data about consumers’ actual purchasing behavior and decision-making patterns.
What is the eye-tracking?
When one is reading, he doesn’t read smoothly and consistently across a page; he pauses at some words and moves quickly through others. This concept was at the root of the eye-tracking evolution in the late 1800s.
Eye-tracking has been in use since the 19th century when no sophisticated machines tracked your eye movement but was observed directly. During this period, it’s usage was mostly contained within the field of psychology. Late 19th century, the method evolved and was used to understand the reading habits of people.
In the last 20 years, eye-tracking has been used more extensively and in various fields including market research to understand consumer behavior. Modern eye-tracking uses high-speed cameras, eyewear and other advanced technological products. It gives objective, real-time data, which is a treasure trove for researchers.
Some questions that eye-tracking can help answer are:
How can packaging help on the shop floor?
- Is there a “golden zone” in the middle of a typical reach-in cooler/ shelf attracting proportionally more visual attention than in other locations?
- Are there any clear, product selection choice patterns?
- Does gender and age influence visual attention and choice patterns?
Package visibility and communication related:
- Is the brand able to stand out? Does it grab attention?
- What is the pack communicating about the brand? What is the relative visual effectiveness of different design components?
- What is the impact on the intention to buy and on sales?
- Does brand loyalty influence visual attention?
Use of eye tracking is however not limited to branded products only. It can also be leveraged by smaller F&B outlets to optimize point of sale merchandising and to increase bill value.
To share, a retail bakery brand with over 12 outlets in Singapore commissioned idstats to undertake ‘eye-tracking’ as a part of a shopper ethnography exercise last year. The objective of the study was to evolve a strategy to optimize branding and merchandising at the point of sale and by extension, optimize consumer offtakes.
Based on the exercise, the idstats team was not only able to give specific recommendations to revisit in-store merchandising, but also specific inputs to optimize in-store menu signage to have greater impact and offtakes. Thus post the research, the retail store re-visited product layout across all its outlets with a view to heightening consumer attention to higher value and margin daily consumption products like bread versus lower price and margin products like buns.
To evaluate the idstats eye-tracking experience for optimising your return on investments, please mail us at [email protected]