How do you best attract customer attention in today’s crowded landscape of products, retailers, websites, apps, media and other content? There are so many competing stimuli for our customer’s attention, how do we know what’s working and what’s not? In this attention economy it’s now more imperative than ever to do research that effectively measures customer interest. One of the most effective ways is through eye tracking. You can’t always trust what your customer is telling you, but you can always trust what they are showing you.
Traditional research methods such as shop-along interviews, questionnaires and surveys are useful but may not provide as much insight without eye tracking. Customer responses to these types of methods are often subject to bias, misremembering and an inability to accurately express underlying decisions drivers.
Eye tracking has traditionally been used to see what customers are looking at in an advertisement or on shelf, but it can also be used along all stages of the customer journey including post purchase behavior and interaction with the product at home.
Eye tracking can effectively be used in the following ways:
- Participants can be asked to wear eye tracking glasses at home while watching advertising on TV to see what captures viewers attention in a natural real-life environment without the presence of researchers. Accurate data can be collected on what held viewer’s attention, what was ignored and what distracted them.
- Eye tracking can also be used to see what is gaining attention during online shopping sessions by having participants wear them while viewing on a desktop, tablet or mobile device. This is much more effective than using survey responses or relying exclusively on data from mouse clicks and hovers.
- Thirdly, eye tracking can be used to better understand the in-store experience. By supplementing shop-along interviews with eye tracking, clients can get much more detailed information about what is capturing attention and the findability of their product compared to competitors on the shelf. As the in-store experience continues to change with new features such as Click and Collect areas or new in-store experiences, eye tracking is a valuable tool to measure the effectiveness along the shopper journey.
- Lastly, and perhaps most overlooked, eye tracking can provide key insights about customers’ reactions to unboxing and using a product. Versus more recall-based methods, using eye tracking to measure usage behavior is a powerful approach.
We tend to think of applying behavioral research to only one part of the customer journey but tracking customer behavior at every stage of the purchasing process reveals vital information about how to attract their attention, build trust and gain their loyalty.