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Eye Tracking & Consumer Behavior


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Lecturing on Eye Tracking (theory, applications and personal account) to Master students for a course in Advanced Consumer Marketing at Linköping University, Sweden.

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Eye Tracking & Consumer Behavior

  1. 1. Eye Tracking Hugo Guyader
  2. 2. Eye tracking enables researchers to analyze people’s visual attention reflected in their pattern of eye movements, called ‘gaze’, point of regard’ or ‘scapath’. It“measures the distance and angle of the reflection of infrared light from the center of the pupil to determine the point of fixation of the person”. Wedel and Pieters, 2008 Optical tracking cameras record the pupil center location and the infrared corneal reflection to measure the orientation of the eyes in the visual environment. Duchowski, 2007 Eye tracking devices record someone’s gaze, composed of two salient eye movements tracked over time: (1) saccades = rapid jumps of the eye to one location to another, (2) fixations = longer and still moments of the visual field. Wedel and Pieters, 2008
  3. 3. Devices Stationary Eye Tracker
 e.g. Tobii Eye Tracking Glasses (ECG)
 e.g. SMI + Analytical software Eye Tracking
  4. 4. • Interactive role: eye tracker serves as an input device, which is used by visually mediated applications. • Diagnostic role: eye tracker provides objective and quantitative evidence of the user’s visual and (overt) mental processes. Duchowski, 2007 Eye Tracking Application
  5. 5. Marketing pro-active research method for: • choice and search behaviour, • print advertising, • public policy information and social marketing information, • television commercials, • online usability and advertising, • reading tasks in survey design, • brand extension research, etc. Wedel and Pieters, 2008 But also in neuroscience (attention, brain structure); psychology (reading, scene perception, visual search, natural tasks, auditory processing and other information processing tasks); human factors (aviation, driving, visual inspection, sports); computer science (interactive system); ergonomics (design), ophthalmology, etc. Duchowski, 2002 Research Applications
  6. 6. A few examples… Hugo Guyader
  7. 7. Scene Perception
  8. 8. Packaging
  9. 9. Retail Marketing Packaging Design Features that impact visual attention:
 - contour/shape (high slim product draw consumers’ initial attention better)
 - high contrast (products that stand out)
 - graphic design (easy to interpret)
 - text element (negative influence on consumers’ initial attention) Under High Time-Pressure
 - Consumers accelerate information acquisition (= shorter fixations): they filter information by skipping text (rather than images) on product packaging. 
 - Consumers adopt a processing-by-attribute strategy (= increase in saccades between brands). Under High Motivation
 - Consumers slow-down information acquisition (= longer fixations): they skip more pictorial objects (rather than brand names). Pieters & Warlop (1999) Clement, Kristensen, Grønhaug (2013)
  10. 10. Advertising
  11. 11. Print Ads In a Yellow Pages study, consumers spent 54% more time viewing ads for businesses that they ended up choosing. In general, the larger the ad, the more likely consumers were to notice it.  Attention paid to an ad decreases by about 50% from exposure 1 to exposure 3: 
 the attentional process accelerates during later exposures.  Text vs Pictorial information
 - Consumers pay three times more attention to text than pictures.
 - Attention durations differ significantly across ad elements: longest for the text, followed by headline, and shortest for the pictorial and the packshot. 
 - Most inter-element saccades start from or end on the packshot.
 - Decreasing the size of pictorial, and increasing the sizes of promotion (price) attracts more attention to the entire ad display. Color and graphics
 Color ads are scanned faster, more often, and longer than black & white ads. However graphics do not capture initial consumer attention.  Rayner et al. (2001)Pieters, Wedel & Zhang (2007) Rosbergen, Wedel & Pieters (1990)Lohse (1997)
  12. 12. Pieters & Wedel (2004)Leven (1991) Print Ads Scanpath:
 - Participants quickly scan an ad before attending to it in detail.
 - Consumers look first at the headline followed by the pictorial, the text, and finally the packshot. After the initial visual scan of the ad, half of the attention is directed at the bodytext. 
 - The brand object most effectively transfers attention to the other elements. Little or no transfer from the pictorial to brand and text.
 - Brand familiarity reduces attention to the brand but increase attention to the text.
 - Center of ads fixated much more frequently than the sides.
  13. 13. Print Ads Information processing and Memory
  - Relatively to the ad elements size (in general, the brand is 10x smaller than the pictorial and 5x smaller than the text), the brand receives more fixations on its surface, followed by the text. But only an increase in text surface produces a net gain in attention to the ad as a whole.
 - The number of fixations (not their duration), is related to the amount of information a consumer extracts from an ad.
 - The more visual attention, the better brand recall. 
 - Ads that are both original and familiar attract the largest amount of attention and thus increase brand memory.
 - Fixations to the pictorial and the brand systematically promote accurate brand memory, but text fixations do not. Wedel & Pieters (2000)Pieters, Warlop & Wedel (2002)
  14. 14. Web
  15. 15. Web Mediative (2014)
  16. 16. E-Marketing Ad Blindness: Almost no fixations within advertisements.
 - Users process ad banners peripherally (not focused attention). They know usual location & size of ads -> they easily ignore them subconsciously. 
 - While navigating on a webpage: if users are looking for a quick fact, they want to get it done and are not diverted by banners; and if users are engrossed in a story, they are not going to look away from the content.
 - Users don’t fixate within design elements that resemble ads.
 - 3 design elements attracting the users’ gaze: Plain text, Faces, Cleavage…
 - Users do not read text word-by-word. Exhaustive reading is rare, especially when prospective customers are conducting their initial search.
 - On average, a headline has less than a second of a site visitor’s attention so the first couple words need to be real attention-grabbers
 - Text, not photographs, are the entry point into home pages.
 - Short paragraphs receive much more attention (x2) than long ones.
 - They’ll read the third word on a line much less often than the first two words. Nielsen Group (2006, 2007) 
  17. 17. E-Marketing Website Design: 
 - Users spend 2/3 of their time viewing the left half of the page.
 - The most important page elements should be showcased in the upper half.
 - Larger headlines draw more visual attention than small. But underlined headlines and visual breaks discourage people from looking at items beyond the break.
 - Lower parts of the screen, especially if the users have to scroll down, receive modest viewing (only 19.7% of attention).
 - The one-column story format perform better than multiple columns.
 - The last element in a list often attracts additional attention.
 - Ads in the top and left portions of a home page receive the most attention, and placement near popular editorial content helps attract eyes to ads. 
 - Size matters too: big ads are viewed more.
 - The more an ad looks like a native site component, the more users will look at it. But users tend to ignore heavily formatted areas (that look like ads).  Poynter Institute (2004)Nielsen Group (2010) 
  18. 18. E-Marketing Decreasing backtracking
 - Users do not only navigate on sites searching for information, but rather interact with an online application to complete certain tasks. 
 - The usage of multiple windows and tabs replaced the ’back' button usage, posing new challenges for user orientation and backtracking. 
 - Web browsing is a rapid activity even for pages with substantial content, which calls for page designs that allow for cursory reading.
 Visual vs. Verbal depicted choice set (Small vs. Large)
 - Preference for visual presentation of choice sets, regardless of size or product category. 
 - If a choice set is too large (information overload, higher perception of complexity): consumers are overwhelmed and opt-out of choice.
 - Visual presentation is perceived to be an easier, faster and more enjoyable format
 - Verbal presentation is perceived to be more precise.
 - The choice process takes longer with verbal than visual depiction.
 - Visual format is not the best presentation for large choice sets as the examination of options is less systematic. Verbal description is a more methodological and careful examination.
 - In small choice sets, images produce greater performance than text in the search task. Weinreich et al (2008) Towing & Kahn (2008)
  19. 19. Survey
  20. 20. Time Travel…
  21. 21. Consumer Behavior Hugo Guyader Eye Tracking Experiment
  22. 22. Study the impact of in-store information, green price tags and greenwashing product assortment on the shopping behaviour of supermarket customers. Objective: offer a normal shopping experience, but with a green servicescape (= items evoking countryside/agriculture were displayed around the shelves). 2 experimental conditions: 
 - control group (46%)
 - primed group (54%) — “The person you do the shopping for is actually sustainable-oriented and prefer to eat organic food” (= representative of “deep green” consumers who genuinely search for green products). Purpose
  23. 23. Convenience supermarket mock-up. 5 shelves: tomato sauce, kidney beans, coffee and softeners. 3 product alternatives: classic, ecological, or fair- trade. Different variables: brand, price, packaging colors, labels, information displays, décor, etc. Eye Tracking Experiment
  24. 24.
  25. 25. Analyses
  26. 26. Results Gaze Map
  27. 27. Results Focus MapControl Group
  28. 28. Primed Group Results Focus Map
  29. 29. Results control group primed group Fixation Time Average [ms] 0 20001000 Heat Maps
  30. 30. Results control group primed group Fixation Time Average [ms] 0 20001000 Heat Maps
  31. 31. Statistics
  32. 32. ✓ Retailers are the gatekeepers between consumers and eco-friendly products. They can influence green consumer behavior. ➡ Retailers can attract consumers’ visual attention and increase the sales of eco-friendly products through various practices: ✤ influencing consumers’ intentions to make green purchases, ✤ providing relevant information, ✤ orienting consumers inside the store, and ✤ offering an eco-friendly product assortment. Managerial implications: ✤ use green-colored price tags to signal eco-friendly products to consumers, ✤ avoid greenwashing practices (such as display of products with misleading packaging) that can distract consumers from finding the eco- friendly products they look for. Findings
  33. 33. Eye Tracking peripheral vision visual field reduced inaccurate what measures to use? time-intensive experimental bias drawbacks
  34. 34. References: • Bojko, Gaddy, Lew, Quinn, & Israelski (2005). Evaluation of Drug Label Designs Using Eye Tracking. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 49th Annual Meeting. Orlando, FL. • Chandon (2002). Do We Know What We Look At? An Eye-Tracking Study of Visual Attention and Memory for Brands at the Point of Purchase. Working Paper, INSEAD, Fontainebleau. • Clement, Kristensen, Grønhaug (2013). Understanding consumers’ in-store visual perception: The influence of package design features on visual attention, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 20, 234–239. • Dreze & Hussherr (2003). Internet Advertising: Is Anybody Watching? Journal of Interactive Marketing, 17(4), 8–23. • Duchowski (2007). Eye-Tracking Methodology Theory and Practice, Springer-Verlag, London, 2 ed. • Goldberg, Probart & Zak (1999). Visual Search of Food Nutrition Labels. Human Factors, 41(3): 425–437. • Janiszewski (1998). The Influence of Display Characteristics on Visual Exploratory Search Behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 25, 290–301. • Leven (1991). Blickverhalten von Konsumenten: Grundlagen, Messung und Anwendung in der Werbeforschung. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag. • Lohse (1997). Consumer Eye Movement Patterns on Yellow Pages Advertising. Journal of Advertising, 26(1), 61–73. • Mediative (2014). • Nielsen (2006). • Nielsen (2007). & an-ad/ • Nielsen (2010). & • Pieters & Warlop (1999). Visual Attention during Brand Choice: The Impact of Time Pressure and Task Motivation. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 16, 1–17. • Pieters & Wedel (2004). Attention Capture and Transfer in Advertising: Brand, Pictorial and Text-Size Effects. Journal of Marketing, 68, 36–50. • Pieters, Warlop & Wedel (2002). Breaking Through the Clutter: Benefits of Advertisement Originality and Familiarity on Brand Attention and Memory. Management Science, 48(6), 765–781. • Pieters, Wedel & Zhang (2007). Optimal Feature Advertising Under Competitive Clutter. Management Science, 53(11), 1815 - 1828 • Poynter Institute: Eyetrack III • Rayner, Rotello, Stewart, Keir & Duffy (2001). Integrating Text and Pictorial Information: Eye Movements When Looking at Print Advertisements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 7(3), 219–226. • Rosbergen, Wedel & Pieters (1990). Analyzing Visual Attention to Repeated Print Advertising Using Scanpath Theory (Tech. Rep.). University Library Groningen, SOM Research School. (# 97B32) • Townsend & Kahn (2008). The “Visual Preference Heuristic”: The Influence of Visual versus Verbal Depiction on Assortment Processing, Perceived Variety, and Choice Overload. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(5), 993-1015. • Wedel & Pieters (2000). Eye Fixations on Advertisements and Memory for Brands: A Model and Findings. Marketing Science, 19(4), 297–312. • Wedel, M. & Pieters, R. (2008), “A Review of Eye-Tracking Research in Marketing”, in “Review of marketing research”, pp. 123–146. • Weinreich, Obendorf, Herder & Mayer (2008). Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use. ACM Transactions on the Web, 2(1). Graphics: