Research And Insight

EMBRACING SHOPPER MARKETING THROUGH EYE-TRACKING HEAT MAPS

EMBRACING SHOPPER MARKETING THROUGH EYE-TRACKING HEAT MAPS

Both retailers and manufacturers share a common interest in improving shopper marketing. But, few point-of-sale marketing efforts are rooted in shoppers’ in-store perspective.

We can track what shoppers see and miss using mobile eye-tracking. This includes macro behaviours (such as shop/aisle navigation) and micro actions (readership packaging and POP material).

These trends have been observed across different countries, categories, and retail channels. They also show what works and what doesn’t.

Are we smelling a waste of investment?

This is often due to poor signage placement. Eye-tracking in a beverage study in Argentina and the US revealed that shoppers did not look up to engaging with overhead signage in aisles.

Above and right: in-store heat maps from an eye-tracking research

Shoppers use ceiling-based materials to help them navigate the store. However, their attention shifts slightly upward or forward once they are in an aisle. Materials at arm or eye level have a greater visual impact.

Excessive in-store merchandise can overwhelm shoppers rather than help them. A recent study by a technology marketer found that 85% of shoppers were engaged with product displays and fact tags. However, only 10-15% of shoppers considered other POP display materials (including the selector guide) in the study. The company changed its key materials and eliminated others to save money and make shopping easier.

Role of POS materials & packaging

Signage and displays can help brands create visibility and attention. Displays and signage can drive impulse sales, especially when a compelling value/price message is accompanied.

Displays are large enough to allow you to connect with customers emotionally and viscerally through imagery that is linked to users and occasions. Messages that are too complicated tend to be ignored.

POS materials could be considered an advertising extension in that they can drive awareness/attention, create an emotional connection, and communicate a single message. Packaging, on the other hand, is more objective and rational. Shoppers are more likely to seek out key information and reassurances as they purchase.

Facilitate rather imped

This point may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked as signage can obstruct packaging and limit information delivery.

Recent eye-tracking studies revealed that freezer door POS stickers were being actively avoided by shoppers to ‘find’ their products. Shelf blades proved to be more efficient as they were able to help shoppers navigate the aisle and don’t block their view.

Shelf-ready packaging (SRP), which has seen a rapid rise in popularity, highlights the importance of making packaging and POS materials work together. SRP can be leveraged to drive visibility, improve shopability, and communicate a brand message. It can also hinder packaging communication by blocking visibility and accessibility and leading to poor pack orientation. It is, therefore, important to create SRP that complements packaging by focusing on a specific communication goal. If a brand is complex and large, SRP can be used to facilitate shopability. This could be done by colour coding, calling out sub-brands or variations. In other instances, SRP can communicate a clear, differentiated, motivating brand message.