Eye-Tracking Reveals In-Store P.O.P. Intelligence for CPGs

Posted Thursday, September 05, 2013

Wouldn’t it be powerful to know which of your in-store point of purchase materials were having the greatest impact on why something did or didn’t sell? Eye-tracking technology pinpoints and records exactly where shoppers are looking while in a retail store environment, a virtual store or a mock store by producing a heat map of the fixation. It is a research tactic being used by consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to document the shopper’s engagement with their categories, brands, packaging, point of purchase (POP) displays and materials. CPG brands can then use the data collected from the shopper’s perspective to optimize their in-store marketing efforts.

Forms of Eye-Tracking Being Used by Marketers
The August 2013 cover story in Shopper Marketing Magazine discusses the evolution of eye-tracking and the various forms being used by marketers:

  • Virtual simulated store- desktop software allows users to go down aisles, interact with and select products. Advantage: researchers can change out the shelf configuration or planogram as often as they'd like.
  • Mock store- has actual aisles and products that shoppers can interact with. Advantage: marketers can test proposed packaging, merchandising and POP prior to their introduction in-store.
  • In-store testing (or mobile eye-tracking)- requires the shopper to wear some form of mobile eye-tracking eyewear, the glasses connect to a video recorder. Advantage: there is no better place than in-store to capture the natural shopping experience.

In-Store Testing Allows Marketers to Distinguish Between Visibility and Content
“POPAI’s 2012 Shopper Engagement Study” reported that shoppers are making more purchasing decisions in-store, via in-store marketing and branding cues, than ever before - 76% today compared to 70% in 1995. Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently found that 93% of products sold in the United States are still bought in brick-and-mortar locations. If both are accurate, then in-store marketing’s role is as impactful as ever. With in-store mobile eye-tracking, marketers can determine whether their message is seen (in-store placement) and if it is effective (creative content), which are distinct drivers of success at the point of purchase.

Case in point, Perception Research Services (PRS) shares a case study in their recent article, “Shopper Insights: Closing the Gap.” Their client, Anheuser-Busch InBev, deployed a ceiling-based overhead promotional sign placed in the store aisle. Dozens of video from multiple stores and countries revealed that not a single shopper looked upward to engage with the POP signage. When shoppers were later shown the same signage outside the store environment, it was among the most compelling. The research revealed a disconnect between the visibility of the POP and the content. “Without that learning, someone might look at the sales data and not see the lift they had hoped for after introducing new POS and conclude that the message wasn’t right, when in fact, the message may have been spot on but the problem is that no one saw it.”, says Jonathan Asher, executive vice president and director of account management at PRS. Other key findings from PRS regarding visibility are that people do use overhead signage to navigate the store, but once in the aisle, completely ignore it. Instead, data shows they focus straight forward or slightly downward.

Steve Sands, chairman and chief science officer at Sands Research asks “What are the clues in the aisle that lead to a purchase?” He refers to endcaps, which are intended to drive incremental impulse buys. “I can’t tell you how many times people will stare and stare and stare at an item and then walk away and buy the very same thing they could have gotten from the endcap.” Instead, shoppers tended to use the endcap as a guidepost, pulling them into the aisle.

The mobile tracking eyewear has come a long way since its bulky goggles beginnings. It is now cheaper and less obtrusive, such as the Tobii Glasses, even passing as ordinary glasses. A prototype is being tested in the U.K. that tests shopper’s eye fixations without using any headgear at all.

KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group provides custom POP printing, merchandising displays and packaging solutions for CPG brands across the U.S. We have seen many do it right and learned from those that don’t. KDM’s production facilities in Cincinnati, Nashville and Atlanta offer more print production horsepower and flexibility from one provider. We offer seven point of purchase printing methods including: screen, offset, UV offset, large and small format digital, flexo and photographic imaging. Specifically, our digital printing technology allows marketers to test new POP displays and materials and new packaging concepts more frequently and with greater speed and cost efficiencies.

Want to learn more about KDM’s retail solutions, and how we can help you win at the shelf? CONTACT US! 

Tags: CPG , digital printing , KDM Merchandising Solutions , KDM POP Print Solutions , packaging , point-of-purchase

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