Mediative Shopper Journey 2016: Optimizing Retail Study

This year at Dx3 2016, Mediative showcased ways for brands and retailers to optimize sales and incite purchases by conducting a study on how customers research products in-store and online using eye-tracking glasses.

At Dx3 2016, Mediative showcased Tobii’s eye-tracking glasses – a wearable eye-tracker with wireless live view function for insights into any real-world environment. The ultra-lightweight, user centric design of Tobii’s glasses promotes natural viewing behaviour and ease of use.

With quick price comparisons and buying online through mobile, even in-store shopping now has an online component. Retailers also have numerous means at their disposal, both in-store and online, to inform shoppers and influence buying decisions.

Brain Lab attendees researched laptops with help from signage and their phones.
Brain Lab attendees researched laptops with help from signage and their phones.

At Dx3’s Brain Lab, attendees were able to be part of an experiment to determine the impact of phones and tablets in a simulated retail location where shoppers can research prices and products online.

Imagine walking into a department store and seeing 13 laptops in-front of you. Different sizes, prices, brands and models. Each has its screen up with a clean desktop or inviting screensaver. What is running through your mind … are these machines any good, will the one I like fit into my favourite bag, or, can I even afford the computer I want?

You can check online to answer many of these questions – you can compare prices from a store’s competitors or maybe ask a sales associate to help you understand the differences.

brain-lab-instructionsThis is the experience the Mediative Lab simulated, one where customers were asked to research a laptop with the idea of purchasing it. In this test, the participants wore special eye-tracking glasses, provided by eye control and eye tracking technology company Tobii pro, that connected the researchers to the participants’ field of view and an accurate understanding of their visual focal point wirelessly (see Diagram 1).

Mediative researchers performed tests with 97 participants exploring how they engaged with products in a simulated store experience.

The first test was to evaluate the path that participants took when buying a laptop. Participants were asked to research products and find out as much as they could about a particular laptop.

Rebecca Maynes the Manager of Content Marketing and Research at Mediative explained that these experiments at Dx3 show the true value of on-location eye-tracking technology — that every business and benefit from this type of research.

“It allows marketers to test the online and offline marketing integration and how it impacts consumers – what captures their attention or influences them along their path to a purchase, what are the roadblocks to conversions, where are consumers distracted?”

The second test was to see how price comparison was conducted when buying a printer. Participants were asked to find a printer in the store and then find a cheaper one online.

Using Tobii Pro’s eye-tracking glasses, Mediative measured where participants looked, what they read, and how they used the Internet to conduct research and price comparisons. By understanding where consumers are looking you can find where they might get lost.

“Ultimately, deeper insights into their consumers’ unique purchase cycle can help businesses identify where consumers are being distracted along the path to purchase, so that they can be steered back on course,” said Maynes.

The researchers gave participants the option to use their own smartphones, tablets and laptops as well as printed materials to conduct their research. The goal is that by testing the information gathering process it will lead to a much better understanding of the in-store purchase decision journey, conversion opportunities and potential pitfalls. This information will help brands and retailers identify the information gaps customers tend to fill with their smartphones and highlight opportunities to increase in-store conversion.

Download the Brain Lab: Measuring The In-Store Experience whitepaper for full results from this study.

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a content strategist, data geek and former journalist with a love of public relations and politics. You can find him on Twitter, @JamesRRubec.

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