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.
Your spouse has asked for a new laptop for his or her birthday. You’ve searched online for local stores that sell laptops, and have come across this store. In the store, find a laptop that you think would be suitable. Using anything at your disposal find out as much as you can about the product.
The first place laptop buyers look for information is the product’s specification sheet, that being the printed material provided along-side the laptop. Of all 60 participants, 46% used only these sheets as the basis of their research. The other participants used both a combination of the spec-sheet and the Internet. About half the participants used their own smartphone or the provided tablet, the others used the laptop they were reviewing itself.
The lesson here is that signs and printed material matter. There are still people who aren’t jumping to Amazon for product information when conducting product research.
Think about how IKEA markets products in-store. Its big signs draw you in and the detailed product specification sheets fill in the gaps. If you can provide more details at least half of your customers might not check your competitor’s websites online.
Price matters too.
After participants completed the eye-tracking test, Mediative’s research team asked them about the experience and what motivated their actions. One problem for some retailers this test identified, is that when those who used the internet did so, it was often to find a better price; 86% of participants said they went online to find a deal, another 9% said to check ratings and reviews.
When people did visit websites, Mediative’s research team and the Tobii Pro eye-tracking glasses were able to accurately identify the websites visited 85% of the time. The laptops used in the study were HP and 45% of participants went to HP.com to learn more about the laptops.
Internet access helps with research and some participants turned to YouTube reviews to find the answers they wanted. A participant said this to the research team:
“I like to research online, so if you can show me online comparisons in the store, and do my work for me, for example with YouTube videos in-store, then I’d research in-store and more likely buy now.”
Another outlined that transparency on the pros and cons of a product is valuable:
“If the research was done in-store for me, and there was a clearer way for me to gather information, such as interactive display in-store, review sites easily accessible, pros and cons listed, things real users have said etc.”
“If it’s exactly what I want and the price is the same as online, I’d buy in-store. I prefer the rewarding experience of buying in-store as I do like immediate gratification.”
What that says is that if a brand’s in-store pricing strategy is being undercut by resellers or its own branded website, more than half of customers will find out immediately. When Mediative asked what would help someone buy in-store 40% said that an in-store pricing match would help, another 40% said that an exceptional in-store experience or a great sales associate, could sway their purchase decision.
One participant said:
“It depends, if it’s exactly what I want and the price is the same as online, I’d buy in-store. I prefer the rewarding experience of buying in-store as I do like immediate gratification.”
Laptops may help access the digital world but they are very tactile physical things — they live on our coffee tables, in our beds and on our laps. How they feel can’t be simulated in an application or on a website. More than 80% of participants touched the laptops, picked them up and got a feel for them.
The key takeaway from this test is that if you give customers enough information up-front they might not go any further. For those that do, if the price aligns with that they find online you are most likely to get a sale when the service and experience is top-notch.