Getting into the Real World of the Shopper: Using Eye Tracking in a Multi Modal Research Approach

Wim Hamaekers and Ludovic Depoortere
Rogil Marketing & Sensory research, Belgium

INTRODUCTION: HOW SHOPPING EVOLVED TO AN ALMOST PURELY INTUITIVE PROCESS, IMPACTING SHOPPER RESEARCH

Proliferation of SKUs and Enhanced Shopper Stress

Never before has a consumer had so much choice. Notwithstanding consumers’ love of choice and variety, the alternatives considered come with a certain amount of choice stress. The average number of SKUs which a consumer becomes confronted with in a given Belgian store is quickly 20,000 items. Alongside the oversupply of SKUs, the altered consumer also plays a role. There is less time for the shopping process, and shopping trips are becoming better planned, weighing pros and cons with time. As a result the average shopping time, during the last few decades, has been drastically reduced to 30 - 45 minutes where one buys approximately fifty products. The probability that your product gets noticed by a consumer is very low. It is evident that we cannot nor want to observe everything. To make the first selection in the product ‘jungle’, consumers are not at all led by reason. Intuition and emotion play the most important role in this first selection process.

Consumers have Learned to Quickly Select Relevant Information in Overloaded Visual Communication