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Looking is buying. How visual attention and choice are affected by consumer preferences and properties of the supermarket shelf

Gidlöf, Kerstin LU ; Anikin, Andrey LU ; Lingonblad, Martin and Wallin, Annika LU (2017) In Appetite 116. p.29-38
Abstract

There is a battle in the supermarket isle, a battle between what the consumer wants and what the retailer and others want her to see, and subsequently to buy. Product packages and displays contain a number of features and attributes tailored to catch consumers' attention. These are what we call external factors comprising the visual saliency, the number of facings, and the placement of each product. But a consumer also brings with her a number of goals and interests related to the products and their attributes. These are important internal factors, including brand preferences, price sensitivity, and dietary inclinations. We fit mobile eye trackers to consumers visiting real-life supermarkets in order to investigate to what extent... (More)

There is a battle in the supermarket isle, a battle between what the consumer wants and what the retailer and others want her to see, and subsequently to buy. Product packages and displays contain a number of features and attributes tailored to catch consumers' attention. These are what we call external factors comprising the visual saliency, the number of facings, and the placement of each product. But a consumer also brings with her a number of goals and interests related to the products and their attributes. These are important internal factors, including brand preferences, price sensitivity, and dietary inclinations. We fit mobile eye trackers to consumers visiting real-life supermarkets in order to investigate to what extent external and internal factors affect consumers' visual attention and purchases. Both external and internal factors influenced what products consumers looked at, with a strong positive interaction between visual saliency and consumer preferences. Consumers appear to take advantage of visual saliency in their decision making, using their knowledge about products’ appearance to guide their visual attention towards those that fit their preferences. When it comes to actual purchases, however, visual attention was by far the most important predictor, even after controlling for all other internal and external factors. In other words, the very act of looking longer or repeatedly at a package, for any reason, makes it more likely that this product will be bought. Visual attention is thus crucial for understanding consumer behaviour, even in the cluttered supermarket environment, but it cannot be captured by measurements of visual saliency alone.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Eye tracking, In-store decision making, Point-of-purchase marketing, Visual attention
in
Appetite
volume
116
pages
10 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85017944733
  • scopus:85018904767
  • wos:000405972700004
ISSN
0195-6663
DOI
10.1016/j.appet.2017.04.020
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f20edb2f-147d-47a2-b7c0-4aea1e80c6bf
date added to LUP
2017-05-11 14:07:09
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:35:40
@article{f20edb2f-147d-47a2-b7c0-4aea1e80c6bf,
  abstract     = {<p>There is a battle in the supermarket isle, a battle between what the consumer wants and what the retailer and others want her to see, and subsequently to buy. Product packages and displays contain a number of features and attributes tailored to catch consumers' attention. These are what we call external factors comprising the visual saliency, the number of facings, and the placement of each product. But a consumer also brings with her a number of goals and interests related to the products and their attributes. These are important internal factors, including brand preferences, price sensitivity, and dietary inclinations. We fit mobile eye trackers to consumers visiting real-life supermarkets in order to investigate to what extent external and internal factors affect consumers' visual attention and purchases. Both external and internal factors influenced what products consumers looked at, with a strong positive interaction between visual saliency and consumer preferences. Consumers appear to take advantage of visual saliency in their decision making, using their knowledge about products’ appearance to guide their visual attention towards those that fit their preferences. When it comes to actual purchases, however, visual attention was by far the most important predictor, even after controlling for all other internal and external factors. In other words, the very act of looking longer or repeatedly at a package, for any reason, makes it more likely that this product will be bought. Visual attention is thus crucial for understanding consumer behaviour, even in the cluttered supermarket environment, but it cannot be captured by measurements of visual saliency alone.</p>},
  author       = {Gidlöf, Kerstin and Anikin, Andrey and Lingonblad, Martin and Wallin, Annika},
  issn         = {0195-6663},
  keyword      = {Eye tracking,In-store decision making,Point-of-purchase marketing,Visual attention},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  pages        = {29--38},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Appetite},
  title        = {Looking is buying. How visual attention and choice are affected by consumer preferences and properties of the supermarket shelf},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2017.04.020},
  volume       = {116},
  year         = {2017},
}