The eyes don’t lie. That’s why mobile eye tracking is an effective tool for consumer research, according to Michelle Adams, founder of Marketing Brainology.
Why hang a banner from the ceiling of your showroom if no one’s going to look? People are much more likely to look down than up. That’s just a simple example of the insights that furniture retailers can gain from Adams’ one-hour presentation in the Home Furnishings Association’s Resource Center at the High Point Market, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 6.
A woman with a doctorate degree, who’s taught at the University of Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University and was vice president of customer strategy and shopper insights for PepsiCo, might know a few things. In fact, her company’s slogan is, “We understand the consumers’ inner brain.”
Researchers once could follow shoppers and make notes on a clipboard, Adams says. Or they could ask shoppers what they looked at and what they liked and didn’t. All very good. Mobile eye tracking, on the other hand, fits volunteer shoppers with glasses equipped with small, lightweight cameras that point outward and back at the eye. The device records exactly what catches their attention, what they focus on and for how long, and what they look back to. Researchers don’t have to take their subjects’ word for it. What subjects say they did, and what they really did, may be different. With this technology, researchers see exactly what shoppers see.
These studies let Adams and her team identify distinct shopper types and develop strategies for attracting each one.
And those are just the visuals. With more shoppers looking for an in-store experience, they want to be moved by touch, scent and sounds as well. Understanding their desires is the secret to sales success.
Adams says she studies the “art and science of decision-making.” The research – measuring physical reactions — forms the science. The art is the ability to use data to craft solutions that work in a retail setting. There are only brief opportunities to make an impression on shoppers. Retailers must present the right messages conveyed in ways that are noticed and project meaningful information.
Less is more, Adams says. Trying to pack too much into every message will just make the eye look away. And that’s no lie.
The Resource Center is on the first floor of Plaza Suites, 222 S. Main St. in High Point, NC.