Real-time coverage of the following session from IIR’s 2011 Technology Driven Market Research Event in Chicago: “Eye Tracking in a Virtual Retail Environment: Understanding Shopper Behavior Panel.”
Olga started by saying she didn’t want to follow a neuromarketing presenter, which is exactly what happened! Eye tracking is measuring the motion of the eye or intensity of the gaze, and is gaining popularity in MR as it helps to overcome respondent inaccuracy when they: stretch or rationalize the truth, cannot articulate properly, or choose the most beautiful product. It strives to get at subconscious levels of understanding.
Eye tracking can help with packaging, aisle set up, advertising, etc. Three methodologies are used:
1) Reflected video-based (camera is embedded under monitor and tracks gaze as stimuli is shown, nothing is worn by participants, shows the eye’s path as well as how long gazed where) – tip from print ad example: have model look at product in ad;
2) Mobile eye tracking (respondents outfitted with glasses and then go into a live store environment, transmits at 60 times per second to see what they see, good for testing existing categories – not new products)
3) Virtual reality (for new products, a simulated environment tested either inside goggles worn by participant OR shown on a large flat screen and controlled via a participant-held joystick, much like being inside a video game)
Here’s an example of an eye tracking heat map applied to testing print ads, with the model in the top ad looking at the reader and the model in the bottom ad looking at the advertised product (notice the additional red zone on the product in the bottom ad):