Consumer retail marketers have known for a long time that consumers in focus groups don’t always tell the truth about liking a product, or if they will actually buy it once it’s launched. Consumers tend to tell marketers what they want to hear and overestimate their own interest in a new product. To get accurate consumer feedback, market researchers are using three-dimensional computer simulations of product designs and store layouts with eye-tracking devices, to understand what consumers pay attention to without having to ask them.
This kind of research has been used since the 1990s, but the technology has improved and the costs of using it have come down; making it more accessible. With its growing use, the results from tracking the retinas of consumers has dispelled some long-standing marketing myths; like using a large picture on the front of the package is better than a small one. Eye tracking says that is not so.
Eye-tracking not only tells researchers where people look, but for how long. This provides them with vital information about what matters to a target market, who don’t even know themselves.