Consumer behavior at the point of purchase is influenced by out-of-store memory-based factors (e.g., brand preferences) and by in-store attention-based factors (e.g., shelf position and number of facings). In today’s cluttered retail environments, creating memory-based consumer pull is not enough; marketers must also create “visual lift” for their brands—that is, incremental consideration caused by in-store visual attention.
The problem is that it is currently impossible to precisely measure visual lift. Surveys can easily be conducted to compare pre-store intentions and post-store choices but they do not measure attention. They cannot therefore tell whether ineffective in-store marketing was due to a poor attention-getting ability—“unseen and hence unsold”—or to a poor visual lift—“seen yet still unsold”.
Eye-tracking studies have shown that eye-movements to brands displayed on a supermarket shelf are valid measures of visual attention and are generally correlated with brand consideration (Pieters and Warlop 1999; Russo and Leclerc 1994). However, they have not provided a method for separating the effects of attention and memory on consumer point-of-purchase decisions.
More specifically, they have not shown that attention to a brand causes consideration, rather than memory for a considered brand causing visual search for that brand.
Measuring the Value of Point-of-Purchase Marketing with Commercial Eye-Tracking Data
J. Wesley Hutchinson
Eric T. Bradlow
University of Pennsylvania
Scott H. Young
Perception Research Services, Inc.