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What Does it Take to Get your Attention?: The influence of In-Store and Out-of-Store Factors on Visual Attention and Decision Making for Fast-moving Consumer Goods
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Decision making for fast-moving consumer goods involves a choice between numerous similar alternatives. Under such demanding circumstances, a decision is made for one product. The decision is dependent on the interaction between the environment and the mind of the consumer, both of which are filled with information that can influence the outcome. The aim of this dissertation is to explore how the mind and the environment guides attention towards considered and chosen products in consumer decision making at the point-of-purchase.

Consumers are equipped with several effort reduction strategies to simplify complex decision making. The selection of strategies can be conscious or automatic and driven by information in the environment or the mind of the decision maker. The selected decision strategy reduces the set of options to one alternative in an iterative process of comparisons that are fast and rely on perceptual cues to quickly exclude irrelevant products. This thesis uses eye-tracking to explore this rapid processing that lacks conscious access or control. The purpose is to explore how product packaging and placement (as in-store factors), and recognition, preferences, and choice task (as out-of-store factors) influence the decision-making process through visual attention.

The results of the 10 experiments in the five papers that comprise this thesis shed new light on the role of visual attention in the interaction between the environment and the mind, and its influence on the consumer. It is said that consumers choose with their eyes, which means that unseen is unsold. The results of this thesis show that it is just as important to be comprehended as it is to be seen. In split-second decision making, the ability to recognize and comprehend a product can significantly impact preferences. Comprehension stretches beyond perception as consumers infer value from memory structures that influence attention. Hence, the eye truly sees what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2013. , 89 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2013:5
Keyword [en]
point-of-purchase marketing, influencing factors, out-of-store, in-store, shelf space, product packaging, package design, visual attention, visual search, eye-tracking, process-tracing, gaze cascade model, recognition heuristic, familiarity, decision-making, decision-making process, decision-making strategies, heuristic decision-making, preference formation, information processing
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-25947ISBN: 978-91-7063-479-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-25947DiVA: diva2:600557
Public defence
2013-03-22, 11D 257, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-01-24 Last updated: 2014-12-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Consumer Perception at Point of Purchase: Evaluating Proposed Package Designs in an Eye-tracking Lab
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consumer Perception at Point of Purchase: Evaluating Proposed Package Designs in an Eye-tracking Lab
Show others...
2010 (English)In: Journal of Business & Retail Management Research, ISSN 1751-8202, Vol. 5, no 1, 41-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In today’s retail environment, consumer products are increasingly competing for customers’ attention. Research has shown that 60–80% of purchasing decisions are influenced in-store. Thus, packaging that stands out from competitors gains a competitive advantage. This study investigates the use of eye-tracking as a method to evaluate and design packaging with better Point-of-Purchase qualities. An eye-tracking laboratory was used and shoppers were recruited for three rounds of experiments. In total, 128 participants were recruited in order to assess the potential of eye-tracking. Results show that, when taking some methodological constraints into account, eye-tracking complements traditional methodologies with further insights when investigating the Point-of-Purchase qualities of packaging.

Keyword
Eye-tracking, point-of-purchase marketing, FMCG, Package design
National Category
Business Administration Psychology
Research subject
Business Administration; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-10354 (URN)
Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Left isn’t always right: Placement of pictorial and textual package elements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Left isn’t always right: Placement of pictorial and textual package elements
2013 (English)In: British Food Journal, ISSN 0007-070X, E-ISSN 1758-4108, Vol. 115, no 8, 1211-1225 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to investigate how the positioning of textual and pictorial design elements on a package affects visual attention (detection time) toward these element types. The study has a 3 × 2 (Stimulus × Location) between-subjects design. One pictorial and two textual package elements, located on the top right- or top left-hand side of a package, were used as stimuli. Visual attention was measured by eye-tracking. A total of 199 university students participated. The data were analysed using a two-way ANOVA and a Pearson’s chi-square analysis with standardised residuals. The results show that in order to receive the most direct attention, textual elements should be on the left-hand side of a package, whereas pictorial elements should be on the right-hand side. This is inconsistent with previous design directions (based on recall), suggesting the opposite element organisation. Previous research has focused on recall (whether respondents remember having seen package elements) or preference (whether respondents prefer a package based on element positioning). The focus of the present study was whether respondents actually saw the different elements on a package, and how long it took them to detect such elements. Detection time for certain element types can be viewed as a new and complementary way of evaluating the position of package elements. The paper also addresses whether preference is a result of easy information acquisition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013
Keyword
packaging, package design, visual attention, visual perception, eye-tracking, pictorial elements, textual elements, preference, retail environment
National Category
Business Administration Psychology Applied Psychology
Research subject
Business Administration; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-25942 (URN)10.1108/BFJ-08-2011-0208 (DOI)000323296100009 ()
Available from: 2013-01-24 Created: 2013-01-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. The verticality heuristic: Why top shelf is not always top notch in product placement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The verticality heuristic: Why top shelf is not always top notch in product placement
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many factors influence the consumer’s attention at point-of-purchase (POP), and suppliers invest heavily in these factors to influence behaviour and to increase the likelihood their products’ will ultimately be chosen. This paper contributes to the research on decision-making at POP by exploring shelf verticality (vertical space position) and product packaging as factors influencing consumer attention, consideration, and choice. We explored the inferences consumers drew from shelf verticality and product packaging by measuring visual perception in the decision-making process. In two eye-tracking experiments with value specific tasks (premium or budget), we found that consumers made inferences based on shelf verticality, which in turn influenced the initial visual attention towards products on the shelf. Nevertheless, consumers ultimately made value inferences from product packaging in consideration and choice of products. The implication is that consumers anticipate premium products to be placed on the top shelf level and budget products on the bottom. Any deviation from this expectation leads to longer search time. The main contribution of this research is that consumers use shelf verticality to reduce the search effort, similar to a heuristic, when product search is initiated. Consequently, the optimal placement of a product should be based on consumers’ expectations.

Keyword
influencing factors, out-of-store, in-store, shelf space, recognition heuristic, product familiarity, heuristics, packaging, visual attention, eye-tracking, decision-making, point-of-purchase
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-25944 (URN)
Available from: 2013-01-24 Created: 2013-01-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Familiar Packaging in a Crowded Shelf: The influence of Product Recognition and Visual Attention on Preference Formation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Familiar Packaging in a Crowded Shelf: The influence of Product Recognition and Visual Attention on Preference Formation
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In complex decision-making situations consumers employ a variety of heuristics to simplify their decisions. One such strategy is the recognition heuristic, which is employed in the initial stage of decision-making to construct a consideration set for further evaluation. The result of this process is that recognised products continue further into the decision-making process, hence receiving more visual attention. This paper focuses on the influence this increased visual attention has on preference construction compared with the preference formation from recognition of products. In an eye-tracking experiment, this study showed that preferences were constructed on the fly as an effect of increased visual attention. However, product recognition moderated the influence of visual attention on preference construction. The results showed that product recognition increased the effect of visual attention on preference formation. Consequently, recognition resulted in increased attention and increased attention resulted in construction of preference.

Keyword
process-tracing, gaze cascade model, point-of-purchase, recognition heuristic, decision-making process, decision-making strategies, visual attention, preference formation, preference construction, eye-tracking
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-25945 (URN)
Available from: 2013-01-24 Created: 2013-01-24 Last updated: 2013-03-01Bibliographically approved
5. Using Heuristics to Revisit Consumer Choice Processes through the Eyes of the Consumer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using Heuristics to Revisit Consumer Choice Processes through the Eyes of the Consumer
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the present study is to test Russo and Leclerc’s (1994) three-stage model and evaluate the influence that product familiarity and decision task have on the three stages of consumer choice process. Previous researchers have suggested that consumer choice is performed in a structured manner in a multiple-stage process. These stages are understood as sub-processes of a consumer choice process and consist of iterations of elimination and consideration within the consumer choice process. Russo and Leclerc (1994) identified three such stages – (1) orientation, (2) evaluation, and (3) verification – by studying variations of visual attention in the consumer choice for fast-moving consumer goods. We conducted three eye-tracking experiments with results that generally confirmed the staged consumer choice model suggested by Russo and Leclerc (1994). However, we identified differences in how the mean observation time varies over the three stages of the process. In contrast to the findings of Russo and Leclerc (1994), our results show that product familiarity influences the evaluation and verification stage of the consumer choice process as familiar products are attended longer then unfamiliar. The results show that the influence of product familiarity depends on the decision task, as familiarity has an influence on the consumer choice process when preference choice task is given, but not when a specific quality choice task is given to consumers. Additionally, the results of the experiments are interpreted in terms of heuristics to shed further light on the underlying cognitive processes of the consumer stage model. The results show that the influence of decision task and product familiarity is an effect of different decision heuristics employed during the choice process.

Keyword
product packaging, point of purchase, consideration task, choice task, visual search, heuristic, heuristic decision making, brand familiarity, visual attention, fast and frugal, recognition heuristic, choice process, three-stage model, consumer choice process, decision-making process
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-25946 (URN)
Available from: 2013-01-24 Created: 2013-01-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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