Eye Tracking Market Research from Home?

June 28, 2011

Companies using home computers and personal web cams for market research? Find out more in an interview with EyeTrackShop.

The latest in Xtreme Retail and market research has to do with a technology that gives companies a real edge: eye tracking. Eye tracking technology measures exactly where we look, enabling companies to see right away whether or not their current communication strategy is working to its true potential. 
The Lempert Report interviewed Jeff Bander, Senior Vice President of Client Services at EyeTrackShop - the company that developed the first eye tracking solution for web-cams. Yes web-cams, and they claim they have revolutionized the way in which businesses can conduct market research. Here’s what Jeff had to say:
TLR: In terms of both retail and the food business there are a lot of product failures. Do you think that eye tracking devices can actually help companies create successful products not only once but time after time?
JB: What I think it will help companies do is improve on their packaging and advertising. When all is said and done, the product inside has to be good to get the key business, but we can help to make sure they have the best package to make people notice the key points. How you advertise your product so that people are getting the message and comprehending it – is also critical. When there are millions and millions spent on advertising – we can help companies make sure people see their ads.
As far as from a packaging point of view, a tremendous amount is spent on advertising. For example, water - when you go to a store, there are 50 different bottles of water, and inside is basically the same thing, so packaging is critical to selling products. We help not only to understand how to package better but do it in an affordable and quick way – our turnaround time is 48 hours, which is really a big breakthrough in market research.
 What do you think the opportunity is for online grocers?
JB: The uses for online grocery shopping are tremendous, because we are able to tell the retailers what people are looking at, what order they are looking at it, and most importantly, what they don’t see. So when they design their sites, they want to make sure that they put the items they want to sell, whether it’s their loss leader or their top profit item, in a position that’s going to be seen by more people.
TLR: Is this like spying?
JB: Iit would be spying if we didn’t let people know what we were doing. It’s a double permission site. First they have to give permission and click a link to start the process, and then we ask them to have good lighting, make sure the lighting is in front of them, not behind, and then they have to turn on their web cam. So it is a double permission. There is no spying, and people are well aware that their eyes are being tracked.
TLR: Emotion plays a huge part in purchasing decisions, is that what eye tracking is trying to capture?
JB: No question emotion plays a part. What eye tracking is really going to tell you is what do people see, how long do they look at it, and in what order do they look at it. From an emotional point of view, the questionnaire will deal with that more, but what we do is take the eye tracking data and the questionnaires to make sure they match. If someone answers a question about an emotional response but didn’t look at it, we know that that’s not accurate, and vice versa.