Strong shelf differentiation is critically important in the fierce competition between consumer products. A well-planned packaging design makes a product stand out from its competitors, and increases sales. But how many companies understand what catches consumer attention, especially before making a purchase decision?
Eye tracking should be conducted in a realistic competitive situation, to generate valid results. This can be done flexibly and cost-effectively with the help of 3D packaging and virtual environments. The advantage of this method is that shelf arrangements can be easily changed. Research conducted in a virtual environment standardizes the research conditions, which yields reliable data. Often the study is conducted using two or more shelf locations to rule out the effect of placement. The method also has the advantage that the subjects can physically pick up the product for a closer inspection. This provides information on how the different elements of the package attract consumer attention. With the help of 3D modelling, design changes can be quickly imported into mock-ups and the virtual store for testing.
Eye tracking provides information on how quickly a product is noticed on a store shelf, how much attention it gains, which elements are noticed or not noticed, and unambiguous information about the purchase decision. The analysis is based on numerical data from which both numerical and indexed results are generated. The data and results can be compared between different design options and, more importantly, in relation to competitors.
Focus groups and personal interviews are important tools for gathering consumer opinions, but consumers often don’t know what attracts attention to a given product package. In contrast, eye tracking provides accurate and objective understanding of shoppers’ unconscious activity, and helps to determine what visually appeals to them.
Usually, a few packaging concepts are developed before one is chosen. With the help of eye tracking, we can find out which alternative best attracts consumer attention and in which packaging the product should be brought to the market. Eye tracking also provides information on whether the brand’s most important messages are conveyed to the target groups.
Consumer-attractive packaging increases sales by up to 10%, according to research. On the other hand, poorly distinguishable packaging may remain on the store shelf, in which case the investments made in the product and packaging development will be wasted. Good sales are important both from a business and sustainable development point of view, as it decreases product loss.
Sense N Insight produces photorealistic 3D packaging models and virtual store environments, and conducts eye tracking in virtual environments tailored to customer needs.