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Packaging design: How much 'Eye Share' does your package get?

A recent study by User Centric, Inc., a user research and design firm based in Chicago, used eye tracking technology to show how the packaging of some products captures attention and influences purchasing decisions better than that of the competing brands.

Recognizing that purchasing decisions are often made in front of a shelf in a store, the study measured the success of packaging in four stages of the shopping experience: attention, interest, desire, and the final action – purchase.

Testing was conducted in two product categories: infant toilet seats (i.e., potty chairs) manufactured by Fisher Price, Munchkin, Summer and The First Years; and baby monitors by Fisher Price, Graco, Safety First and Sony.

To document consumers' attention in real-life shopping tasks, User Centric used the ASL Mobile Eye, a lightweight eye tracker mounted on a pair of eyeglasses. The system recorded which packaging elements the study participants looked at, for how long, and in what order.

Overall results in the potty chair category showed that packaging by Summer attracted the most attention. When approaching the shelf, participants spent 30% - 45% longer looking at Summer than at each of the other three products. However, when the process moved to interest, the effect was mitigated as gaze times evened out among the products once participants started handling packages and examining them in more detail. In terms of final purchasing decisions, Summer tied with Fisher Price, each being selected by 40% of participants. The First Years potty chair received the remaining 20% of votes.

With baby monitors, Graco's packaging came out the clear winner both in the amount of initial attention it attracted, as well as in the amount of interest it generated (indicated by the time participants spent examining the packaging in detail.) Ultimately, the Graco monitor garnered the most (64%) purchasing decisions. The remaining participants' choices were split almost evenly between Fisher Price and Sony. Safety First packaging lagged behind through all stages of the study, from attention to action.

While consumers are often unaware of what attracts them to a package, eye tracking provides objective insight into how package designs affect consumer decisions. When several design concepts are developed, eye tracking is invaluable for understanding which will be most effective on the shelf when it comes to attracting attention, creating interest, and evoking a positive emotional response.  User Centric's service, Eye Tracking for Package Design, addresses these challenges and gives unique and important insight that ultimately impacts the bottom line.

SOURCE: User Centric, Inc.


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