Where is the eye of the consumer drawn to? A Concordia Université group of researchers have investigated how location influences choices for products as varied as vitamins, meal replacement bars and energy drinks, by using eye-tracking devices. “Consumers are more likely to purchase products placed in the middle of a display – without even being aware of it,” says Onur Bodur, associate professor.
Although consumers might scan the entire display during their search and evaluation process, the researchers found that consumers would increase their visual focus on the central option in a product display area in the final five seconds of the decision-making process – and that was the point at which they determined which option to choose.
It turns out that the process is a subconscious one. When asked how they had come to decide on what product to buy, consumers did not accurately recall their choice process. What’s more, they were not aware of any conscious visual focus on one area of the display over another.o
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