Using eye tracking to really understand how people shop for ale

We used a biometric approach to measuring non-conscious behaviours at the aisle to improve the shopper experience and boost sales in the ale category.

The challenge
Ale sales in one of the biggest grocery retailers in the UK were falling – and they didn’t know why: but they did know there was a big opportunity to engage existing ale shoppers and encourage them to spend more in the category. They needed to understand how shoppers currently shop for ale – what’s working and what’s not – in order to identify where they and their suppliers can create an offer that draws shoppers in and prompts them to purchase.

Our solution
Whilst they were being eye tracked, we sent shoppers off on trips to the ale fixture – to buy the products they typically would, but also to pick up products they hadn’t seen or tried before. By playing their eye tracking footage back to them whilst interviewing them, we were able to unpick both their conscious, rational and subconscious response to the ale on the shelves. This meant we got a full picture of how they really do act in store and make the decisions and purchases they do (and don’t!).

The outcome
By showing our client and their ale suppliers exactly what customers look at, ignore, value and are disrupted by, they were able to understand exactly what the fixture, as well as the ale product and packaging itself, should look like in order to better engage shoppers and prompt them to spend more. Our main stakeholder at Tesco really understood the value of eye tracking when he saw the clips we included in the debrief. It added a great extra dimension to the insights.

This was one of the client’s first experiences of biometric research, and they were delighted that it produced insight far beyond the level they would have achieved through traditional methods alone.

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