Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Food Science and Human Nutrition

Committee Member

Dr. R. Andrew Hurley, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Sarah Griffin

Committee Member

Dr. William S. Whiteside

Committee Member

Dr. Paul Dawson

Abstract

This research sought to define how typical eye tracking studies are executed and improve the process with qualitative and quantitative methods. Eye tracking is a tool to collect and analyze the behavioral biometrics of consumers. Eye tracking can facilitate a wide range of research, and is commonly used in conjunction with other forms of data collection. The availability of eye tracking has increased in the last decade, leading to more companies using this technology as an avenue for market research. Despite the popularity of eye tracking technology, there is little emphasis in literature concerning the development of benchmarks of aggregate data for common retail grocery categories. Utilizing real consumers in an immersive consumer retail experience laboratory, eye tracking studies were conducted on 28 product categories within the consumer product goods (CPG) sector to create a benchmark. Data models were created to show “norms” for each category to be used by researchers in the future to prevent them from spending the time and resources on creating a comprehensive control dataset.

In conjunction with this largely quantitative study, two research projects were completed in order to help answer questions that eye tracking cannot answer alone. A study using a mixed methods approach to eye tracking by implementing surveys and interviews sought to better understand why participants looked at a particular item within the competitive array and did not ultimately purchase it, found that both methods should be used to follow-up eye tracking based on the specific questions being asked. In the vein of understanding why consumer do what they do, comes the idea of purchasing the products on the shelf. In the consumer goods market today, it is important for companies to make their brand or product stand out within the vast competitive array. Even though it is highly unlikely that a product would be purchased without having been noticed, it is important to investigate if products that garner high attention are in fact purchased in the marketplace, and if a correlation exists between the two metrics. Utilizing real consumers in an immersive consumer retail experience laboratory, a specific eye tracking study was conducted to test the correlation between attention and sales data.

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