Eye Tracking

This is an image of the display of snacks at the Corner Store. I thought this image would be valuable to study with eye tracking because it can determine what factors packaging should have to get the most attention. I think eye tracking would be useful for companies that want to stand out and gain more profit, because if they can research what consumers’ eyes goes to when looking at a shelf, they can package their product to make it more noticeable.

Why Eye Tracking Would Work


Eye tracking would work well because you can get a sense at what consumers notice first. If there is a bright colored package or large text, you are more likely to look at that first. So by seeing what makes a package unique will give you an idea on what design elements a company should consider when designing their packaging.

How to Organize the Research Study

A way to gain research would be to track eye movements as consumers walk down aisles. Or to have a group of consumers look at one particular shelf that contains different products and see what is the common packaging that their eyes gravitate towards.

Through this research I would hope to discover what was the most unique packaging and what made it stand out. I would think the packaging that stood out the most would be one that had some kind of imagery or bright colors – but I’m wondering if you are more likely to notice the brands that you are already familiar with instead of other elements.

Challenges of Such a Study

One challenge would be if you have consumers that are only focused on items that they need. So if you’re conducting the study on different types of ice cream, if the consumer is only interested in a different food category he/she would not even notice the ice cream. Because of this, you might have to find an audience that is interested in the food category you are researching for.

Another challenge that might prevent accurately tracking eye movement is distraction. In the photo I posted, there is a fallen bag of chips. The first thing my eyes went to when I went to down this aisle is the bag on the floor. I think if there was something on the shelf that shouldn’t be there it would cause many people to focus on that rather than the product that should be on the shelf.



5 thoughts on “Eye Tracking

  1. I think this study would be very useful in order to sell specific products. I looked at your image quickly before reading your post and didn’t notice at first the bag of chips on the ground. Once you mentioned it and once I saw it, the bag on the ground continued to catch my eye every time and distract me from the rest of the image. I think certainly having these distractions would be a challenge to tracking the accuracy of eye movements, but I also think it would be a factor in the study that you could likely ignore. You can typically assume that there wouldn’t be a bag on the ground so all the eye movements to that bag would essentially be forgotten and the next largest percentage of where the eye falls would be taken into consideration. I think many companies do this sort of study now or at least assume that the shopper will look at whatever is at eye level initially. From there, they will look down and around maybe trying to find the best price or a different brand. From what I’ve noticed at grocery stores is that typically the name brand items are located at eye level and then the market brand items are then located below that. The thought of doing this is that these name brand items will attract the shopper more so than the market brand items scattered below.

  2. When I took my first glance at your image, I immediately look for my favorite brand. That said, if I want to buy a bag of chips, I most likely would look for my favorite brands rather than grab a bag of chips based on the colored package or large text. In my opinion, loyal customers might not be beneficial for this study. I do think that this study would be successful with customers that do not have brand preference. I also want to mentioned that distraction is the biggest challenge in eye tracking movement because I have participated in one study regarding eye-tracking on RIT campus few years ago and it was tough for my eyes to look at specific items/products on the computer screen. Furthermore, I do feel that your explanation throughout the post is valid and reasonable.

  3. I agree with what Nicole said about immediately looking for your favorite brand. It seems like companies already know brand is a draw so they have big noticeable logos.

    I think your study has definitely been done at least to a certain extent, but it would definitely be interesting to see how different designs attract consumers. Have snack companies already maxed out their attention-getting abilities or is there more they can do?

    It’s interesting how much variation there is in color, yet all the bags of chips share some common characteristics.

  4. The impact of eye tracking on the profitability of products with a large number of substitutes is certainly a big consideration of chip companies. The benefit of having the most visually appealing packaging are likely directly translatable into increased profit among customers without bias as to which chip brand they prefer. The concept of the research study is likely one that already exists as a means of making most consumer goods more appealing compared to their competition.

  5. Product design is an interesting subject for eye tracking. Typically bright colors and bold fonts are used to grab people’s attention. However when everything is fighting for attention in the same way, the eye can become confused and muddied with all of the bright colors and designs, the eye has no specific thing to focus on. Due to that the focus of the eye is much more difficult to control.

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