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Lisa Malin, Marketing Manager

We’re very interested in how new e-tail visual merchandising techniques can be adapted for retailers to use in-store. This insight forms one of six actionable learnings in our downloadable report.

The learnings from eye-tracking software are being used extensively to enhance websites. This information about visual cues could also enhance retailers in-store merchandising to drive sales.

Why is eye-tracking popular?

Eye tracking helps User Experience (UX) design for websites. It measures where the observer looks first and then tracks where the eye moves next. It’s often surprising how we all look at the same parts of the websites in the same order. Understanding these patterns helps mould marketing design, putting the strongest messages in the most eye-catching part of the screen, increasing effectiveness.

The reasoning behind why we all seem programmed to look at the same things first is due to our evolution. There are certain elements that naturally distract the eye. Once upon a time, they helped us survive, for example by identifying danger quickly and reading facial cues correctly. If visual merchandisers begin to understand the patterns, they can use this knowledge to their advantage.

What does eye-tracking tell us?

The aptly named ‘Eye Gaze Cannot Be Ignored’ research results are displayed in the two images below. In the first image, attention focuses on the baby (indicated by the red heat spot). Perhaps unsurprisingly babies and pretty women draw the longest gaze!

eye tracking baby face 1

However , it’s what the second image shows that’s really interesting. The baby’s face is still drawing the lead attention, but people then directly follow the viewer straight to the headline and opening copy. Why, because humans have a natural tendency to follow the gaze of others. A golden insight for visual merchandising and everyone who styles mannequins.

eye tracking baby face 2

So, how can retailers use this insight in-store?

Divert the mannequin’s gaze!

mannequin window display
This research tells us that staring back at the consumer is not leading the eye to the merchandise. Therefore, models used to demonstrate product in any scenario, including mannequins, should guide the viewer’s gaze towards the call to action, be that the invitation to touch or interact. It’s a quick fix, it won’t cost you anything, and it could be highly effective.

Read more about the learnings and subsequent improvements etailers are making through data-driven marketing, such as customer journey mapping, analytics and iterative learning. our white paper challenges why these learnings should be applied to retail environments. You can download our ‘Retail Wake Up Call’ paper here.

Green Room Future Series Retail Wake Up call

For more information about the importance of visual merchandising, and to find out how we can help your brand improve in-store visual displays to help increase your revenue, get in touch with us.