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Eye tracking tech studies consumer behaviour


May 23, 2012
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

May 23, 2012, Vineland, ON — New technology at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is helping decode consumer choices and grow market share for Canadian products.

Increasingly used for consumer research in a variety of disciplines, eye tracking technology is proving its usefulness when it comes to horticulture products ranging from ornamental plants and flowers to fruit and vegetables.

"Eye tracking technology gives a detailed behavioural understanding of what consumers really want opposed to what they say they want, a common challenge with the traditional survey approach. With this technology we are able to see exactly what consumers are looking at during their shopping experience. This information provides valuable insight for growers and retailers into how to develop successful marketing and pricing strategies," said Dr. Isabelle Lesschaeve, the centre's research director for consumer insights and product innovation.

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The eye tracking program at Vineland is part of a larger ornamental and vegetable plant study that will collect data from consumers at six locations across North America. Collaboration between Vineland, Purdue University, Michigan State University, Texas A&M University, University of Minnesota and University of Florida will provide information on consumer attitudes, behaviours and demographic characteristics.

For this study, Vineland is specifically concerned with labelling and the display of ornamental and vegetable plants. Information will be gained on where best to put information on a display or label to better attract the consumer's attention. The study will also determine if consumers in Ontario are using different visual cues to purchase an ornamental or vegetable plant than their counterparts in the United States.

"Understanding the marketplace and the consumer is essential to building a healthy and sustainable horticulture industry. Growers in Canada produce some of the best fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants in the world. Using eye tracking technology will help horticulture businesses focus their marketing strategies and most importantly, maximize product value and market share. Vineland is investing in this technology and the related expertise for the long-term," said Jim Brandle, CEO of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.


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