CTF Consumer Lab
The CTF Consumer Lab was implemented 2010 as a part of consumer research at CTF in order to carry out eye-tracking studies, and to identify the communicative and selling characteristics of packages at the time of purchase. With help of the new lab environment we are able to dig deeper into the consumers’ fundamental behavior to understand the underlying process that consumers unconsciously use to filter products, compare products and finally make decisions.
In numerous experiments we have studied how the placement of packages affects decision making. The fundamental question is whether the location of the package on the shelf is important in the decision making and if the location of the product acts as a quality characteristic.
We are also studying the search process before a decision is made, and the steps consumers undergo to make simple decisions in the grocery store. We are asking ourselves if there are specific strategies used, and how recognition and preference affect these strategies. Past experiences play a role at a purchase, but to map the significance by using vision is something that has not yet been carried out, and by using CTF’s Consumer Lab we can get one step closer to the answer.
Understanding the consumers’ unconscious processes is the key when predicting decisions and with the help of three quick and simple experiments we can study the decision making process in detail. Today we know that we go through three phases before the decision, but what we really don’t know is how these phases influence each other. By being able to study each phase and to manipulate store shelves to influence the phases, we are getting one step closer to the actual decision making process and what influences it.
In today’s increasingly multifaceted retail environments it is important that packages are communicating a clear message. We investigate, in addition to the placement of the package location on the shelf, the connection between memory, attention and placement of individual text and pictures on the packages. By introducing verbal and visual stimuli on different sides of the packages during the experiment situation we are able to study these processes in detail. This is important to the consumer, who through well designed packages easier can find what he/she is looking for. It also gives implications to marketing, since a properly placed text or picture message can increase sales of a given package.
In the future CTF will strive to get out and implement the vision that “the reality is our lab”, we want to utilize real-world environment as much as possible to conduct experiments. CTF now has eye-tracking goggles that are being tested and evaluated in real retail environments. This new development is in demand by different brand owners and will make eye-tracking tests more attractive as they become more like the real purchase situation.