What e-Commerce Can Learn From Eye Tracking
E-commerce is a broad, highly competitive field that becomes more competitive every day. Eye tracking gives businesses an opportunity to find success by tailoring their approach to conversions based on objective, quantitative data. Read on to learn more about the discoveries made in the world of e-commerce human-computer interactions, and invest in your own success with eye-tracking technology from Gazepoint.
About Eye Tracking
Eye-tracking software and hardware packages enable you to track a user’s gaze via infrared light as they interact with a computer. The software records data on where they look, where they pause, and how they navigate a web page. Researchers have found a clear connection between a user’s gaze and their interest and feelings that can particularly benefit businesses built upon online sales.
Many e-commerce platforms gather data on the items each user looks at, what pages they browse, how long they spend on each page, and more. Eye tracking allows your research team to go even further and see what elements on each page catch a user’s eye. You can also combine eye tracking with biometrics measurements for more insight into a user’s feelings through their physical response.
Why Utilize Eye Tracking
The first design elements and ads a user sees within the first few seconds they spend on your site are key factors in conversions and the overall success of your business. With eye-tracking technology, you don’t have to guess where they are looking. Gazepoint hardware allows you to gather data on their experience in a natural, nonintrusive way without complex experiments or bulky equipment. With that information, you can make more informed choices on how you organize the appearance of your e-commerce site.
For example, the “buy” or “checkout” button for many e-commerce sites is located in the upper right-hand corner. There are several reasons why this is the most intuitive place for that final step in the sales process. For one, many western cultures read from left to right, and therefore they seek the conclusion of their experience – the final sale – to be on the right. With eye tracking, you can skip the soft science explanation and place conversion opportunities right where your audience’s gaze lands.
The application of eye-tracking technology has disproven many assumptions about e-commerce human-computer interactions in the past several years. One myth that has come to light is that pictures with more human faces will generate more sales. While humanizing your products and services through pictures of people is important, relying on still-life smiles for sales is ineffective. Similarly, frequent use of large fonts and headlines isn’t always better, and large lettering can be a waste of valuable space.
Eye Tracking Take-Aways
The increasing implementation of eye-tracking technology from companies such as Gazepoint has led to several important observations. E-commerce businesses are the perfect venue for applying the findings of these marketing and user experience studies. Here are a few trends that can help you hone your approach to online shopping.
Organize by F-Pattern Searches
One of the strongest discoveries made through eye tracking is the F-pattern, or the pattern by which users navigate a webpage. While older users still tend to read from right to left and thoroughly explore content from top to bottom, younger and more frequent internet users instead rely on an F-pattern: starting from the upper left-hand corner and skimming from right to left, referencing the left-hand side of the screen as they scroll down. Their attention to elements on the right-hand side and the bottom of the page fade quickly.
What Your Business Should Do
Take advantage of the F-pattern by placing important information at the top of the page and to the left. This is why site navigation and advertising banners for sales are often placed at the very top. Your goal is to make the user’s shopping experience as simple as intuitive as possible, which means placing high-priority items where they will see them, and making elements like your navigation bar easy to read with simple colors and obvious headings. This increases the likelihood that a user will spend more time – and more money – on your site.
Prioritize Hero and Product Images
Images are essential to e-commerce sites, which is likely no surprise to anyone. However, the hero image at the top of your page and the primary image for each product are especially important. The hero image establishes your brand in the milliseconds it takes for a user to decide whether or not to trust and frequent your business. In a similar fashion, a product image can gain or lose a customer.
What Your Business Should Do
Take your time choosing a hero image that accurately reflects your business and matches whatever headings and subtitles you use within a glance of that image. Your audience comes to your site with a need or a question — your hero image should match that query with a solution.
You should also prioritize choosing accurate, high-quality pictures of your products. Virtually every customer will depend on this photo to make a decision about whether to buy it or learn more. For high-end, expensive, or complex products, the product description will be important as you explain why it’s a necessary purchase, but easily understood products such as simple household items will rely on images almost to the exclusion of all else.
Utilize Headings and Calls-to-Action
As we mentioned earlier, most modern internet users don’t read a webpage, but rather skim it looking for important information. Cater to this instinct with clear headings and buttons. Meet your audience where they are and place headings throughout the page to follow their gaze. Then, you can “catch” them at the end with a clear, uncluttered call to action button like “shop now!”
Find Further Insight With Gazepoint
This kind of essential data is available to any e-commerce business, and Gazepoint offers our professional-grade eye-tracking hardware and software at a consumer price point to help push the world of discovery and innovation forward. Invest in the success of your e-commerce business, and place your order today.