Focus groups & In-depth qualitative interviewing

Focus groups & In-depth qualitative interviewing

As researchers, we understand that consumers do not always faithfully report their own behaviour online.  This is not because they intend to mislead, but simply because, no matter how much shoppers like to think they are in control of what they see and do on the internet, they are often influenced, whether consciously or not, by the way the site is set up and their own shopping habits.

Therefore, they may tell you that they don’t see that piece of advertising, or that that they don’t look at any product information provided by the manufacturer some of the best-known sites. But, without an objective measure of actual behaviour, we have often been forced to take their word for it.

That all changed as soon as research began to focus less on what shoppers claimed they were doing and more what they were really doing…

James Briggs elaborates on how to combine deep interviewing with eye tracking

Eye tracking is now a well-established tool for focussing on what customers were really doing. The idea to combine eye tracking with in-depth qualitative interviewing was born out of a desire to understand the degree to which what shoppers tell us it is like to shop a site like Amazon is born out by the reality of their behaviour.  Analysis combines the shoppers’ subjective experience on internet with the objective hard data furnished by a tool like Tobii.  And, if handled carefully, the results can be astonishing.

Any well-managed eye tracking project will report back the effectiveness of the communication dancing in front of them on the screen of the mobile, tablet or pc they use to shop, but what that unerring eye fails to tell us is way in which they data is filtered once it reaches the brain.  By asking the respondent to review his or her behaviour live on your website, or simply to provide a commentary of what he or she is doing while they do it, we are able to gain a fuller understanding of why your carefully positioned ad is ignored, or why certain types of image, far from catching the shoppers’ attention, only cause them to scroll faster.

We have successfully combined classical qualitative interviewing (which clients can observe in situ) with shorts burst of eye tracking which quickly enable to piece together the rationale behind shopper behaviour and combine it with a pure measure of behaviour.  It is the in-depth understanding behind the behaviour which enables us to make a series of precise recommendations about what drives behaviour on a variety of retail sites and how that behaviour can best be influenced.  This powerful combination is growing in popularity among clients who already appreciate the truth provided by eye tracking, but who also need to develop strategies aimed at taking advantage of the way in which shoppers really navigate a site like Amazon and the individual rationale that drives their behaviour.

-James Briggs

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