University of Tartu
Mobile and stationary eye tracking comparison – package design and in-store results
This paper aims to test the similarity of the results of on-screen eye tracking compared to mobile eye tracking in the context of first fixation location on stimuli.
Three studies were conducted altogether with 117 participants, where the authors compared both methods: stationary eye tracking and mobile eye tracking.
The studies revealed that the reported average first fixation locations from stationary and mobile eye tracking are different. Stationary eye tracking is more affected by a centre fixation bias. Based on the research, it can be concluded that stationary eye tracking is not always suitable for studying consumer perception and behaviour because of the centre viewing bias.
When interpreting the results, researchers should take into account that stationary eye tracking results are affected by a centre fixation bias. Previous stationary eye tracking research should be interpreted with the centre fixation bias in mind. Some of this previous work should be retested using mobile eye tracking. If possible small-scale pilot studies should be included in papers to show that the more appropriate method, less affected by attention biases, was chosen.
Managers should trust research where the ability of package design to attract attention on a shelf is tested using mobile eye tracking. The authors suggest using mobile eye tracking to optimise store shelf planograms, point-of-purchase materials, and shelf layouts. In package design, interpretations of research using stationary eye tracking should consider its centre fixation bias. Managers should also be cautious when interpreting previous stationary eye tracking research (both applied and scientific), knowing that stationary eye tracking is more prone to a centre fixation bias.
While eye tracking research has become more and more popular as a marketing research method, the limitations of the method have not been fully understood by the field. This paper shows that the chosen eye tracking method can influence the results. No such comparative paper about mobile and stationary eye tracking research has been done in the marketing field.