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Visual attention in a pub: how is it influenced by venue familiarity and shopper goals, and its effect on consumer choice

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posted on 2023-08-30, 16:42 authored by Nataliia Bobrova
To date, the investigation of consumers’ visual attention in real-life shopping environments has been limited to supermarket and department store retail settings. The current study aimed to expand on this knowledge by investigating the visual attention of shoppers in a different retail environment type – a pub – characterised by a range of unique features. The project tested the elements of visual attention theory in a novel environment, focusing on the influence of top-down factors (venue familiarity and shopping goals) on visual attention, and the association between visual attention and choice. The visual attention of 178 pub visitors intending to purchase beer was recorded using eye-tracking equipment. Consumers’ venue familiarity, shopping goals and brand choice together with visual attention to the pub environment and beer pump-clips at the point of purchase were used to assess the theory of visual attention in a novel environment. The results demonstrated that pub familiarity did not influence the visual attention of shoppers to its environment. However, greater familiarity significantly reduced the proportion of pump clips noticed by the shoppers and their fixation duration on the brands at the point of purchase, as well as total fixation duration on the chosen item. Similarly, having a specific goal significantly reduced shoppers’ visual attention to the point of purchase. Consumers with a specific goal looked at fewer pump clips and had a lower total fixation duration; they also made fewer fixations before noting the chosen item and overall looked less at it. The results also indicated that the chosen items received longer fixation duration and more visits. The order in which consumers noticed the brands significantly and positively influenced choice. Overall, these findings provide further support for the theory of visual attention in a novel environment, with a range of theoretical and practical implications.



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