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Eye Tracking in China
Two significant societal trends in China are changing the nation’s markets. They are a rise in consumer spending and an increase in online activity. Indeed, by the end of the decade, 55% of Chinese consumers expect a substantial wage increase. Consequently, a 7% national increase in spending on discretionary categories is forecasted between 2010 and 2020. Meanwhile, China’s internet users rose to 688 000 000 by the end of 2015, a number that doubles the total population of the United States of America. A recent research predicts that the revenue from China’s online advertising market will reach RMB 410 500 000 000 by 2018, a huge escalation on the RMB 275 600 000 000 they proposed for 2016. Growth in the disposable incomes of Chinese citizens will alter which products and services are in demand in China. Equally noteworthy is that the upsurge in online activity will transform the mediums through which these products and services are advertised and sold. These trends in the Chinese economy mean that China’s markets are far from static. Gaining an intricate understanding of specific consumer groups is, therefore, both challenging and essential. This article will explain how Daxue Consulting uses eye tracking to enhance our clients’ comprehension of Chinese consumer behavior, despite the nation’s rapidly changing economy. It will begin by underlining what eye tracking is and how it should be conducted. Subsequently, it will demonstrate why it is a beneficial tool for businesses and Daxue to employ.
What is Eye Tracking?
Eye tracking is quite simply the measurement of eye activity. Whilst this is a basic concept, the collection of data and subsequent analysis of the data requires experience and expertise. To measure eye activity, the participant must wear a remote or head-mounted ‘eye tracker’ that is connected to a computer. When the participant is shown the relevant material selected by those organizing the experiment, a near-infrared light is directed towards the center of the participant’s eye.This triggers visible reflections in the cornea (outermost optical element of the eye) and one can consequently record the participant’s eye activity.
This process allows those conducting the experiment to track four important actions. It highlights what the participant sees and does not see, the time taken for the participant to arrive at a specific fixation, the length of any fixation and the number of fixations per object, image or video shown. These are useful sources of data to assess the visibility of a product. Moreover, in the hands of experts, eye tracking can be more than just an evaluative metric. It is also a diagnostic tool that not only underlines product visibility but can link to other vital metrics such as brand persuasiveness. Another distinctive result of eye tracking is that eye activity is often due to psychological stimuli which are not rational. Accordingly, the data produced from eye tracking experiments offer unique insights into human behavior. Min-Chun, one of Daxue Consulting’s Senior Project Leader, notes that ‘when eye tracking is conducted appropriately, it is possible to comprehend irrational human reactions that many of us would not be able to understand otherwise’.
Why and How are Daxue Consulting using Eye Tracking in China?
With China’s rapidly evolving economy, eye tracking can be the perfect solution to help businesses engage with the latest trends in Chinese consumer behavior. For example, supermarket aisles are packed with deliberately attractive food options. Chinese consumers could be swayed to select specific commodities because of their appealing advertising. Eye tracking is a fantastic source of data on which to base the design of one’s product.
By presenting a participant in an eye tracking experiment with various pictures of shop shelves, one can detect the immediate and lasting fixation points that he or she is drawn to. By changing the design of one’s product for different pictures, businesses will quickly be able to comprehend what packaging and branding are most successful.
New markets are predicted to emerge in China and current Chinese markets are expected to expand. Consequently, brand recognition is vital for businesses to be competitive. Eye tracking is an extremely useful technique to enhance product design. Daxue Consulting recognizes this and uses the technique to leverage noteworthy data concerning consumer behavior in China.
Furthermore, Daxue does not solely use eye-tracking experiments on physical objects. We also appreciate that it can also provide data to demonstrate the online habits of Chinese consumers. In 2004, the Clute Institute used eye tracking to conduct research into whether there were notable differences in the web page perceptions of Western internet users and Chinese internet users. The Institute’s research is important as they are committed to ‘disseminating the latest academic research on various business and economics-related topics’. Consequently, their research is insightful for both businesses and the sector Daxue Consulting operates. They selected a random group of participants from both China and Germany. They showed them the same websites and followed how their eye activity responded. Before the research 95.3% of Chinese participants rated the amount of information on a webpage important, whilst the German participants were more concerned with the color and design of the web page. These preferences were reflected in the eye tracking results. German users would start reading texts and abruptly stop to look at other elements of the page. Chinese internet users, however, showed far more of a tendency to read whole passages of text.
Online activity in China is expected to increase hugely in the next couple of years. Analyzing the research conducted by The Clute Institute proves that eye tracking can be used to better comprehend Chinese internet users’ web preferences. Daxue uses eye tracking to help clients exploit these preferences. Indeed, they are vital for businesses to succeed and increase their online sales. Eye tracking is, therefore, a key tool to understanding Chinese consumer behavior as it can be used to not only improve product designs but additionally online sales tactics. With China’s markets developing continuously, it is a tool Daxue Consulting values highly.
- Eyetracking Methodology with Daxue Consulting
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