We work with thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs across the US here at Excelerate America. They are all different types of businesses, but what makes them the same is that they’re all trying to sell a service or product.

And whether or not they have a retail space or are 100% online, they’re always concerned with customers.

How to engage with them? How to give them what they want? And the ultimate goal of course: How to get them to buy or purchase?

Beautiful casual woman shopping at a retail store“Shopper engagement” is a huuuuge buzzword we’ve been hearing lately. Studying shopper engagement is especially important and relevant for retailers both online and brick and mortar based.

Numerous academic studies have shown that two factors largely determine retail success:

1. Amount of time shoppers spend in the store, where if a retailer increases the time spent in the store, their sales increase; and

2. Extent of interaction with the store personnel and merchandise, so the greater the shopper interaction and engagement, the higher the sales.

What does this tell us? Well that retailer’s success today is not so much what they sell, but HOW they sell it.

One way experts track how well retailers are selling is through customer eye tracking.

Yep, there are research firms who have created special glasses customers wear when they go into stores that will track their eye movements to see what they notice first, what they linger on, and more.

Based on this research, I'm giving you 7 shopping behavior secrets that eye tracking is revealing.

#1: Top shelf isn’t best

In fact, it’s the least visible place in any store. Shoppers tend to keep their eyes at eye level or below because they have their phones and are on their phones.

Young couple shopping in a supermarket

#2: Aisle length matters

When aisles are longer shoppers eyes are drawn to shelf levels 2 – 5. With shorter aisles, they concentrate more on upper and lower shelves.

#3: The 3 Feet Rule is KEY!

The first three-feet of the aisle is recommended for placement of attention-grabbing products, Most shoppers use the products in this space as a signpost for the aisle, instead of looking up to read the hanging category signage.

#4: Signs need to be simple

Reports show that in store signs get less than 2 seconds of attention. Focus on making them concise,  straight forward and brand focused.

#5: Outside signs should be placed near entry doors

That’s where people are focusing as they approach the building. So they’ll see your sign and then see the door to get there.

Want to learn more about retail success in the changing digital age? Grab our  free ebook, Blending Retail.

#6: Videos grab attention

This is especially important if you are online only! Videos are a proven way to grab a prospect’s attention on a webpage.

#7: Learn the F Rule

Research shows most people read from the left to right in what’s commonly called the The F pattern. Understanding how their eyes move across your text should help you to design effective landing pages.

This will then allow them to spend more time on your page which is shown to lead to more purchases.

These are all pretty amazing and are all things you can easily take and modify to follow within your own retail space or online webpage.


Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the fun, smart services for businesses looking to level up. Did any of these shopping behaviors surprise youReach out to Emily at emily.ladrig@excelerateamerica.com.  


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