December 12, 2011, 10:49 AM

Eyes on the prize: The pros and cons of eye-tracking tools for e-commerce

An IRWD conference speaker will talk about how to invest in eye-tracking services.

Lead Photo

Michael Summers

Given the complexity of ensuring that as many eyeballs as possible view products on e-commerce sites, some managers turn to eye-tracking services for help. But these services vary, with each vendor having advantages and disadvantages, says Michael Summers, principal at Summers Consulting.

Summers will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Feb. 15 at the 2012 Internet Retailer Web Design and Usability Conference  in Orlando, FL, in a session entitled “Eye spy: Can eye tracking improve your site design?” Eye-tracking studies examine a consumer’s eye movements over elements of a web site, such as landing pages, product pages and checkout flow to determine what elements attract her attention, cause confusion or help her accomplish her task.

During the session, retailers will hear about the pros and cons of eye-tracking services and how they could be applied to their businesses. “Every vice president of e-commerce, and team member, is bombarded with new technologies and methods each year,” Summers says. “Each new approach comes with claims that it can ‘revolutionize’ an e-commerce team’s efforts, increase conversion and revenue, and improve the business. Eye-tracking equipment is expensive, and the learning curve for using it can be steep.”

Attendees will walk away with several specific examples about the technology, and a strong sense of the how to investing in eye-tracking analysis, Summers says. “They will hear some horror stories, as well as some wins that resulted in real improvements,” he adds.

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Summers to speak because, prior to starting his consulting firm, he designed and help build True Action Network’s eye tracking usability labs. He also is the author of “Creating Websites that Work” text book, and has extensive experience in research applied to web sites, software and mobile devices.

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