Neuromarketing: the essential post-COVID service most retailers aren’t utlising

Hitsearch MD Andrew Redfern explains how important a neuromarketing and biometric data strategy can be in rebuilding consumer confidence.

neuro paintings in art gallery

For the retail industry, understanding website users and potential customers is more important now than ever before as brands attempt to rebuild their Covid-ravaged foundations and pre-lockdown position.

Consumers too must now adjust to yet another new retail experience as stores reopen with new measurements in place. Likely jaded from lockdown restrictions, mandatory mask-wearing and in many cases financial instability, customer priorities have undoubtedly changed as a result of Covid-19 and retailers must understand this in order to fully service, satisfy and sell.

From their work with retailers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Hitsearch understand that providing a straight-forward, informative, and supportive online consumer experience is a crucial component in rebuilding to pre-pandemic success. Utilising their in-house Neuromarketing division, they can closely monitor online behaviour and analyse biometric data to help shape wider strategies.

Hitsearch Director, Andy Redfern claims “Neuromarketing and the analysis of biometric data should form part of any post-Covid retail strategy.”

Neuromarketing explained

Neuromarketing is the practice of forming a research-based strategy around the principles of psychology. Using biometry (the application of analysis to biological data) in digital marketing to get under the skin of your target market and see what is stopping them from making purchases or completing conversions online. Biometrics market research helps us to understand emotional and cognitive responses to certain stimuli. Analysing a person’s activity on the web, to improve conversions, is now second nature to Hitsearch as an agency.

Andy Redfern explains how Neuromarketing and biometric data can help understand customers in the pandemic.

Employing a neuromarketing strategy within the current climate can allow retailers to monitor changes in customer behaviours online, interactions with online brand assets/tools and perception of brand messaging and offering.

Certain points of data can be analysed as part of biometric testing – each offering vital insight into customer emotion and response during a customer’s online journey. This insight can then be harnessed to create a bespoke marketing and digital strategy to ensure your site is performing fully and acquiring crucial sales during the current pandemic. Here are some key metrics;

Eye tracking

The eye captures far more information than we can consciously process, so when you look at a website, you only notice that you’re ‘looking’ at a fraction of what your eyes are actually seeing. Eye tracking devices and software can show how effective your webpage or content is at achieving its aim, whether your navigation is working as you expect and what is drawing the eye at various points of the user journey.

This analysis metric is extremely useful in determining how customers are perceiving any new content through a Covid-lens. Test messaging, website layout and content to ensure you are maximising the time spent by customers on your site.

Galvanic skin response (GSR)

The sweat or perspiration levels across your skin can highlight the intensity of a response to something the test subject is seeing or doing on your website. Again, this metric can help identify areas of a brand’s site which may be causing consumers to lose confidence. The socio and economic pressures faced as a fall out of the pandemic are being felt by a high majority and this underlying stress should not be heightened or triggered whilst a potential customer is browsing your site. GSR allows us to monitor if and when it is, enabling us to target that specific element and re-design to
offer a better user experience.

Facial expression analysis

By capturing the face of the test subject as they use your website, the camera can pick up microexpressions and the emotions that the subject experiences, including whether they are feeling positive, neutral or negative at any moment in time. This insight will allow you to track at what point a customer decides to ‘buy into’ your brand/product – or perhaps more crucially, at what point they decide against it. Combined with eye-tracking, this metric allows us to accurately pinpoint the precise section of your site that may be disrupting user experience. Covid response messaging is almost a given within retails coms now, but consumers know when a brand is heartfelt/ sincere with its content and when it’s a box-ticking exercise. Facial expression analysis is a great tool for understanding how users react to your response comms.

Heart rate

Measuring the heart rate continuously over the test period enables pinpointing of any instances where the rate fluctuates, which can indicate stress or frustration. We can understand a user’s motivations for visiting, and also exiting as a result of this data. Pinpointing triggers is a crucial step in redeveloping a site’s layout, content or formatting to allow for maximum sales. New stresses and triggers will have undoubtedly formed amongst customers as a result of Covid-19 and so this metric can provide vital information.

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Essentially monitoring brain activity, usually with a cap containing multiple sensors, this data can show when the test subject is concentrating, engaged, excited or frustrated. This activity can be deployed to understand when and where customers are most and least engaged during their site visit. From this data we can look to shorten sequences causing frustration, or enhance assets causing excitement or engagement.

Andy concludes; “We work closely with clients to provide them with an in-depth summary of their brand’s online UX based on the metrics outlined. Highlighting key factors that are working and those that are costing customers and sales is the first step. Once addressed, we work to eliminate any negative experience or lost sale. In the current climate, a strategy based around the principle of neuromarketing and biometric testing feels essential and yet many brands have yet to involve the practice in their wider retail strategy. We’re here to offer support and guidance on the benefits and
implementation of Neuromarketing within your business.”

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