Investigating consumer’s online search and decision-making strategies: An eye-tracking analysis of visual attention on product and review-specific information in a two-stage choice process

Monske Simon, Gensler Sonja, Wiesel Thorsten

Consumers are highly influenced by product reviews when making purchase decisions online. Product reviews have become one of the most frequently accessed and trusted information sources. Thereby, consumers pursue heterogeneous search and decision-making strategies needing to be considered by practitioners and researchers. In a unique eye-tracking experiment, we investigate which product and review-specific information consumers search for when purchasing a product online and distinguish between choice set formation and choice. Based on gaze durations, we profile consumers into segments and describe them with psychographic characteristics. Overall, review content, rating and variance are considered when forming a choice set. Specifications and price information are relevant for final choice. Four search and decision-making strategies were found: 1) focused review and user-generated content reader, 2) design-oriented consumer, 3) most helpful review reader, and 4) specification skimmer.

Product reviews; information processing theory; eye-tracking technology

Publication type
Conference Paper

Peer reviewed

Publication status


Proceedings of the 45th EMAC Annual Conference

Oslo, Norwegen

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