Currently, consumers display what is known as omnichannel behavior, that is, the combined use of digital and physical channels providing them with multiple points of contact with firms. We combine the Stimulus-Organism-Response model and the visual attention theory to study how customers' attention to digital channels varies across different purchasing tasks.
We use eye-tracking techniques to observe attention in an experimental setting. The experimental design is composed of four purchasing tasks in four different product categories and measures the attention to the website and time spent on each task in addition to several control variables.
The results show that shoppers attend to more areas of the website for purposes of website exploration than for performing purchase tasks. The most complex and time-consuming task for shoppers is the assessment of purchase options.
The actual purchase and postpurchase tasks require less time and the inspection of fewer areas of interest. Personal involvement also plays a role in determining these patterns by increasing attention to the product area.
In this paper, we analyse the importance of consumer knowledge and its moderating effect on the use of extrinsic cues to make product choices within the white asparagus category. Our experimental design uses 18 screens showing options made from different combinations of brand, origin and price cues. The design uses three knowledge measures: experience in the product category, subjective knowledge and objective knowledge. The results are analysed by means of a multinomial logit model, enabling us to assess the importance of the various cues and interactions between these and knowledge. The results show that knowledge has different effects on the perceived importance of brand and origin. Among other effects, we show that less experienced consumers tend to rely more on origin labels, while the more experienced focus predominantly on brands.