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The eyes have it!

Research reveals where people look on marketplace sites – and why

29 March 2021

Maze-One are Europe’s leading ‘marketplace agency’, helping brands build more profitable relationships with Amazon and other marketplaces. But even the best can get better. Which is why Maze-One commissioned Unravel Research to carry out independent eye-tracking research into exactly how customers behave, and what influences that behaviour, during their customer journey on Amazon.

“Our advice is already based on solid data, such as A-B testing,” explains Stef Caris, Lead Vendor Manager at Maze-One. “But we wanted to see whether eye-tracking research would confirm our current thinking and approach.”

The research goes into serious detail. “The results give our clients a clear overview of which elements of their content they need to optimise — and how — at each phase of the customer journey. So in the exploring phase, how they grab the visitor’s attention on the search results page; in the decision-making phase, what content makes customers look at your product on a product detail page; and finally, when they’re down to two products, what will persuade them to pick yours and not the competitor’s.”

Surprise findings
As you’d expect given Maze-One’s experience and knowhow in the digital marketplace, a lot of the research findings confirmed what they already believed. But there were surprises. The first being around price. “Amazon is known as a price-driven platform, but the research showed price was only a secondary concern for customers, after product quality and appearance.”

Another, less surprising but emphatic insight was the importance of visuals. “Essentially, the more visual your listing and the larger the image, the more attractive it is to the customer. So, for example, people look more closely and longer at icons or (concise) infographics than at purely text-based bullet points, which they tend to skim.”

Interesting on so many levels
One of Maze-One’s key services is content improvement, and the research confirmed what its 40 specialist marketplace advisors already felt matters most. “It validated our belief in helping our clients achieve the right balance between making their product as ‘attractive’ as possible to the search engine’s algorithm, so site visitors are more likely to see it; and then, when they see it, ensuring the product is equally attractive to the consumer. For example, by focusing on key benefits described in normal language and avoiding ‘marketing-speak’.”

The research also confirmed how essential strong images and titles are to grabbing and holding a consumer’s attention at each step of the journey. “At Maze-One, we ensure there’s a clear, striking image to click on with a title containing all relevant information, including the keyword searched on and the product’s main USPs. Then, when people click through, we make sure the next level of information is equally (visually) interesting.”  

Advertise or go under
The importance of visual impact also underlines the huge added value of sponsored content. “With so-called A+ premium content, a company can replace textual product information on the product detail page with visually-striking imagery. The research shows people spend longer looking at attractive content, and time-on-site is a key criterion for marketplaces in determining their ‘bestsellers’. Moreover, with about 50% of a search engine results page now taken up by sponsored ads, the research’s finding that most people don’t look below the fold is yet another reason why sponsored content is so important in driving conversion.”

Maze-One already knew just how much consumers trust their favourite marketplace — in mature Amazon markets, for example, 55% of visitors search for products on Amazon’s site, not search engines like Google or Firefox. And because they trust Amazon, they also trust its bestsellers, which they know become bestsellers through a combination of sales volume and good reviews. “Basically, if your product isn’t an Amazon bestseller or a top brand, it’s really hard to grow your brand organically without using advertising.”

But the good news is, Maze-One can help companies achieve that golden circle of engaging (sponsored) content, which ensures a great customer journey, increasing sales and good reviews, leading to bestseller status and higher visibility on marketplaces, leading to even better sales. Because on these super-competitive marketplaces, products need a competitive edge.


Want to discuss how Maze-One can ensure your products enjoy the success they deserve?
Call Tim van der Bilt on (+31)020 312017 or mail on [email protected] .