The future of consumer behaviour online

“The internet will eventually take on characteristics of corporate media and the marketplace will dominate online behaviour”- Dr. Strangelove.

My professor explained this in class, one day. It brought me to realize that you can see this very change occurring before your eyes. The internet is the only place that they have not grasped yet, how to control us. It is a place for our freedom of expression and we feel like we can do anything on the web. But Corporations are finding new ways to get around this, to control us. Like the television and radio, they have controlled it so that we are consumers of it with their demands. They are trying to regulate it the same way with the internet however, it is a medium that is very difficult to regulate. 

Corporate America is trying to control what we do on the internet and do what they want us to do. An effective way they do this is by placing advertisements strategically. Advertising online is very difficult because it has to catch someone’s eye, but even if it catches their eye, there is a low measure (around 1%) that will actually click through (for example, banner ads). They’re trying to improve their marketing strategies by finding out where we first look on a website. This is called eye-tracking. Every advertisement is placed strategically, and made to catch our eye. Studies have been done of where our eyes first pay attention. In an article in Metro on March 26, 2009, Paul Brent says that “most of us read what’s at the top left of a webpage, and as you move down the page or to the right, we read far less.”

You might notice that on many webpages, the advertisments are at the very top of the page. First, to grab our attention and also control what we see and take time to notice. By noticing their ads, they gain money and insight into consumer behaviour.

Christian Simms, who works with eye-tracking devices at Procter & Gamble, urgers companies ‘to give eye tracking a serious look’.

“What consumers say and what they react to is a very different thing than what they spontaneously react to,” Simms says of eye tracking’s benefits. “We’re interested in what they can tell us without saying it to us.”

With this new data being collected, marketers will be able to understand our  impulse buys and be able to control them better. Not only will this be applied in real stores but online as well.

Check out more on eye tracking:


About sunnyvisa

I'm a student at Ottawa U, studying in Communications. I was born in Quebec City to a French Canadian and Italian family. I lived 9 years in the Netherlands and then moved to Ottawa. I love to travel, spend time with my family, and have fun with friends. You can always see me with a smile on my face :)
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