عنوان مقاله [English]
Objective: This study investigates the effect of a regulatory fit/non-fit between the individuals’ regulatory focus and purchasing strategy on consumer's visual attention to nutrition labels using a lab experiment with eye tracking technique. According to regulatory focus theory, individuals have either a promotion (achieving positive events and ideals) or a prevention (avoiding negative events and consequences) focus. Nutrition labels positively affect consumers’ purchasing decisions and are noticed in health issues, marketing, and consumer behavior studies. However, no studies to date have investigated the effect of the regulatory fit/non-fit between individual's regulatory focus and purchasing strategy on the level of visual attention to nutrition labels. In this research, this issue is investigated for the first time using the eye tracking technique.
Methodology: A laboratory experiment is designed and conducted. The experiment uses a 2 × 2 factorial design with two independent variables, including regulatory focus (2 levels: promotion or prevention) and purchasing strategy (2 levels: trying to buy healthy food products or avoiding to buy unhealthy food products). In total, 67 individuals participated in the study. At first, they read and signed their consent forms. After that, they were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions, including two fit and two non-fit conditions. Then, participants’ regulatory focus and purchasing strategies were manipulated by use of standard techniques in the related literature. After that, participants went through an online shopping experience in which they had to select products based on their assigned purchasing strategies related to level of product healthiness (promotion versus prevention purchasing strategy). During the online shopping, their eye movements were tracked using a screen-based eye-tracking device. Finally, participants answered a set of demographic questions. Data was collected in the Business Research Laboratory at the Faculty of Management, the University of Tehran and was analyzed by use of Univariate Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in SPSS software. Visual attention was evaluated by five measures (time to first fixation, fixation duration, fixation count, visit duration, and visit count).
Findings: In the regulatory fit conditions, all the measures of visual attention were significant and indicated that more attention was paid to nutrition labels. These results indicate that individuals in the regulatory fit conditions pay more visual attention to nutrition labels.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, creating a fit between regulatory focus and purchasing strategy can increase visual attention to nutrition labels which in turn, can lead to healthier purchasing decisions.