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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1368: XXXI International Horticultural Congress (IHC2022): International Symposium on Innovations in Ornamentals: from Breeding to Market

How does visual attendance to plant attributes influence choice behavior?

Authors:   A.L. Rihn, B.K. Behe, C.R. Hall, P.T. Huddleston
Keywords:   benefit information, consumer preference, eye-tracking, purchasing behavior, willingness-to-pay
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1368.23
Prior research shows that plant benefit information increases likelihood to purchase but how does visual attention to benefit information influence product choice? Research documents that consumers exhibit selective information viewing when shopping for ornamental plants. In this study, we utilize an online survey paired with eye tracking software to assess consumers’ choice preferences for ornamental plants when presented with specific plant benefit information. A choice experiment was used to elicit preference and willingness-to-pay estimates while visual attention to different pieces of information was measured through their webcam. Approximately 97% of the sample fixated on the plants one or more times while only 36.7% of the sample fixated on the benefit information. Participants fixated on the plant image more than twice as long as the price information, although fixation counts on the benefit information varied depending on the benefit type. The benefit that “Outdoor play in nature may contribute to improved self-control and more focused attention for children” received the highest fixation count (1.113) while the benefit that “Being near plants can provide a sense of relaxation” received the least fixations (0.331). The benefit that “Outdoor walks where plants grow lowers blood pressure in adults and contributes to improved physical health” was intermediate to both (0.956). Plant type significantly influenced willingness to pay, yet visual attendance to the benefit information did not significantly impact choice. Marketing implications and future research directions are discussed.

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1368_22     1368     1368_24

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