DS Smith signed a partnership at the end of last year with European research firm Eyetracker, which has developed a system of eye-tracking designed to better understand viewers’ levels of cognitive engagement with the items or scene they are viewing.

The pilot tests were carried out earlier this year at DS Smith Packaging’s Impact and Innovation Centre in Ely, Cambridgeshire. Test subjects wore Eyetracker’s wireless HD glasses that track eye movements and were asked to browse two “mock-up” stands displaying a series of products displayed in RRP.

Data relating to how their eyes moved across the products, essentially recording what the shopper was drawn to and how easily they were able to find what they were looking for, was then relayed to a computer.

The initial data showed the ‘shoppers’ found what they were looking for 10% faster if it was displayed in RRP than otherwise.

According to DS Smith it is the first time such testing with eye-tracking technology has been used to identify the effectiveness of RRP. The company is now taking the full results, details of which were not divulged, to its customers with the aim of creating more targeted branded packaging that “stands out better against its competitors”.

“It is still early days, but being able to look at RRP through the eyes of the shopper is giving us some surprising results,” said Alan Potts, Insight Director at DS Smith Packaging.

“The early signs are encouraging; we did demonstrate that RRP can help products stand out on the shelf during the increasingly complex shopper journey.”