The effect of eco-label placement on sustainable buying behaviour: an eye-tracking experiment

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Purpose - There is debate on the effectiveness of eco-labels on sustainable purchase behaviour and unclarity about role of visual attention and its antecedents. Design/methodology/approach – In an experimental study with a between-group design, 60 participants were asked to look at a picture of the product packaging of tea while their eye-movements were measured. The test-group looked at a manipulated picture in which the eco-label was strategically placed close to the brand name, while the control-group looked at the picture with the original eco-label placement. An additional survey revealed their purchase intention for eco-labelled products and perceptions of trust. For the analysis partial least squares structural equation modelling was used. Findings - The findings of this study indicate that strategic label placement has a positive effect on visual attention when it is measured with the time to first fixation, which does not hold for dwell time. Moreover, it disproves the expected moderating role of trust in eco-labels on the relation between label placement and visual attention paid to eco-labels, and effect of visual attention paid to eco-labels as a driver of purchase intention for eco-labelled products. Research implications – To extent marketing and sustainable consumption literature, the findings provide new insights in the role of label placement, visual attention, and trust on sustainable purchase behaviour.
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