Staff and customer perspectives of the Australian cellar door experience: Discovered with eye tracking and in-depth interviews

Genevieve d'Ament, Anthony Saliba, Tahmid Nayeem

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The importance of the cellar door experience (CDE) in developing consumer loyalty, increasing re-visitation rates, and profitability is supported in current literature. The prevalence of visually splendid multi-million-dollar cellar doors creates an assumption of the importance of bricks and mortar. However, scarce research focuses on the elements of CDEs. To our knowledge, this study is the first to consider both staff and consumer perspectives. Embracing a mixed method approach and constructivist grounded theory methodology we conducted 24 semi-structured in-depth interviews with staff and consumers ranging in experience and wine involvement. We then used eye-tracking as an objective measure of visual attention during the CDE. Recordings from 23 customers and five staff CDEs using TobiiPro2 Glasses provided 993 minutes for analysis with TobiiPro Lab. Twenty-five areas of interest were used to calculate fixation and visit metrics. Recordings were collected at three cellar doors differing in visual style: lively, simple, and stylized. Interview analysis revealed standard of service to be the most remembered element of the CDE. Positive CDEs increased sales, revisitation intentions, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Eye-tracking supported these findings with the most attended aspects of the CDE to be staff and faces. Findings show staff rather than cellar door style influence attention and have the greatest influence of all elements, including wine quality, on total purchases. These new findings are valuable as they highlight the importance of human resources, a predominantly casual workforce, to cellar door profitability. Future research could focus on staffing needs, including training and performance during experience delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022
Event18th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and Trade Exhibition - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 26 Jun 202229 Jun 2022 (Conference webpage) (Conference program)


Conference18th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and Trade Exhibition
OtherThe Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference is the premier technical event for the Australian wine industry. Held every three years since 1970, it combines an extensive program of plenary sessions, workshops, posters, student forum and social events with the industry’s most respected and extensive trade exhibition.

The Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Inc. has two members: The Australian Wine Research Institute and the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.
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