Creating the best first impression: Designing online product photos to increase sales

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Effectively displaying goods in search results is valuable for B2C merchants to earn clicks from consumers and even increase sales. Taking down jackets and trousers sold on Tmall—China's largest B2C e-commerce platform—as the example, this paper collects data about three factors that influence consumers' first impression on their search results: the price of a product, the quantity of historical reviews, and a photo of the product. Among these factors, previous research shows that a product photo contains four attributes: brand logo, promotional information, street scenes, and model display. Focusing on these attributes, we apply a decision tree to explore customer purchasing patterns, which allows us to further investigate the influence of product photo attributes on sales volume by using a hierarchical regression model. Our research finds that among the products from the list of their search results, customers prefer those with many good historical reviews and low prices. In addition, gender that differentiates men's from women's clothing has a moderating effect on the relationship between photo attributes and product sales. The purchase decision of consumers shopping for men's clothing is susceptible to the influence of the product photo. Furthermore, different from the traditional view which shows that brands can reduce perceived risks and increase sales, this study finds that men's clothing sales are negatively affected by brand logo attribute in product photos. Finally, using models cannot significantly increase product sales among consumers shopping for either men's or women's clothing.

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Decision Support Systems



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