This paper aims to understand what kind of fashion product picture can arouse greater embodied mental simulation at two distinct steps of consumers' shopping journey (choice between options and purchase intention).
Two experimental studies were developed. Study 1 (n = 169) investigated consumers' purchase intention, and Study 2 (n = 156) investigated consumers' choice for a T-shirt displayed in an e-commerce store. The authors manipulated the product picture by considering pictures with the presence or absence of a human model wearing the product (flat vs. mannequin vs. human model without a face vs. human model with a face).
Consumers demonstrated greater choice and purchase intention for the picture that aroused greater embodied mental simulation. Different pictures aroused greater embodied mental simulation depending on the consumer journey step (choice between two options or purchase intention). Perceived product attractiveness influenced this finding.
The data on men and women were analyzed together due to the low number of male participants in both studies.
The results suggest that mannequin pictures should be used in situations involving product evaluation (e-commerce categories' pages) and that pictures with human models should be used in situations entailing further analysis of the product (e-commerce product page) to encourage purchase decisions. E-commerce managers also need to use pictures of human models when the product is viewed as less attractive.
This research investigated embodied mental simulation around product pictures at two distinct steps of consumers' shopping journey.
Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest relevant to this article to disclose.
Funding: This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Brasil (Finance Code 001).
Bagatini, F.Z., Rech, E., Pacheco, N.A. and Nicolao, L. (2023), "Can you imagine yourself wearing this product? Embodied mental simulation and attractiveness in e-commerce product pictures", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 470-490. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-11-2021-0280
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