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The impact of product presentation on decision-making and purchasing

Rosy Boardman (University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Helen McCormick (University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 10 June 2019




This paper aims to investigate how apparel product presentation influences consumer decision-making and whether there are any differences between age groups.


A mixed methodology was used including eye-tracking and qualitative in-depth interviews, with a purposive sample of 50 participants between age 20 and 70.


A higher number of product presentation features resulted in increased positive visual, cognitive and affective responses as consumers wanted as much visual information as possible to aid decision-making. Images of models attracted the most attention and were the most influential product presentation feature, followed by mannequin images and the zoom function. The 20 s spent much less time viewing and interacting with the product presentation features than middle age groups (30 s-50 s), had minimal fixations on mannequin images and had a much quicker decision-making process than other age groups.

Practical implications

The research informs retailers which product presentation features are the most effective for their target market to aid consumer decision-making with the aim of reducing returns.


The paper contributes to the literature by providing more in-depth insights than previous studies into the impact of online product presentation on consumer decision-making by using qualitative research and eye-tracking. The research also explores more product presentation features than previous research and investigates the presentation of apparel products, which are notoriously the most difficult products for consumers to assess online. The research is unique in its exploration of age differences in relation to product presentation features.



Boardman, R. and McCormick, H. (2019), "The impact of product presentation on decision-making and purchasing", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 365-380.



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