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Charles R. Taylor

Under the Influence: 3D Imagery and Online Shopping

Marketers and academicians slice, dice, and categorize us into countless niches. A fertile topic for their research has long been how we shop, and more so now with e-commerce’s unrelenting growth.

Much studied regarding e-commerce is the influence of website imagery in promoting products. As early as 2002, researchers found that using 3D images triggers mental imagery that enhances the virtual shopping experience. A 2013 study we wrote about found that adding interactivity to 3D product images, such as 360-degree rotation, significantly increases purchase intention.

A new study published in November in the Journal of Business Research examined two niches of shoppers: those who have a high need to touch products before buying them online and those who don’t. Specifically, the two researchers wanted to know how viewing vivid 3D vs 2D product images would influence the two groups. They also wanted to know whether the effects would vary based on the type of product featured.