The Value of Product Presentation Technologies on Mobile vs. Non-Mobile Devices: A Randomized Field Experiment
34 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2017 Last revised: 21 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 20, 2018
A major limitation for e-commerce retailers remains the lack of physical touch and feel of products before purchase. Potential buyers may be reluctant to purchase such products online because of the limited ability to evaluate physical product attributes and to infer their performance in digital media. Retailers have been addressing this limitation by implementing visual product presentation technologies such as zoom and alternative photos. In addition, the widespread adoption and use of smartphones and tablets for online shopping poses another challenge for e-commerce retailers because of the devices’ smaller displays and thus limited ability for visual product presentation. In this paper, we empirically investigate how the combination of visual product presentation technologies – via zoom and alternative photos – on mobile as well as non-mobile devices affect sales in online shopping. By utilizing a randomized field experiment, we find that alternative photos are associated with an increased purchase likelihood, while zoom is associated with a decreased purchase likelihood. For the devices, we find that the highest purchases likelihoods can be observed on PCs and tablets – potentially acting as substitutes for each other – followed by smartphones, which may be explained by their smaller display sizes. However, there is no significant interaction between devices and product presentation technologies. We also demonstrate the robustness of our results and discuss implications for e-commerce retailers.
Keywords: product presentation, internet commerce, mobile devices, channels, field experiment
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