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The negative effect of product image inconsistency on product overviews during the online product search

  • During the product search phase in online retail, consumers typically review product overviews, where they must decide whether to further iestigate a product from the assortment and which products to assess. These product overviews are in practice frequently inconsistent in their image characteristics, that is, in terms of their product background (on white background vs. with contextual background) and/or product orientation (differing presentation angles of the products). Four studies in an e-commerce setting establish the negative effect of inconsistent product presentation in product overviews on assortment evaluations and choice satisfaction, a result of decreased fluency. In contrast, the present iestigation also offers initial evidence refuting the idea that inconsistency in presentation of single products increases their choice for closer inspection through increased salience. This implies that online retailers should present their product assortments within each category as consistently as possible, specifically in terms of product background, as the negative effect of background inconsistency is larger (–6% to –19%) than of product orientation inconsistency (–3% to –6%). Further, we establish consistency as another antecedent of fluency.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Erik MaierORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Marketing and Retail
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Electronic Commerce
Year of Completion:2019
First Page:110
Last Page:143
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Peer Reviewed:Yes
Rankings:AJG Ranking / 3
VHB Ranking / B
SJR Ranking / Q1
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt