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The positive effect of contextual image backgrounds on fluency and liking

  • In e-commerce websites, products may be presented either deprived of context, in a product image on white background, or with context, in an image with a contextually fitting background. Extant fluency research would suggest preferring context-less to contextual images, because detailed image contexts increase the complexity of the image, possibly decreasing viewers’ fluency perceptions and, in turn, liking. The current research, however, establishes that despite their higher complexity, contextual images can also be perceived more fluently and liked more, because they facilitate the recognition of the product. Three experimental studies show this positive effect of contextual backgrounds in an e-commerce setting (e.g., actual product images from e-commerce). Furthermore, the present iestigation shows that the positive effect of contextual backgrounds is amplified for ambiguous products, as they profit more from a facilitation of recognition. Online retailers can thus profit from presenting products in contextual images, particularly if the products are ambiguous or difficult to recognize. Keywords: Product images, contextual background, fluency, ambiguity

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Document Type:Article
Author:Erik Maier, Florian Dost
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Marketing and Retail
Parent Title (English):Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Year of Completion:2018
First Page:109
Last Page:116
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Peer Reviewed:Yes
Rankings:VHB Ranking / C
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt