I work for a large UK-based clothing retailer. After some initial customer testing with our product details page (on our website) there has been some debate on the following question:

Do customers react better to lifestyle-based product photography or shots of clothing on a mannequin?

My personal guess is that the majority of users will favour the lifestyle type images and distance themselves from the rather bland mannequin style. The mannequin style strikes me as somewhat cold in an business that tried to instill a sense of fashion (which by definition is creative).

However I like to think I'm a practical fellow and so I'm seeking any established research that would support - or discredit - my theory. Can sales conversion rates be improved (increased) with the use of lifestyle imagery (showing live models interacting/wearing) the products, as opposed to person-less mannequin based photographs?

Thank you to anyone who can point me in the right directions of any such research.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You can also try to ask a similar question on the user experience stack exchange, as people there would have more experience with how people are affected by stock photography $\endgroup$
    – Alex Stone
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a user experience question. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristianHummeluhr There's a certain component of the (unfortunately jargon-laden) neuromarketing that is being talked about in business schools. I think that's why we held on to this at that time. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ @ChuckSherrington Hey Chuck! There's definitely a line to walk on closing questions that aren't necessarily cognitive, but may have a cognitive answer (as AliceD's recent take on qualia showed). I re-voted to close as UX for three reasons: the question is very old, it is primarily a UX question with possible cogsci answers, and (unlike the qualia question) is far too localized to serve as a duplicate-closing question for similar future questions. This may be better suited for chat or Meta, though. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 7:14


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