At RapidImages we know that great images are crucial for every successful business. We are therefore very keen about new research within the topic of images and e-commerce, particularly since it is the heart of our business. The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council recently presented the study “To be visible online – visual marketing in digital and physical stores“ to the public. The researchers sought deeper knowledge of customer behavior in e-commerce stores, specifically looking at the importance of product images and packaging. Bengt Larsson, guideline strategist and image specialist at RapidImages, provided important knowledge of image composition and sequencing to the study.
Heat maps, which illustrate how consumers viewed the same image online with (upper line) and without (lower line) the presence of a person.
In the study, the participants were presented to different images and tasks to perform. The difference in how the participants responded to the tasks was studied using advanced eye-tracking techniques. With the technique, it is possible to identify and track where a person’s eyes look, and to visualize the gaze as heat maps as overlays on the screencasts. Our deep knowledge of images was used to create the measureable variations in the tasks.
One interesting result from the study states that: “[…] people in product images changes the impact of both images and products. Even though people in images attract much visual attention, they still do not steal much attention from the products in the images.” And that: “Consumers generally look longer at images where there are people present, both in print matter and on screens”.
The project was run by Stockholm School of Economics and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.