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THE POWER OF BEAUTY: LEVERAGING ON DEEP LEARNING TO DISENTANGLE THE EFFECT OF IMAGE AESTHETICS ON ONLINE PURCHASE

By Xiaohui Liu, Yijing Li, Eric Lim, Yong Liu and Chee-Wee Tan

Abstract

Visuals have been deemed as one of the primary marketing formats in service e-tailing environ-ments to compensate for the abstract and intangible nature of services. Yet, despite the overwhelm-ing empirical evidence attesting to the importance of aesthetics in product and website designs, there is a dearth of research on how the beauty of images depicting service offerings could affect consumers’ behaviour. Subscribing to Stimuli-Organism-Response (S-O-R) framework, we attempt to elucidate the power of aesthetics in shaping consumers’ cognitive and emotional responses when they are exposed to the portal image of a service offering. Additionally, we endeavour to explore the heterogeneity of consumers’ responses or their centrality of visual aesthetics, to such images. Blending computer vision and deep learning techniques, we advance a computable and decomposable aesthetic assessment method for scoring the aesthetics of portal images belonging to more than 299,000 local service offerings on a leading Chinese group buying site. We then em-ploy Propensity Score Matching (PSM) to yield initial evidence demonstrating that aesthetics ex-erts significant effects on the online sales of services

Publisher: AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Year: 2019
OAI identifier: oai:aisel.aisnet.org:ecis2019_rip-1053

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