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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.

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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 –  Alex Stone Oct 30 '12 at 16:23
Thanks Alex, good suggestion. –  Adam C Oct 31 '12 at 11:09

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