Avoid Image Overload in Christmas Product Descriptions

If your all-singing, all-dancing ecommerce site is heavily laden with product images, you could be shooting yourself in the foot this Christmas.

In the second of today's posts from the Journal of Consumer Research, I'm looking at a study that suggests plain text can actually help shoppers to make better buying decisions - particularly at the point of purchase.

Claudia Townsend of the University of Miami and Barbara E Kahn of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania looked at how consumers interpret visual information when it appears as small or large groups of pictures.

When is an Ad not an Ad?

The online landscape is a complex one, and consumers must increasingly interpret messages from multiple sources - including, of course, social media and user-generated content.

But how do shoppers interpret text differently when it is presented in a different format - for example, when the same wording is used in an advertisement or in a supposedly user-generated review?

Sell Me on a Monday

or, How the Christmas buy-cycle is shifting gear

November 29th 2013 marks this year's Black Friday, the first Friday after Thanksgiving when US shoppers typically begin buying Christmas gifts in earnest.

But for retailers based online, it might be worth waiting until the weekend is over before ramping up any festive offers to try and pull in the crowds.