If you are still on the fence whether to implement 360 product views into your eCommerce strategy, consider this study by Tibert Verhagen, Charlotte Vonkeman, and Willemijn van Dolen that was published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Vol 19, No 7. 

The study looked into three product presentation options to find out how they affect buyer's ability to evaluate products online and their impact on buyer's purchase decision:

  • Still images
  • 360 product views
  • Virtual mirror

Almost four hundred undergraduate students participated in this study in Netherlands in 2016 where they rated various forms of perceived product tangibility and their purchase intentions using product pages that had all three options on Ray-Ban.com.

While we encourage you to browse through the entire paper, the conclusion they arrive to makes perfect sense: virtual mirror is a winner followed by 360 product photography. Interestingly, the difference between the virtual mirror and 360 product photography seems very close to the gap between 360 and still product photos.

As a take away from this study consider this: buyers who interact with 360 product images are 14% more likely to purchase a product than when there are still photos alone.

Not surprisingly, adding a "virtual mirror" gives an extra 15% boost. And that's not all as we have to also consider that the improved buyer experience ("perceived diagnosticity") can reduce product returns and improve the overall shopping satisfaction.

As per the study, the perceived diagnosticity is 17% better when 360 product views are present on the pages.

Another interesting research by folks at University of Hong Kong and Stanford (published in the Journal of Consumer Research) looked into the affect of having multiple additional images of the same product on buyer's ability to compare and decide while shopping online. Surprisingly, participants who saw extra photos were "both less confident about their decision and liked and valued the product less than those who saw only one photo for each product".

This suggests that you may benefit even more by having a single 360 product view and skip the rest of the gallery images altogether.