Body size similarity between model and shopper: mitigating the risk in online clothes purchasing

Jiska Eelen, Iina Ikonen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The body positivity movement has been growing over recent years, and increasingly many retailers have started to acknowledge this and have models with different body types present their products and services. While the impact of more “average” rather than skinny models on brand perceptions has been studied in the past (mostly in advertising research), their role in assisting specific product evaluations and purchase decisions has not been investigated. We study how presenting clothes on differently sized models influences consumers who are shopping for clothes online. Across four experiments we find that consumers who perceive the model’s body to be more like themselves perceive a lower level of risk regarding the fit and appearance of the item. This, in turn, results in higher intentions to purchase the item. We discuss the implications and offer recommendations to online retailers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2022
EventEuropean Marketing Academy Annual Conference 2022 - Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 24 May 202227 May 2022


ConferenceEuropean Marketing Academy Annual Conference 2022


  • Online retailing
  • Model size
  • Visual merchandising
  • E-commerce


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