Under the rapid development of the sharing economy, short-term rental has become prevent in recent years. However, how to promote consumer purchases is an important practical issue for short-term rental platforms. This study aims to explore the promoting effects of listing photos on short-term rental purchases in a representative Chinese room-sharing platform — Xiaozhu.com. Based on information adoption theory and cue utilization theory, this paper applies the economotrics model that integrates image processing techniques to estimate the effects of listing photos. The results show that the photos taken by professional photographers from Xiaozhu.com and listing photos with high brightness and clarity can help enhance consumers’ willingness to book, whereas the hue of listing photos does not significantly increase renter reservations. The findings provide useful guiding suggestions for short-term rental platforms and room providers, which can help them bring a better purchasing experience to consumers.
Wu, Jiang; Zheng, Xinru; and Cai, Jingxuan, "Does Online Product Presentation Matter: An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of Listing Photos on Short-term Rental Purchases" (2021). WHICEB 2021 Proceedings. 23.