This article responds to a call for research on the context-specific effects of human images in different online contexts. This study investigates how inherent facial expressions in a consultant’s profile image influence the likelihood to contact tendency of small business-to-business website visitors. The results from a conjoint study (n = 67) demonstrate that a consultant’s profile image with a smiling facial expression induced a higher likelihood to contact tendency. While the absence of a profile image reduced this tendency, relatively more than an image with a neutral facial expression. In light of these results, implications for small businesses as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.
The study is presented at Forskning.no.

Interacting with Computers, 2019. Advance online publication

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/iwc/iwz005