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The invisible hand of touch: testing a tactile sensation-choice satisfaction model in online shopping

Shaban, A., Saraeva, A. ORCID:, Rose, S. ORCID: and Clark, M. (2024) The invisible hand of touch: testing a tactile sensation-choice satisfaction model in online shopping. Journal of Sensory Studies, 39 (1). e12897. ISSN 1745-459X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/joss.12897


This study tests a model of the relationship between online store sensory environments and consumer responses using the Stimulus-Organism-Response (S-O-R) paradigm. The aim is to a) examine the ability of three online product presentation formats (OPPFs) to induce tactile sensations; b) identify the effect of tactile sensations upon choice satisfaction and c) examine the mediating role of cognitive effort and affective experience. Videos are found to induce the greatest tactile sensations followed by zoom image while static image is found to induce the least. Furthermore, the more tactile sensations consumers experience while shopping online, the higher their emotional experience, resulting in lower cognitive effort and higher consumer choice satisfaction. Affective experience is found to mediate the tactile sensations and choice satisfaction relationship. The original contribution of the research is a newly validated model of OPPFs, tactile sensations, customer experience and choice satisfaction that extends theoretical understanding of variables previously untested. Practical Applications: The study offers practical results from which small to medium sized, or new start-up, online clothing retailers can benefit. The study shows the advantages of using OPPFs such as videos and zoom images on retail websites in order to assist shoppers by enhancing the sensory buying experience. Such online retailers may not be able to afford the investment in more complex and costly advanced technologies such as the use of augmented reality in virtual mirroring. The study shows that when online retailers provide videos and/or zoom images on their websites, they allow shoppers to experience greater tactile sensations while evaluating and selecting a product compared to only being able to view it as a static image. Online clothing retailers can continue to rely on these technologies to compensate shoppers for the lack of touch in the online shopping context which is so important when purchasing clothing.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:114664


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