Touchers Beware: The Truth Behind Shopping on a Tablet

boston_touch_devicesThis year, more than any year prior, touch devices are accounting for more online sales.  It turns out that there is more to this than just convenience of mobility.  New research out of Boston College found that consumers are purchasing more on these devices because the action of touching the screen gives them a higher affinity for the product and, in turn, is translating into sales.  Consumers who are an iPad to shop online have a higher rate of impulse buys than a consumer perusing the web on their laptop.

Humans feel ownership for products that they touch.  So brick-and-mortar stores have had the advantage on ecommerce due to the customer’s ability to touch the product.  That was until the evolution of mobile devices.  The researchers at Boston College found that consumers who were participating found that the experience of reaching out and touching a product on their tablet screens gave them a very similar gratification to reaching out and touching the merchandise in a store. Simply imagining touching the product gave consumers the same possessive feelings as consumers actually touching the product.

That evidence has clear implications for consumers: toucher beware. Once you come into contact with something in a store, you might be more willing to buy it, since you already feel like you own it.

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