To touch or not to touch; that is the question. Should consumers always be encouraged to touch products, and does it always alter product perception?
Article first published online: 7 FEB 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Psychology & Marketing
Volume 28, Issue 3, pages 256–266, March 2011
How to Cite
Marlow, N. and Jansson-Boyd, C. V. (2011), To touch or not to touch; that is the question. Should consumers always be encouraged to touch products, and does it always alter product perception?. Psychol. Mark., 28: 256–266. doi: 10.1002/mar.20391
- Issue published online: 7 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 7 FEB 2011
It has previously been suggested that consumers' product evaluations are positively affected by tactile interaction. However, it is not known if it is applicable to products that people usually touch for brief periods of time. This study sets out to explore whether it is possible to influence consumers' tactile perception of fast-moving consumer goods by altering the surface texture. In this study individual tactile sensing and visual appreciation were compared with the combined visual and tactile sensing of surface textures for two types of products (soap and biscuits). Three types of textures on the outside of either a soap or biscuit box and three separate sample swatches of the textures used on the boxes were used in the study. The three soap or biscuit boxes were visually presented to the participants. This was followed by a blind haptic evaluation of the three textures, and then by a combined visual and tactile evaluation of three differently textured boxes (either soap or biscuit boxes). The results suggest that a consumer's perception of the packaging of fast-moving consumer goods is affected more by vision than by touch, which raises some questions with regard to when marketers should encourage consumers to engage in extensive tactile interaction prior to purchase. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.