‘Consumers use their hands to connect with brands.’ How to ‘touch’ the product in a digital world?

Most of the retail marketing experts agree that appealing to customer’s senses results in better sales figures. Sensory experience builds connection with the brands, not to say directly influences purchase decision. Retail environment is a perfect world for creating ideal sensory experience and there is no doubt that most of retailers use this opportunity to influence their customers. The problem starts when your product is available on-line only, when your interaction with a prospect is very limited and you have to find a way to appeal to your audience the most effective way.

touch in marketing

Lawrence Williams and Joshua Ackerman in the article ‘Please Touch the Merchandise’ say;

‘In addition to the more common sensory marketing approaches that focus on sight, sound or smell, research has now begun to highlight the forgotten sense of touch. We tend to think about consumers using touch primarily because they have to — in order to examine packages and to fill shopping carts. However, touch can also create symbolic connections between people and products, and between buyers and sellers. Physically holding products can create a sense of psychological ownership, driving must-have purchase decisions.’

So how to make your customers ‘feel and touch’ the product in a digital world?  The answer is quite simple. First of all- by shifting your prospects attention from tangible benefits of a product to experiencing the brand. On the physical level when you can use mouse, touchpad, touchscreen or other device helping you to connect with the company. Implementing haptic technology might be an answer for more developed brands relying heavily on the sense of touch. Scientists from all over the world have studied sense of touch for years what resulted in implementing the knowledge about receptors and nerves connection into product development. More about haptic technology you can read in the article ‘How haptic technology works’.

  • Keyboard, mouse and all that tech– since Apple had released first Iphone so much had changed. Their attention to details, design and functionality quickly became infectious at other fields. Samsung for example has invested a lot of money in developing authentic, very advanced experience with their devices. You can use them not only for calling, but playing, experiencing virtual reality in Samsung goggles. One of the cell phones can provide the user with 22 touch sensations!

touch in a digital world

  • Haptic tech– sensation of the real thing. Application of haptic devices is countless. The main concept is to provide sensorial experience for the user. From the textures of products to movements. Great tool which is constantly being developed. To read and see how it works, you can check out this website: http://www.dentsable.com/haptic-application-videos.htm or watch some videos on YouTube provided by CyberGloveSystems.

haptic brain

  • 3D printers– touch the product designed by a company. Anything what can be liquidised and put back into solid can also printed. Imagine your perfectly shaped chocolate, precise metal parts or plastic toys. If you are looking for your local printer, go to: https://www.3dhubs.com/ with countless already designed pieces, add your own design or find locally who is able to print what you want. 3D printing is on rise. Certainly it is a great solution for touch of exclusivity, great tool for marketers who want to engage their audience in co-creation.


It is worth coming back to the article ‘Please Touch the Merchandise’ to find out more about research in regards of influencing customers by sense of touch.

The study shows for example that:

‘Phones designed using metal rather than plastic casings, and heavy, solid packaging rather than light, plastic clamshell packaging may increase the value people perceive in the product itself.’

That applies to almost everything. Touching, experiencing the product is very likely to influence your prospect’s purchase decision. In a digital world it might be enhanced by providing customer with a set of images corresponding with certain sensations associated with the required perception of our brand. It is worth to dig into the topic a bit more and find out what colours, shapes, lines, sounds or images can help with that. Thus adding some value to your website or app by applying some omni channel, multisensory experience can be a clue to better conversion rate.


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