University of Twente Student Theses


Online shopping and the absence of touch : finding the best strategy to improve the online shopping experience

Bakker, A. (2015) Online shopping and the absence of touch : finding the best strategy to improve the online shopping experience.

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Abstract:It has been suggested that goods requiring multisensory input (touch) will be less likely to be purchased over the Internet (e.g. clothing). This study explores the efficiency of verbal and visual combinations that can be used to improve the online product experience. The research question is: “In what way can verbal descriptions of tactile properties and additional visual information (pictures with zoom or videos) compensate for the absence of touch in the online shopping experience?” In this study an experimental approach was used to investigate the influence of product description, visual information and product quality on the online shopping experience, for consumers with a low and high need for touch. Eight different stimuli with combinations were created and participants were asked to evaluate the product as well as the product presentation. The eight conditions included a luxury brand or a fast fashion brand, a normal- or a tactile product description and a picture with zoom function or a video. Results show that web shops should use a tactile product description in combination with video or zoom function when selling a luxury brand. However, when selling a fast fashion brand it is suggested to use a normal product description and a video. These combinations provide the richest online shopping experience. When considering the perceived comfort of the product and purchase intention of consumers, it is more useful to present a zoom function. These results can help to understand the online shopping experience of consumers with a high need for touch. Furthermore, marketers can use these results when designing new mobile shopping applications or interactive web shops. At last, the findings provide more insight into the multisensory marketing research area.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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