retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Over the years, a common complaint I've heard about e-commerce is that it has the potential to eliminate or vastly reduce impulse shopping. But, maybe mobile shopping ends up being a boon to impulse purchasing … because shopping with a mobile device ends up being a lot more like shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores than might've been expected.

The Boston Globe has a story saying that new Boston College research suggests that "consumers feel a deeper affinity for products they touch on a screen than those selected using a laptop touchpad or a mouse."

According to the story, "When consumers participating in the study reached out and touched an image on a touchscreen, the experience nearly rivaled their feelings of touching merchandise in a brick-and-mortar store, according to the measure of satisfaction used in the study … That’s because technology has made it easier for consumers to feel as if their iPads are an extension of themselves and easier for retailers to capitalize on those feelings, industry analysts said. Many e-tailers retain credit card information to allow shoppers to buy with a single click — or touch — to make buying easier as well as faster."

“It’s kind of surprising how strong the effect is,” S.Adam Brasel, a Boston College business professor and lead author of the study, tells the Globe. “And we’re not necessarily aware it’s taking place.”

And one expert on the subject says that as digital interfaces get more sophisticated, people may find themselves even more compelled to shop. And buy. And buy again.
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