Sensory Similarity: A Physical Product Perception in Online Context
Research in marketing recently demonstrated that touch-based devices lead to higher product evaluations when compared to traditional interfaces (Brasel SA, Gips J, J Consum Psychol 24(2):226–233, 2014; Shen H, Zhang M, Krishna A, J Market Res 53: 745–758, 2016). In this research, we aim to better understand the impact of sensory similarity related to product tactile cues, of which we focus on the tactile experience, on product evaluation. We define sensory similarity as the extent to which an indirect sensory experience mimics a traditional in store sensory experience with the product. With two experiments, we show that in online environment, the interface touch is not considered as a diagnostic, but consumers’ experience is enhanced with online tactile stimulation. Yet, we also show that direct tactile stimulation becomes a piece of information when textures are unfamiliar. Based on previous researches on the absence of direct product touch in online environments, we bring another point of view regarding the way of stimulating touch via interfaces (Schlosser A, J Consum Res 30(2):184–199, 2003).