But there are challenges in you depending on touch as a selling tactic:
- Some products are unpleasant for the customer to touch.
- Adults vary considerably in the degree of pleasure they derive from touching.
- There are cultures in which a shopper is offended by a salesperson asking them to hold products before making a purchase.
- Customers have little interest in an item on a rack or shelf when they’re thinking about who else has touched it. They feel disgusted at the idea the product could have been contaminated by other shoppers.
- Ecommerce allows few opportunities for the shopper to actually touch the product before purchase.
Of the two, the rotation produced more anticipation of the rewards of owning the product.
These findings could be generalized to in-store sales as well. There are those times you’ll choose to delay the shopper touching the item. In these cases, gently rotate the item while showing it to the shopper. Or with a large item, have the shopper walk around it for a little while before making contact.
This is a form of what researchers at University of Oxford and University of Milano call “affective ventriloquism.” Inquiries by those researchers discovered that a salesperson also can achieve the advantages of actual touch by emphasizing touch words—like soft, warm, or fluffy—and by the salesperson running their hands over products as they demonstrate them. Vision and hearing were evoking sensations of feeling the product.
When you head off the customer touching the item immediately, it doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding head on presentations, however. Consumers who seek power products such as red meat and sport utility vehicles like head-on portrayals.
Cornell University and University of Michigan researchers showed some consumers pictures of SUVs facing directly toward the viewer, while others were shown side views of the vehicles. The consumers seeing the head-on perspective gave higher average ratings of the SUV on words like “dominant” and “powerful.” With pictures of family sedans, there were no differences.
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers
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Reach Out for What Will Touch Your Shoppers
Head On In To Portray Power Products