The Impact of Touchscreen Devices on Consumers' Choice Confidence and Purchase Likelihood

Johannes Hattula*, Walter Herzog, Ravi Dhar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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As traditional computer interfaces (mouse, keyboard) are increasingly replaced by touchscreens, an interesting question that arises is how, and for whom, might this shift in interface technology affect choice processes and outcomes. Our main proposition is that consumers who gain confidence in their choices from touching products in physical contexts—that is, who are high in instrumental need-for-touch—experience an analogous boost in confidence when they make product choices using touchscreen-based devices. Four studies support our proposition and demonstrate that consumers with high instrumental need-for-touch are more confident in their choices, less likely to see risks associated with their choices, and they are more likely to make (vs. defer) purchase decisions when using touchscreens. Our studies explore the mechanism behind these effects, indicate that consumers find these effects undesirable, and show that informing consumers about our findings helps them to become less susceptible to these effects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarketing Letters
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)35-53
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 16 March 2022.


  • Confidence
  • Haptics
  • Need-for-touch
  • Purchase likelihood
  • Sensory marketing
  • Touchscreen

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