Can Consumers Forgo the Need to Touch Products? An Investigation of Nonhaptic Situational Factors in an Online Context

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Touch is an important source of information for consumers, and there is much to learn about its role in an online purchase decision context where the ability to touch products is not (at least currently) possible. The present investigation examines three nonhaptic situation-specific factors that moderate the relationship between haptic motivation and consumer responses. The results indicate that positive mood, price promotions, and level of situation-specific product expertise are influential, yielding greater purchase intentions and product judgment confidence when touch is not available. Additionally, the findings of the investigation suggest that imagining a Web site is comparable to actually viewing a Web site. Several implications for consumer behavior research and online marketers are discussed.