Using a mobile device increases someone's likelihood of viewing more products, buying more and even paying more for them
Why? The answer is in your hand.
A sense of touch assures us of our choices and gives us more confidence to buy. So online shoppers viewing products on a mobile device and using a touchscreen are more likely to buy than if they were using a desktop computer. It's because there’s something about touching a product – or its image in the case of mobile users – that makes us more likely to buy it.
Now you might think you're not so impressionable and your fingertips are unlikely to influence your decision making process. But we’re not just making this up, it’s been talked about for donkey's years and is referred to in psychology as the endowment effect.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a clothing store the sales assistant hands you the product so you can touch it? They do this to instil a sense of ownership, which is proven to override our more rational selves and leave us with an inflated sense of the item’s value. The same thing happens when when we shop on a mobile device.
The swiping motion mirrors the kind of hand actions we use to assess the physical qualities of a product, and may emotionally impact our mobile buying decisions. So when we’re faced with a product online we can zoom in, view it from different angles and the power of touch takes over. This is good news for e-commerce sites, but means that their mobile experience needs to be up to scratch in order to give customers an experience they won't abandon.
Across the globe, mobile is the fastest growing method of shopping. This is a trend that’s set to increase as retailers react to demand and provide a good mobile experience for their customers. Recent research predicts that by 2024 mobile spending will have topped £53 billion, so by our reckoning that’s a market you want to be tapping into.
Retailers need to be wary of the endowment effect as technologies that rely on voice commands and eye movements, such as Google Glass, are adopted. Their use could seriously harm retailers’ profits if they overlook the sense of touch. As shopping becomes a more complicated human behaviour, businesses need to factor in tactility to the purchasing process.
So what are you waiting for? With the mobile market only set to grow, websites need to be carefully designed in order to reap the rewards.
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