Recently I was walking through campus on my way back to my dorm and looked up momentarily from staring at my phone and stumbled unsafely down the sidewalk as I normally do to see a happy couple holding hands. Normally I am cool with PDA as long as it isn’t gross, but on this day the act of holding hands just looked weird and unnatural to me. My mind wandered as pondered back to my marketing class that I had just a few minutes before this profound experience and I thought to myself, how does physical touch influence markets?

Physical Touch increases compliance

Interpersonal touch can make or break a deal. Think about every bad hand shake you’ve ever gotten. Add up the cumulative uncomfortableness you felt and it probably led to pretty bad experience from that particular situation. A good handshake, however, brings a feeling of confidence that the person you are speaking with knows what he or she is talking about. It immediately makes you feel more comfortable and ready to listen whatever they have to say.

Some Tips on Touch

Research has shown that waitresses who touched their customers at some point along their customer experience received increasingly higher tips depending on the type of touch they received. When someone touches us even for a fraction of a second it strengthens the relationship ever so slightly so we feel more compelled to reciprocate their act of kindness.

Trying it on

Have you ever seen Birkenstocks? Probably. The truth is, they are kind of ugly. But if you try them on you will experience the beautiful experience that walking in a comfortable supportive provides. When Margo Fraser tried on Birkenstocks on her trip to germany she thought she would do the US a favor and bring them here. Trying to get into the wholesale business dominated by fashion shoes proved to be a challenge for Fraser, so she decided to take a different approach. She hosted an event where store owners could try them on for themselves and the brand took off.  

Your touch screen won’t cut it

Marketers are pairing digital strategy with physical API’S. Shopping online can make customers feel more unsure of their purchases. Will it fit? Will it be the quality that it describes on the website? Companies like Warby Parker try to alleviate this uncertainty by sending the physical product to feel before purchasing to ensure customer satisfaction. This not only brings a higher retention rate of customers along the customer journey, but also strengthens the brand name.

Article by Madison Mohns

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