The sense of touch is highly linked to the creation of emotion and perceived value making it an essential element in the shopping experience. But, with no real substitute for touching a sweater or feeling the quality of a pair of shoes, we’re left to do our best to simulate an in-store experience with virtual fitting rooms, images that show details and texture and videos that explain features and benefits.
Not too long ago, the chatter was all about brick and mortar going away, but our brains are hardwired to be hands-on. Online retailers are now making a move to build their own physical stores or offer their products in existing stores in an attempt to merge the two worlds and once again appeal to all of our senses. It’s especially true with apparel and accessory brands where an online browser might be more likely to become a buyer if they’re able to inspect products in person. According to a JLL research report, E-commerce retailers are planning 850 stores during the next 5 years and more apparel retailers are jumping on the try-before-you-buy bandwagon. The influential sense of touch is very much influencing these trends.