Sensory-enabling Technology in M-commerce: The Effect of Haptic Stimulation on Consumer Purchasing Behavior

Margot Racat and Daria Plotkina
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 27, Number 3, 2023, pp. 354-384.


Haptics are innovative sensory-enabling technologies that can be used to improve consumers’ online shopping experiences. These technologies can be used in addition to other actual sensory stimulation, such as visual and auditory. However, little is known of how the addition of haptics affects consumers’ mobile shopping behavior. Therefore, this article examines the effect of the presence of haptic feedback (i.e., vibrations) when shopping on a retailer mobile app. Drawing on the results of three quantitative studies, the findings show that the presence of haptic feedback influences consumer behavior, but consumers’ perceptions modify the outcome, which is also moderated by individual need for touch. Moreover, the findings herein show a sequential mediating effect of psychological and affective variables on purchasing outcomes. These findings therefore stress the importance of considering haptics as a potential economic value for online shopping. Accordingly, we suggest that retailers should be more aware of their online sensory strategies and think about disclaimers and personalizing the consumer interface (e.g., turning off the haptic feedback).