Consumers more likely to buy products they touch

January 8th, 2009 - 1:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 8 (ANI): A new study has found that consumers are willing to pay more for products they touch.

In a simple experiment with an inexpensive coffee mug, the researchers found that by simply touching the coffee mug for a few seconds created an attachment that led people to pay more for the item.

The researchers found that people become personally attached to the mug within the first 30 seconds of contact.

People who held the coffee mug longer than a few seconds seemed not only more compelled to outbid others in an auction setting, but they were also more willing to bid more than the retail price for that item.

The amazing part of this study is that people can become almost immediately attached to something as insignificant as a mug, said lead author of the study James Wolf, who started the work while he was a doctoral student at Ohio State.

By simply touching the mug and feeling it in their hands, many people begin to feel like the mug is, in fact, their mug. Once they begin to feel it is theirs, they are willing to go to greater lengths to keep it.

Wolf said that strong feelings of ownership could begin in as little as 30 seconds after initial contact.

During the study, the researchers tested 144 people at a large university. People were asked to bid on mugs in either an open or closed auction after inspecting a coffee mug firsthand for various lengths of time.

Participants were given the mug at the beginning of both experiments. People in the short-duration treatments were asked to inspect a coffee mug for 10 seconds, while those in the longer treatments were asked to inspect it for 30 seconds.

The results showed that people who held the item for 30 seconds bid significantly higher than people who touched the mug for 10 seconds.

The higher bids were particularly significant given the fact that the researchers used seemingly insignificant, inexpensive mugs, said co-author Hal Arkes.

We took the most minimal type of attachment; not a new car or a suit, but a mug. And we found significant differences in consumer valuations that begin in a matter of seconds, said Arkes, who is a professor emeritus of psychology at Ohio State. (ANI)

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