Haptic information impacts online purchase behavior: The role of price framing and consumer characteristics: An abstract

Document Type



Haptic information can serve as an indicator of product quality and may be used to reduce consumer uncertainty about the product, its quality and value (Peck and Childers 2003). However, when other quality or value indicators are present, haptic information may not be as important, as the consumer may rely on other indicators to assess product quality and value. The way the selling price is framed—as a regular price or a discounted price—can serve as such an indicator, as it signals quality on one hand and influences perceptions of sacrifice on the other hand. This research aims to identify how the effect of provided haptic product information (specifically, touch and feel) on consumer online perceptions and shopping behavior is moderated by the provided price/price discount information. Further, since consumers vary in terms of how important price/price discounts are to them and to what extent they actually utilize price-quality inferences when evaluating products, additional moderators studied include the extent of consumer sale proneness and consumer price-quality inferences. We conducted an online experiment with a 2 (low regular price vs. discounted price) × 2 (haptic description present vs. absent) between-subjects design. The respondents evaluated a mock webpage listing a product (leather gloves), its description and price, and responded to questions about their perceptions of the product, shopping intentions towards the product, their general consumer and shopping characteristics, and demographics. Structural equation modelling was used to test the proposed relationships. The results indicate that providing a touch and feel description for products with salient material properties can positively impact purchase intention of sale prone consumers and/or those who make strong price-quality inferences, especially when products are offered at regular low prices. However, when products are discounted, the original price serves as a stronger quality signal, making product haptic description less useful for quality assessment. The results provide evidence that presenting product haptic descriptions can impact consumers’ quality perceptions of the product, which in turn, result in higher purchase confidence and perceived acquisition value. Such perceptions then result in higher purchase intention for the product. These findings add specificity to extant knowledge on the relationship between quality perceptions and purchase intentions (Rodrigues et al. 2017) by identifying the underlying mechanism for this relationship and proposing individual characteristics (i.e., sale proneness and price-quality interference) and situational factors (discount framing and product information) that serve as boundary conditions.

Publication Title

From Micro to Macro: Dealing with Uncertainties in the Global Marketplace

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page









haptics, online shopping, perceived quality, price framing