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Does more sense make sense? An empirical test of high and low interactive retail technology

Aimee Riedel (School of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia)
Rory Francis Mulcahy (School of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 13 May 2019

Issue publication date: 8 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into whether “more sense makes sense” when attempting to encourage consumers to purchase retail products using technology; that is, does engaging senses in addition to visual and aural senses, such as haptic touch, through interactive retail technology lead to an easier and more enjoyable consumption experience of retail products for consumers, while also enhancing service provider outcomes? To test this assumption (“more sense makes sense”), this study empirically examines whether differences are present in the consumer experience (usefulness, ease of use and customer-perceived value) and service provider outcomes (satisfaction and purchase intentions) across retail technologies with and without haptic touch enabled.


The study randomly allocated participants to either the haptic touch (haptic touch, visual and aural senses, n = 135) or no haptic touch (visual and aural senses only, n = 182) interactive retail technology condition. The data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance.


The data provide support for the use of high-interactive technology achieved through the inclusion of haptic touch by showing it to provide a more visually appealing, easy to use, enjoyable and entertaining experience. However, the results also provide insight into boundaries of where the use of haptic touch does not significantly increase outcomes. Overall, the results suggest high-interactive retail technology using haptic touch provides a more entertaining experience for consumers, which leads to increased satisfaction with service providers, but this does not translate into a significant increase in purchase intentions.


This study examines the consumer and service provider benefits and limitations of using haptic touch in interactive retail technology. The effects of haptic touch for both the consumer and service provider have not previously been empirically examined thoroughly in a technological setting.



The authors would like to express appreciation to Bonny Morlak and Ben Thomas from Tiltsta for their support and access to their interactive technology. Further appreciation is extended to Advance Queensland for facilitating the partnership between researchers and industry partners in the development of this project. The authors would also like to thank Professor Richard Burns for his insightful comments on early editions of this manuscript.


Riedel, A. and Mulcahy, R.F. (2019), "Does more sense make sense? An empirical test of high and low interactive retail technology", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 331-343.



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