Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fear of ’cooties’ keeps shoppers from the till

04.05.2006


New research shows shoppers are much less likely to buy an article of clothing if they think another person has already touched it.



"Consumer contact with products is a double-edged sword. Prior research has shown people like to touch products, but now we’ve found that they really don’t like it if someone else has touched them first," said Dr. Jennifer Argo a professor in the University of Alberta School of Business.

Argo and her colleagues found that not only were shoppers much less inclined to buy a shirt if they believed someone else had already touched it, shoppers also indicated that the value of the product had been diminished if they knew it had been touched. The researchers also determined that "disgust" was the underlying reason for the participants’ opinions, and that the level of disgust increased as the perception of the extent to which the article had been touched or tried on also increased.


The results of the research are published this month in the Journal of Marketing.

The researchers constructed an elaborate experiment in the U of A bookstore that involved more than 200 participants. Argo instructed participants to enter the store and look for a specific t-shirt. The participants believed they were sent to evaluate marketing aspects of the store; however, they were, in fact, being set up for a survey to see if they wanted to buy the t-shirt.

Using text messaging with store employees, Argo arranged for the participants to be exposed to one of a number of scenarios involving the t-shirt, ranging from learning that there was one shirt left in the store and another customer was trying it on, to learning that a shirt was hanging on the rack.

"The power of the effects of touch on the products surprised me, especially that it would carry over into how much people said they would spend to buy it. People devalued the shirt even when there was no actual contamination, just the perception that it had been touched."

Argo believes retailers could learn from this study.

"I would eliminate any cues that indicated someone has touched displayed articles," she said. "I would keep them folded and refold them quickly--as many stores do--and I’d get clothes out of change rooms quickly and eliminate change racks."

"I think this research shows that shoppers display irrational behaviors," Argo added. "We come into contact with objects that other people have touched all the time, but I guess we never outgrow the simple notion of cooties, especially when we are reminded of them."

Ryan Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>