How Touch Screens Increase Engagement

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Before going to any store, even pre-COVID, for more than 80% of consumers, the buying process relies on online research before in-person shopping1. While this may not be surprising, it is important to consider how prospects engage in pre-purchase research and the most effective ways to engage your prospect during their purchase journey. This article will discuss how touch screens encourage more engagement and increase conversions.

The Impact Of The Touch-Based Buying Process

More than 96% of consumers own touch screens (e.g., phones, tablets)4. Over 80% of those owners use touch screens to research items they will purchase even when going into a store physically3. More than half of in-store shoppers use their phones to research products online3. If you have a digital or brick and mortar business, you should be maximizing the Touch-Based research and buying process to increase conversions and customers.

“Over 80% of those owners use touch screens to research items they will purchase even when going into a store physically”

The Relevance Of The Touch-Based Buying Process

The reason the Touch-Based buying process is so effective is due to the underlying neuroscience and psychology. When users are engaging in shopping and its relevant content using a Touch-Based device (i.e., a touch screen on a phone or tablet) instead of a desktop environment, certain neurohormones are increased2. Specifically, these hormones elicit positive emotions2. Critically, Touch-Based shopping is associated with greater engagement and higher purchase intentions2. All of these neuroscientific associations lead to higher conversion rates and more purchases. If users’ intentions are to purchase a product (like a mountain bike) for pleasure or leisure (as opposed to need-based products – like toilet paper), then engagement and conversion rates are even higher2.

“You should be maximizing the Touch-Based research and buying process to increase conversions”

Cognitive Load And User Engagement

Cognitive load is a measure of the amount of effort required to understand the rules of a task (e.g., how to purchase a product). Cognitive load is also associated with how much information processing is related to a task. In summary cognitive load is how much does thinking prospect has to do to understand your offering5,6. The more a prospect has to do, the lower the conversion rate.

There are several techniques to reduce cognitive load out your webpage or app. Some of these include:

  • Shorten and simplify product description
  • Keep the landing page clean and tidy
  • Reduce the clutter of objects and tasks

When the cognitive load is low, prospects are more likely to become converted2. For your business, this means increased revenue. 

Low Cognitive Load And The Touch-Based Process

Low cognitive load combined with the Touch-Based process can increase a prospect’s positive emotions and increase purchase intent. To leverage all these points, your business should have its mobile website (or app) be very engaging (e.g., build an interactive webshop, or let them build their own products) and, critically, very easy to understand. Positively framed messaging encourages the prospect to feel good about themselves, and their decision to purchase your product will leverage the neuroscientific mechanisms that increase conversion.

Touch-Based Interactions Increase Conversion

The Touch-based process evidence demonstrates that, all other things being equal, your offering will have more engagement2. Since touch is one of the 5 senses and we rely on it to interact with our everyday world, prospects will feel more engaged with using a Touch-Based process to interact with your offering. When your business leverages Touch-Based interactions with visual interactions, you create a synergistic and scientifically based experience for your users and prospects. These methods lead to higher conversions and more efficient use of your marketing resources. 

If you’re interested in learning more about using Touch-Based strategies or Neuromarketing in general, drop us a line. We love to talk about best-practices in using scientific principles with cutting-edge marketing techniques to drive traffic and increase conversions.

  1. Capital, G. E. (2013). Study: 81% research online before making big purchases. Retailing Today. Chicago.
  2. Chung, S., Kramer, T., & Wong, E. M. (2018). Do touch interface users feel more engaged? The impact of input device type on online shoppers’ engagement, affect, and purchase decisions. Psychology & Marketing, 35(11), 795-806.
  3. Notari, M. P., Hielscher, M., & King, M. (2016). Educational apps ontology. In Mobile learning design (pp. 83-96). Springer, Singapore.
  4. Sheet, M. F. (2018). Pew Research Center. URL: https://www. pewresearch. org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/[accessed 2020-09-07].
  5. Paas, F. G., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. (1993). The efficiency of instructional conditions: An approach to combine mental effort and performance measures. Human factors, 35(4), 737-743.
  6. Sweller, J. (1988). Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning. Cognitive science, 12(2), 257-285.

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