Tactile marketing occupies an increasingly important place in the sales strategy of companies today. In stores, for example, customers often feel the need to touch and handle products in order to assess their quality, which will influence their purchasing behavior.
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What is tactile marketing?
Tactile marketing is one of the techniques used in sensory marketing. It consists of encouraging customers to use touch to encourage the purchase of a product or service. Tactile marketing therefore contributes to the sensory identity of the product and through its tactile identity.
Tactile marketing is based on a set of tools (materials or technologies) intended to increase the sales of a product thanks to the tactile sensations it provides. Tactile marketing is a technique applicable to products (cars, clothes, telephones, etc.), but can also induce a feeling in relation to the services provided by a company. For example, in a hotel, the comfort of the beds, as well as the textures, fabrics and materials used, give customers a precise idea of the quality of the service provided.
Tactile marketing goes through different elements.
- The texture of the products.
- Product packaging materials.
- Elements of the layout and decoration of points of sale.
- The thermal and hygrometric atmosphere.
- Contacts between customers and sellers.
The experience offered by tactile marketing comes in two forms:
- instrumental touch, which suggests to customers to handle a product in order to learn more about its qualities;
- autotelic touch, which offers customers the possibility of feeling a sensation of pleasure and comfort that encourages them to make their gesture last.
What are the benefits of tactile marketing?
For companies, tactile marketing is a real lever to boost the sale of their products or services. The constant search for new materials, new shapes and new textures allows them to respond more precisely to consumer demands. The goal will then be to associate different tactile sensations so that the products themselves encourage customers to buy them. This research also leads to a virtuous circle of innovation. Companies invest in R&D to renew the materials used and create new sensations to transmit to their customers.
Tactile marketing influences how customers perceive a product. Due to its intimate character, the sense of touch allows customers to familiarize themselves with the products and induces an instant sense of belonging. This is also a good way to get specific information about the product they want to buy, including its functions and quality.
Touch facilitates the customer experience and the memorization of this experience, especially when the product is handled. The experience of a customer who touches a product at a point of sale will have a positive impact on their purchasing decision, but also on their loyalty.
Examples of businesses using tactile marketing
Nature and Discoveries
Nature et Découvertes is one of the first brands to have used sensory marketing, and in particular tactile marketing. In store, all products are made available to customers. The latter then have the possibility of touching and manipulating them in complete freedom. There are also testers available for customers to try out the products.
Combining fondant with crunch is what Danette wanted to bet on to differentiate itself and appeal to the youngest. This decision to offer a contrast of textures allowed the creation of a dessert cream that is as surprising as it is delicious: Danette Crousti. This dessert has everything to awaken the taste buds of children, as well as their sense of touch thanks to its crispy balls, but also by the creamy texture of its cream.
The Italian ready-to-wear brand Diesel used touch to optimize sales of its “Fuel for life” fragrance. The perfume bottle is presented in a rigid fabric packaging decorated with touches of leather and straps. This packaging was designed to perfectly match the essence of the perfume, the clientele and also Diesel’s brand image.
Cosmetics brand Sephora also uses tactile marketing. But its strategy does not stop only with the touch of the material or the shape of its products. The flooring has also been carefully studied! Each of the brand’s boutiques has a red carpet with a pleasant and silky texture that brings comfort and lightness to customers. Thus, once entering the store, customers have only one desire: to stroll as long as possible on the shelves.
For the promotion of the film adaptation of “Peter and Elliott the dragon”, the brand JC Decaux carried out the campaign “Touch a dragon for the first time” with the collaboration of Disney. Tactile posters representing a dragon’s coat were used so that passers-by could touch it, even stroke it, and thus live a unique and playful experience.
The Lush brand offers handmade cosmetic products in different forms (liquid, solid, gel, etc.) with original textures. What awakens the touch of customers who can take charge and test the products in the store. Their packaging, on the other hand, is smooth and natural.
Apple has long recognized the importance of the use of touch and the need for consumers to manipulate their surroundings. This is why, in the brand’s stores, customers can use all the devices at their disposal. Computers, iPhones, iPads and Mac books are displayed on tables so that customers can learn and connect with the products on offer.
Among the concrete examples of tactile marketing, the cosmetics brand Yves Rocher has opted for an approach based on human contact. In stores, contact and proximity between customers and salespeople are therefore emphasized. Salespeople are always on the side of their customers to provide them with information or have them try a product.
Selfridges, an English department store based in London, had the good idea to set up a temporary “pop-up” gym in its point of sale. This facility was designed to promote a new range of wellness products. Customers could thus enjoy a pleasant moment of relaxation during which they could deploy all their senses, including their touch.
Abercrombie & Fitch
The Abercrombie & Fitch clothing brand uses soft-touch textiles. In store, customers have the opportunity to touch the brand’s products in order to assess their quality. The goal of Abercrombie & Fitch’s tactile marketing strategy is to prove to its customers that their purchases will be of a quality bordering on luxury.
The theme of softness was chosen for the furnishings of the Phildar stores. The balls of yarn are arranged so that customers can touch them as much as they want. These products still occupy a central place in stores.
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