Journal of Marketing Science ›› 2022, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (4): 1-17.

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Haptic-restriction Strategies Will Backfire: The Haptic-restriction—Variety-seeking Effect

Liu Wumei,Zhang Dong   

  1. Liu Wumei,School of Management, Lanzhou University Zhang Dong,Lanzhou College of Foreign Studies
  • Online:2022-10-16 Published:2023-03-21

Abstract: Researches have shown that encouraging consumers to touch a product can prompt consumers to generate a positive attitude towards the product.  However, consumers’ haptic input when examining a product during product demonstration is often restricted by retailers, salespersons and front-line employees in many offline retail settings.  To date, we know little a- bout whether the usage of haptic -restriction strategies can induce negative marketing consequences. This research conducts four studies, including a field experiment and three lab experiments, to document a novel variety-seeking effect of haptic restrictions.   Previously restricting (versus not restricting) consumers from touching a product induces consumers to conduct variety seeking and options shifting in a subsequent and different situation (Experiments 1-2).  Moreover, this effect is driven by perceived  threats to personal freedom in general (Experiment 3) and is mitigated when consumers' need to elevate the extent of personal freedom is low ( Experiment 4).  This research contributes to the literature of product touch and variety seeking, offering specific implications for offline retailing.

Key words: haptic restriction, variety seeking, threats to personal freedom, need to elevate the extent of personal freedom