Tablets facilitate impulse shopping for many

Megan Woolhouse:

But it might be even harder for shoppers to stop themselves if they happen to use their iPad to peruse the wares of online retailers. New research out of Boston College indicates that consumers feel a deeper affinity for products they touch on a screen than those selected using a laptop touchpad or a mouse.
 When consumers participating in the study reached out and touched an image on a touchscreen, the experience nearly rivaled their feelings of touching merchandise in a brick-and-mortar store, according to the measure of satisfaction used in the study.
 “It’s kind of surprising how strong the effect is,” said S.Adam Brasel, a Boston College business professor and lead author of the study. “And we’re not necessarily aware it’s taking place.”
 This holiday season, shoppers appear more connected to their iPads and touchscreen phones than ever, helping to drive online sales to more than one-third of all holiday purchases, according to retail analysis firm NPD Group Inc.