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Touching the Untouchable: Exploring Multi-Sensory Augmented Reality in the Context of Online Retailing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jonas Heller, Mathew Chylinski, Ko de Ruyter, Dominik Mahr, Debbie I. Keeling

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-234
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

King's Authors


Mental intangibility during product evaluation remains one of the greatest drawbacks for online purchasing. However, emerging multi-sensory Augmented Reality (m-AR) applications offer a potential solution for this online retailing problem. Drawing on active inference theory, this article proposes a conceptual framework to assess how sensory control and feedback modalities affect consumer value judgements by reducing mental intangibility. We show how touch control, compared to voice control, positively affects consumers’ willingness-to-pay. The underlying mechanism is a sequential process of reduced mental intangibility and increased feeling of decision comfort. In addition, we highlight a positive moderating effect of congruent auditory feedback on decision comfort. We also demonstrate a novel consumer boundary condition. Consumers high in assessment orientation experience a stronger reduction in mental intangibility. The results are consistently replicated across three experiments implying theoretical and managerial contributions for m-AR in the context of online retailing.

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