The continued growth of ecommerce is nothing new. But what is new and critical for businesses to understand is the role of the touch-integrated customer experience.

Today, the first device a child interacts with is a touch device, whether a smartphone, tablet, phablet or even wearable technology, and consumers of the future will expect the motion of touch integrated fully into every experience they have.  

As a result, the next challenge for businesses will be completely integrating touch into the shopping experience.

The personal touch

Touch enables customers to feel closer to their shopping experiences than ever before, and already, touch integration is emerging in the ecommerce industry with the use of tablets for online shopping, and on the high street with the introduction of touch-enabled self-checkouts in supermarkets.

Although touch has incremental benefits for businesses that use this technology to engage with customers better, they must also be aware of just how the motion of touch can psychologically make customers feel closer to their shopping experience.

If customers have a bad experience, they are more likely to vent their frustrations on social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, which can be hugely detrimental to their brand name.

As a result, in the digital age, reducing the customer struggle has never been more vital.

One way companies can ensure they provide the best possible digital customer experience is by using responsive web design to provide a common user experience across different channels and devices.

By adapting their sites for different devices and screen sizes while keeping the layout of the website familiar across all devices, customers will be able to navigate the site quickly and easily.


In addition, companies can also use customer experience management software on touch-enabled devices to collect and analyse a vast amount on information on why customers may have abandoned a transaction, what types of content makes customers buy or convert, and how visitors behave on different devices.

Analysing this data can help them understand customer behaviour and take the necessary steps to improve the quality of customer experience across different devices and channels. 

Future at our fingertips

Customer impatience has grown rapidly over the last few years and is still on the rise, and the next generation of shoppers will see today’s changing shopping habits as the norm.

The marketplace needs to understand and cater for the immediacy that customers expect by beginning to prepare for the next big thing: the ubiquity of touch technology in the commerce industry.

Apple is already paving the way with fingerprint identification technology, but in the near future, we foresee this technology being used for logging into ecommerce sites and for payment transactions, and soon this will become a significant part of the customer experience that organisations won’t be able to overlook.

As a result, they must begin integrating touch into the shopping experience now to ensure they meet the elevated expectations of future shoppers.


Published 12 March, 2014 by Bill Loller

Bill Loller is Vice President, Mobile at IBM and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

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Comments (3)

Ben Austin

Ben Austin, CEO at Absolute Digital Media

Interesting read Bill.

On the subject of wearable tech, we may also go beyond the point of touch technology. Just as businesses are catching up with this trend, products like Google Glass and smartwatches are likely to become less dependent on touch getsures over time and lean towards more intuitive notifications, such as the flicker of an eyelid or the nod of a head.

over 4 years ago


Bill Loller

I agree with you. I think touch is the just the latest widely available way in which the device manufacturers are taking analog actions and digitizing them. I see Glass (or sight), voice, fingerprints all becoming widely utilized by apps/websites/devices in the next couple years. It will vastly increase how we interact with the digital world.

over 4 years ago

Ben Austin

Ben Austin, CEO at Absolute Digital Media

This is true. I suppose the question is how fast will marketers adapt to these changes. It seems as though many businesses are only just perfecting their techniques for mobile devices, so to keep up with touch technology and beyond could prove a struggle for some.

over 4 years ago

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