Of the processes that make up a transaction of selling a physical product for money over the Internet, those that presume some form of physical product handling are most problematic. These include the process of determining product utility and the delivery phase. The difficulties that the latter poses for the spread of on-line shopping and e-commerce-enabled disintermediation are well known, while the challenge of the former has received comparatively little study. This paper proposes to address that imbalance by outlining some methods by which e-commerce web designers currently facilitate customers in their quest to "experience" products over this new medium, particularly so-called "high touch" products whose features and quality are not easily described textually. We call this process of enhancing product experience "creating virtual touch". We then outline an agenda for further study, currently in progress, of techniques for creating virtual touch based on a body of theory from psychology, namely, Cognitive Continuum Theory
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.