Feel the Music! Exploring the Cross-modal Correspondence between Music and Haptic Perceptions of Softness

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Haptic softness is a central product attribute for many fabric-related retailers. Can those retailers use music—an easy to implement in-store atmospheric cue—to influence consumers’ perception of this central product attribute? Across four studies, this research shows that high (vs. low) music softness enhances consumers’ haptic softness perceptions. We argue that this cross-modal effect occurs owing to a transfer of softness-related associations from the auditory to the haptic modality. To better inform retail practice, we examine three managerially relevant boundary conditions at the product and store levels. Specifically, high music softness increases haptic softness perceptions when (a) the product's haptic quality allows for the sufficient detection of softness, (b) hard flooring is present in the retail environment, and (c) consumers are unaware of music's influence. In terms of practically relevant consequences, we find that enhanced haptic softness perceptions ultimately result in more positive product evaluations like willingness to pay.

ZeitschriftJournal of Retailing
Seiten (von - bis)158-169
Anzahl der Seiten12
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.12.2019
Extern publiziertJa