#9 - Touching products triggers perceived ownership

Merely touching an object increases the feelings of ownership a person has for the object. This, in turn, results in a person being willing to pay more for most objects that they touch versus objects that they cannot touch.
— Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; Peck et al.

If shoppers have a positive or neutral response to touching a product, they are more likely to buy it and will pay more for it. However, if an object does not feel particularly pleasant to the touch, it decreases the odds.

It helps explain the link between the touch and impulse purchase at “experiential”retail like Apple store and farmers’ markets.

Offers of "free trials” before the shopper is obligated to pay can increase perceived ownership and product valuation.

Shoppers also respond effectively to the combination of no-touch and ownership imagery.


Design packaging that “feels” good. Encourage touch at shelf. If touch is not an option, “ownership” imagery (ex. a wrist with a hot Apple watch on it) can be an effective way to close sales.