A team of scientists, including Andrea Luangrath, assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State University, found that shoppers tend to buy items that they can virtually “touch”. This is due to the “endowment effect”, which is that a person appreciates things more if he owns them.
One study looked at 4,535 Instagram posts. All of these posts were in the accounts of four companies selling products that can be shown in hand. As a result, the posts where the person has an object in the photo in the hand were compared with those where the object was just lying. It found that the first type of posts attracted much more attention (they had 65 percent more likes on average) than the second type.