Although touchscreens are quickly becoming the primary means of accessing content online, research into influences of touch interfaces on online consumer perceptions and behaviors is at present limited. This study investigated whether varying the degree of interface touch (i.e., ‘direct’ touchscreen vs. ‘indirect’ mouse) elicits differences in perceived psychological ownership and endowment of chosen products – taking into account potential moderating roles of object interactivity (i.e., static 2D vs. rotating 360° 3D product images) and autotelic “Need For Touch” [NFT], as well as additional effects on online shopping enjoyment. Findings from an online grocery shopping experiment confirm a meaningful interaction between touchscreen interfaces and high interactivity images in increasing ownership feelings and subsequent product valuations across food product types. Results showed no evidence for a main effect of interface touch nor moderating role of autotelic NFT on perceived psychological ownership. However, both interface touch and object interactivity predicted online shopping enjoyment independent of product category, with individuals – especially those high in autotelic NFT – experiencing greater enjoyment within the touchscreen and high interactivity conditions respectively.
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