Re-designing adaptive selling strategies: the role of different types of shopping companions

Tobias Benjamin Scholz*, Jörn Redler, Sven Pagel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores the influence of shopping companions in retail sales conversa-tions and the necessity of designing more comprehensive sales training programs. In particular, the characteristics and behaviors of shopping companions and their sub-sequent effects on accompanied shoppers, the salesperson and the sales conversa-tion are examined. Shopping companions have not played a role in adaptive selling research and most practical trainings for salespeople so far, although they can signif-icantly affect shopper behavior and decision-making, and require distinct approaches by salespeople. Systematizing in-depth interviews with salespeople and qualitative content analysis reveal a variety of different character traits and behaviors of shop-ping companions that can lead to positive and negative outcomes from a salesper-son’s perspective. The interactions that take place between customers and salespeo-ple are the core element of customer-oriented service in retailing. When a holistic customer-oriented service is part of their value proposition, retailers should consider re-designing training programs for salespeople and include the influence of shop-ping companions. In doing so, salespeople’s customer orientation can be increased by augmenting their capabilities and enabling them to make use of adaptive selling techniques specifically designed for co-shopping situations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
JournalReview of managerial science
Early online date23 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Shopping companions
  • Sales interactions
  • Social influence
  • Retail shopping
  • Adaptive selling


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