Shopping companions in retail environments: A view from different perspectives

Tobias Benjamin Scholz

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation UT

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Shopping companions are a common phenomenon in retail environments. They influence shoppers in a variety of ways, as well as retailers' frontline staff, who engage shoppers and their companions in sales conversations. This dissertation examines the phenomenon of co-shopping and its implications from three perspectives:, i.e., from the academic, the practitioner, and the customer perspective. Following a systematic literature review reflecting the current state of research on the topic, the specific behavior of different types of companion is analyzed from the perspective of service-oriented retail salespeople. On this basis, five types of shopping companion, each unique in terms of personality and behavior, are described. Ultimately, different types of companion and their various behaviors are examined with regard to their different effects on accompanied shoppers. In particular, emphasis is placed on the emotions aroused in the shopper and changes in their behavior, especially in terms of time invested and their tendency to abandon a planned purchase.

The dissertation's findings contribute to a better understanding of how shoppers are influenced by companions, and specifically through their behavior and personality. It sheds light on how shoppers process the influences of different types of companion and, in greater detail, how emotions aroused by a particular companion type can determine corresponding behavioral changes with shoppers. The findings highlight the importance of retailers and their frontline staff adequately addressing the particular influences of specific types of shopping companion. Corresponding implications and opportunities for improved training and education of retail salespeople and improved design options for elements of the shopping environment are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Henseler, Jörg, Supervisor
  • Schuberth, Florian, Co-Supervisor
  • Pagel, Sven, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date6 Jul 2022
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5387-2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022


  • Shopping companions
  • Retail shopping
  • Social influence
  • Shopping experience
  • Adaptive selling
  • Retail management


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