1. Shopping Alone? Shopping with Friends?
Companion’s Impact on Purchasing Rate

(December 10, 2010)

Many marketing researchers are grasping the idea that purchasing rate is different when shopper is accompanied or unaccompanied. Unfortunately, only few people know that there are data that can show the difference of accompanied and unaccompanied in shoppers’ behavior.


Based on our ShopSense™ data, we found following logic;

ShopSense™  shows that purchasing rate of shoppers “WITH accompany” is about three times higher than that of shoppers “WITHOUT accompany”.


So now, let’s look at the behavior of the shopper “WITH accompany” and see how those behavior are different from those “WITHOUT accompany.”

To analyze in depth, ShopSense™ analysts have validated shopper behavior through “the number of contacted products” and “time spent in front of shelf” by classifying them into four groups such as; unaccompanied, with parents/children, friends, and partners including spouse.
The comparison tables of “The Average Number of Contacted Products” and “Time Spent in Front of Shelf” are as followed.

Table 1: The Average Number of Item(s) Touched


The Number of
Contacted Products
0 1 2 Total
Unaccompanied 3.57 4 6 3.95
With Parent(s)/Child(ren) 2.50 - - 2.50
With Friend(s) 5 9 - 6.33
With Partner 2.33 4 - 2.75
Total 3.36 4.36 6 3.93


Table 2:The Average Time Spent in Front of Shelf

(hh:mm:ss) The Number of
Item(s) Bought
0 1 2 Total
Unaccompanied 00:02:09 00:01:35 00:03:26 00:01:52
With Parent(s) / Child(ren) 00:00:33     00:00:33
With Friend(s) 00:01:56 00:04:36   00:02:49
With Partner 00:00:50 00:01:28   00:00:59
Total 00:01:36 00:01:47 00:03:26 00:01:45


Overall trend from Table 1 is:


Overall trend from Table 2 is:


How could this happen? What is causing this difference? The hint is in the video footage. We led some hypothesis from the video-footage.


When a shopper takes her/his friends to come together for shopping, the friend is not the main player in the scene. So, they usually stand a step back from the shopper, and they sometimes point out the product or pass the product to the shopper, helping them to search in broader area. On the other hand, shoppers with spouse or children can only search in narrow area as they have to pay attention to their children. So, the time spent in front of shelf and the number of contacted products are shorter and less frequent, since her/his partners are bored for shopping or children are running around.


To improve this, what should retailers and manufacture do?
Planning the promotion based on shopper’s behavior can be an effective solution.


To reach the targeted shopper, retailers and manufactures should shape up the PR or package of items by understanding the difference in shopper’s behavior depends on who is accompanied with.


Any inquiries about this column, please feel free to contact us.