Impulse shopping is a family/social affair
Research has shown that individuals buy more on impulse when they’re with others who are influential in their lives. A new university study finds that the extent of that influence depends on who they go shopping with.
The new research from the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee found that:
- The closer the relationship with a fellow shopper while shopping, the more likely it is they’ll spend money on something they didn’t mean to buy.
- Parents and children carry more weight in driving impulse purchases with others while shopping than spouses, significant others and close friends.
- Female shoppers are more likely to be influenced by their children and close friends.
- Male shoppers are more likely to be affected by their parents and colleagues.
Zhifeng Gao, a professor of food and resource economics at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), said in a statement that for grocery stores and marketers, the findings should offer insights into how to advertise their products more effectively by engaging the types of people who are more likely to induce impulse purchases.
“They can also focus on strategies that encourage family shopping or shopping with close friends,” he said.
The link between impulse purchasing and shopping with others appears to have only been pursued over the last two decades, with most prior research exploring drivers at the individual level.
Research from the University of Texas from 2005 found the presence of peers while shopping increases the urge to purchase, although having family members along decreases it. Research from Penn State College from 2008 found the friendliness of the shopkeepers and the other consumers included in the social factor can influence the impulse to buy.
In recent years, much attention has been paid to how sharing on social media by friends or influencers encourages impulse buys.
- Your kids and parents up chances of impulse buying – Futurity/University of Florida
- Impulsive purchasing in grocery shopping: Do the shopping companions matter? – Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
- How Does Shopping With Others Influence Impulsive Purchasing? – Journal of Consumer Psychology
- The role of store environmental stimulation and social factors on impulse purchasing – Journal of Services Marketing
- Are you addicted to shopping? How to get control of your impulse purchasing – Ethical Money
- ‘Do I really need it?’: How to curb social media impulse shopping – BNN Bloomberg
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does it make sense that shopping alongside others can drive impulse buys? How can retailers or brands use this information to drive impulse purchases?