POPAI tapped ShopperSense to conduct a field study of shoppers to better understand and explore the influence of secondary shoppers on the purchase behavior and decisions of primary shoppers.
The report is divided into sections: “Meet The New Shopper,” “The Sphere of Influence,” and “From Influence to Action.”
The study began with a screening of shoppers, followed by entrance and exit interviews. The shoppers needed to be at least 18 years old; had to shop in the particular store outlet at least once every two to three months; and be able to say if they were shopping alone or with others. The primary shopper was then identified among the groups.
The description of those who shopped alone was: slightly older; lower mean household income; more frequent shoppers; and a greater proportion of African-Americans. Those who shopped with others were: slightly younger; higher mean household income; less frequent shoppers; and a greater proportion of Caucasians.
The key insights from the 2011 study are: Accompanied shoppers are more likely to prepare written shopping lists; in-store shopping expectations are created equal; families that shop together navigate more of the store and use mobile devices during their trip; solo shoppers spend more than accompanied shoppers; shoppers see companions as having marginal impact on purchase decisions; solo shoppers recall in-store marketing better than accompanied shoppers; and the payoff of the shopping trip experience is very different for those shopping alone vs. those shopping with others.
The report noted that shoppers are always in a time crunch, and in this (poor) economy, they are also facing a budget crunch. Both of these factors have them relying on their mobile phones more than ever.
Also, when it comes to deciding whether to shop alone or with others, the cost benefit analysis appears to focus on time as the main resource called into question.