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Business: Who do you generally shop with?

Who do you generally shop with?


Our shopping behaviors and perceptions are always influenced by our social life. Friends are important social part of our everyday activities. Most individuals trust their friends’ suggestions more than any other suggestions they might receive from the salesperson or other customers. Friends often assist when an individual has to make a crucial decision on whether to take a particular item or another when faced with a dilemma. However, there are some instances when shopping alone is worth than shopping with friends. Luo (2005, p. 288) identified that shopping with friends leads to impulse buying. In some cases, an individual ends up buying an item because of his/her friends like it and not because she likes the item. The purpose of this report is to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of shopping with friends. The report will also identify if the amount spent on shopping is higher or less when shopping alone, with friends or with family.

Study Objectives

  1. To identify the advantages and disadvantages of shopping with friends.

  2. To compare the money spent when shopping with family or friends and when shopping alone

Research Questions

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of shopping with friends?

  2. Do you spend more or less when you shop alone or with family and friends?

Background of the Study

Shopping has long been an exciting part of almost every culture. There are various arguments regarding the influence of family and friends in our shopping experience. An individual’s shopping behavior often dictates whether he/she will be having friends while shopping or opt to shop alone. A theory proposed by Yi-Hsiu & Chen-Yuen (2012, p. 354) presumes that an individual’s behavior acts as a multiplicative function that determines the expectations of an individual about impulsive group buying. On the contrary, Kurt, Inman & Argo (2011, p. 743) argue that individuals would go shopping with friends and relatives who have economic concerns. However, these authors look at the varying sides of having friends when shopping. The literature majorly focuses on impulsive buying. This study will include other aspects and reasons why an individual may opt to shop alone or with friends.

Description of the approach

The process of reviewing the literature involved understanding the topic selected and the literature to be reviewed. The strategy used was by searching for journals and articles to have an overview of the particular topic and the author’s treatment of the topic. The second process involved interaction with the literature whereby the headings are identifies and notes made. Key points are then highlighted. After this, an overview of the research topic is created by identifying key areas of discussion. A rough draft of the research paper is then made by using an outline. Lastly, the work is revised to ensure that the important points in the literature are considered and strong arguments made.

In creating a report, it is always necessary to collect sufficient information about a particular area of study within the report. The sources used within this report are secondary sources. The literary sources used include journals, e-books and other reliable online sources.



When shopping with friends, you are guaranteed to have opinions as to whether the item you want to buy is the right choice (Gentina & Chandon, 2012, p. 41). Friends’ opinions and comments assist in making the right decision when shopping. In some cases, an individual might be interested in an item that a friend had a bad experience. He/she could benefit from the friend’s opinion and go for an alternative. As argued by Flight & Scherle (2013, p. 55) although shopping with friends can prove to be a costly experience, it is enjoyable than going to the malls alone. Friends will gladly help you choose and give you honest opinions.


In most cases, an individual would try to hurry when shopping because she/he feels she/he is taking up the friends’ time. As a result, the individual cannot spend much time in selecting and making a proper decision. Also, there are chances that the individual will not visit other shops that may have cheaper alternatives. According to a study conducted by Luo (2005, p. 290), the findings showed that most individuals who went to shopping malls with friends make an unplanned purchase. Impulse buying results to an individual purchasing an item just because the friends love it, something that would have been avoided if the individual was alone.

Comparison of shopping expenditure when shopping alone and when shopping with friends

As identified earlier, shopping with friends is beneficial as it helps in identifying cheaper alternatives, getting honest opinions, and comments. However, there are researchers that argue that shopping with friends can be costly. A study conducted by Yi-Hsiu & Chen-Yueh (2012, p.354) revealed that 75% of girls who tag their friends along when shopping often spend $39.25 more than when they go shopping alone. Therefore, it means that the individual spends more than the planned amount. The reason to this may be that the individual might purchase an item because it is a recommendation from a friend. Therefore, going to the malls alone can be worthwhile as the individual can make a choice as to whether to buy a particular item.


This study reveals that although individuals prefer shopping with friends, there are various limitations that come into play. Individuals shopping with friends have been proved to engage in impulsive buying. As such, most people would prefer going to the malls alone as they have the time to search an item from one store to another without worrying about taking someone’s’ time. This study contributed to the literature on customer psychology. The study would act as a reference and a guide for future research. However, this study did not conduct an exhaustive research on the topic. Future researchers may consider conducting an in-depth exploration and obtain exhaustive information regarding a similar topic. The social group is a significant research context that requires an intensive exploration to achieve a better understanding of the effects of social influences on our purchasing behavior.


Flight, R, & Scherle, J 2013, ‘Shopping Context and the Impulsive and Compulsive Buyer’, Atlantic Marketing Journal. Vol. 2 no. 2, pp. 54-69

Gentina, E, & Chandon, J 2014, ‘The role of gender on the frequency of shopping with friends during adolescence: Between the need for individuation and the need for assimilation’, Recherche Et Applications En Marketing (English Edition) (Sage Publications Inc.).Vol 29, no. 4, pp. 32-59,

Kurt, D, Inman, J, & Argo, J 2011, ‘The Influence of Friends on Consumer Spending: The Role of Agency— Communion Orientation and Self-Monitoring’, Journal Of Marketing Research (JMR). Vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 741-754.

Luo, X 2005, ‘How Does Shopping With Others Influence Impulsive Purchasing?’ Journal Of Consumer Psychology (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates). doi:10.1207/s15327663jcp1504_3 Vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 288-294.

Yi-Hsiu, L, & Chen-Yueh, C 2012, ‘Adolescents’ Impulse Buying: Susceptibility To Interpersonal Influence and Fear of Negative Evaluation’, Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 40, 3, pp. 353-358, Academic