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Dr. Tobias Scholz

Dr. Tobias Scholz

Fachbereich Wirtschaft | Grundständige Studiengänge | Bachelor of Science Wirtschaftsinformatik dual

Hochschule Mainz
Dr. Tobias Scholz
Raum M2.26
Lucy-Hillebrand-Straße 2
55128 Mainz

Sozialer Einfluss im Käuferverhalten
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Shopping Companions and Their Diverse Impacts: A Systematic Annotated Bibliography 

Research studies of shopping with companions, or “co-shopping,” have investigated different "types of companion" (e.g., children, spouses, parents, friends) and the nature of their influence on shoppers’ retail experience. By means of a systematic literature review guided by the standard review protocol PRISMA and qualitative content analysis, this paper offers a state-of-the-art overview of 66 studies and their findings, through the middle of 2023. It finds that sparse attention has been paid to shopping companions’ behaviors and personalities and that it is so far impossible to attribute their impacts on shoppers specifically to one or more types of companion. It also finds that the various factors that could facilitate understanding of how companions’ influences work in practice remain largely unexplored. In short, too little is known about how companions exert their influence and how shoppers process it and there remains much to be investigated about the interplay between shoppers, their companions, and an interacting salesperson. Our detailed findings and their implications could therefore usefully shape the agenda for future research into accompanied shopping.



Shopping companions in retail environments: A view from different perspectives 

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.


Re-designing adaptive selling strategies: the role of different types of shopping companions 

This paper explores the influence of shopping companions in retail sales conversations and the necessity of designing more comprehensive sales training programs. In particular, the characteristics and behaviors of shopping companions and their subsequent effects on accompanied shoppers, the salesperson and the sales conversation are examined. Shopping companions have not played a role in adaptive selling research and most practical trainings for salespeople so far, although they can significantly affect shopper behavior and decision-making, and require distinct approaches by salespeople. Systematizing in-depth interviews with salespeople and qualitative content analysis reveal a variety of different character traits and behaviors of shopping companions that can lead to positive and negative outcomes from a salesperson’s perspective. The interactions that take place between customers and salespeople are the core element of customer-oriented service in retailing. When a holistic customer-oriented service is part of their value proposition, retailers should consider re-designing training programs for salespeople and include the influence of shopping companions. In doing so, salespeople’s customer orientation can be increased by augmenting their capabilities and enabling them to make use of adaptive selling techniques specifically designed for co-shopping situations.


With whom do you shop? A systematic review of research on co-shopping 

Presentation at the 25th International Conference on Recent Advances In Retailing And Services Science 2018, Madeira, Portugal

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