New research from the University of Alberta reveals just how self-conscious and easily influenced consumers can be.
Through a series of carefully controlled experiments at a campus bookstore, researchers learned that consumers will, in every case studied, spend more money to buy a brand name item when someone they dont know is standing near them at the time they choose their purchase. Consumers also tend to spend more money when a group of people is standing near them but are more inclined to buy cheaper items when no one is near.
"We were shocked to find that the mere social presence of another shopper apparently has a huge affect on consumer behavior," said Dr. Jennifer Argo, a marketing professor in the U of A School of Business and lead author of the study, which is published in the September 2005 edition of the Journal of Consumer Research.
Ryan Smith | EurekAlert!
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