How Friends Promote Consumer Spending

Didem Kurt, University of Pittsburgh, USA
J. Jeffrey Inman, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Jennifer Argo, University of Alberta, Canada
Three field studies investigate the interactive influence of a consumer’s agency-communion orientation and the presence of an accompanying friend on the consumer’s spending behaviors. In general, we find that shopping with a friend can be expensive –consumers spend more money when shopping with a friend than if they had shopped alone. This effect however is moderated by agency-communion orientation. More specifically, consumers who are agency-oriented (e.g., males) spend significantly more (Studies 1 and 3) and are more likely to choose an expensive brand (Study 2) when they shop with a friend (versus when they shop alone). This pattern of effects is attenuated for consumers who are communion-oriented. Finally, we show that this interactive effect is moderated by individual differences in self-monitoring such that friends are especially influential for consumers who are high in self-monitoring despite their orientation, albeit the effects occur in opposite directions (i.e., agentic (communal) consumers spend more (less) in the presence of a friend).
[ to cite ]:
Didem Kurt, J. Jeffrey Inman, and Jennifer Argo (2010) ,"How Friends Promote Consumer Spending", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 280-283 .