Communal shopping is a method of shopping where the shopper enlists others to participate in the purchase decision. This added participation empowers the shopper by giving additional points of view. Having multiple opinions and ideas from other people provides the shopper with a more encompassing examination of the product/service.
Another factor that comes from communal shopping is boosted confidence in the decision to buy or not to buy. With a group contributing to the purchase decision, the shopper is more likely to feel like they have properly inspected the product or service. This confidence allows the shopper to reach a decision faster than if they had to look at the product/service from all angles on their own, and evaluate each aspect deemed important.
‘’’Communal shopping theory’’’ relies on the fact that a more comprehensive study of a product or service will facilitate a faster purchase decision. This does not mean that the shopper will necessarily buy the product/service, but that the shopper will ‘’’decide’’’ faster. With communal shopping more people are included in the evaluation and more aspects can be examined at a time. In this way the evaluation can be completed more quickly. This is how communal shopping facilitates a quicker purchase decision.
With the advent of the Internet and the vast popularity of online shopping, communal shopping was sure to hit the Net. With technologies such as ‘’’remote webpage sharing’’’ and online chat, online users can now shop together even though they are located in different places.
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- “PEW INTERNET PROJECT’S DECEMBER 2008 SURVEY”, Pew Internet & American Life, December 2008, Pages 4–8
- “THE GLOBAL ONLINE MEDIA LANDSCAPE”, The Nielsen Company, April 2009 (PDF)
- “ONLINE SHOPPING”, Pew Internet & American Life Project - Pew Research Center, February 2008
- “ONLINE SHOPPING: A CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE”, The Nielsen Company, April 2008 (PDF)
- "LONG & WINDING ROAD: The route to the cash register", Yahoo! Summit Series Study, May 2006 (PDF)