Workshop Series: Sebastian Uhrich
Despite the fact that customer presence effects in retail stores are ambiguous, previous research has focused mainly on situations where other customers negatively affect the shopping experience. Extending the limited academic work on positive customer presence effects, this research offers an alternative explanation for these effects. We propose that in situations where a consumer is browsing in a store and is exposed to undesired social influence from the salespeople, other customers’ presence results in a deindividuation effect that positively affects the consumer’s shopping experience. Two experimental studies (one laboratory and one field experiment) provide empirical evidence for the proposed deindividuation effect and show that this effect mediates positive effects of customer presence on a focal consumer’s emotions and actual behavior in a retail store.
Sebastian Uhrich is an assistant professor of marketing and service research at the University of Rostock, Germany. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rostock in 2008. Sebastian is a visiting academic at the UQ Business School between November 2011 and January 2012. Currently his research activities focus on customer-to-customer interactions in service environments and the integration of CSR information into sponsorship communication. Sebastian’s work is published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, the Service Industries Journal, the Journal of Sport Management, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research and others. He can be reached at email@example.com