Shopping with consumers: Reflections and innovations

Tina M. Lowrey, Cornelia C Otnes, Mary Ann McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - This paper reflects on the protocol suggested for using shopping with consumers (SWC) as a means for gathering high-quality, naturalistic text in the field. Design/methodology/approach - The original SWC method combined accompanying consumers in the field as they shopped with in-depth interviews. Findings - This paper reflects on how SWC has been used in past research, including new and innovative applications of the method to a variety of research phenomena. Research limitations/implications - The primary limitation of the approach is the amount of time required to implement SWC thoroughly. Practical implications - SWC has the advantages of a multi-method research design. In addition, SWC hastens trust and rapport with informants, potentially yielding richer data. Originality/value - This paper is unique in terms of reflections on how a variety of scholars have used SWC to investigate phenomena of interest beyond that investigated in our original data collection. In addition, we offer suggestions for future research in areas that could clearly benefit from application of the method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-188
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Market Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Interviews
  • Qualitative research
  • Retailing
  • Shopping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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