The impact of mimicry on sales - Evidence from field and lab experiments
A buyer's observation that one or more people are consuming a product can lead that buyer to consume the product as well. The evidence supporting unconscious and unintentional (automatic) mimicry of consumption suggests that it is a pervasive and robust phenomenon. However, up until now most findings on the antecedents of mimicry have been obtained from lab studies. Using a field study, the current research shows that passengers in a train mimic the consumption behavior of other passengers. Two subsequent lab studies suggest that mimicry of consumption is all the more powerful the more people there are consuming and the more intense and consistent their consumption behavior is. However, the impact of the number of people on the willingness to engage in mimicry reaches a peak at approximately eight people and is relatively constant thereafter.
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