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EXPRESS: Navigating Shared Consumption Experiences: Clarity About a Partner’s Interests Increases Enjoyment
Journal of Marketing Research  (IF5),  Pub Date : 2021-03-02, DOI: 10.1177/00222437211002818
Yuechen Wu, Rebecca W. Hamilton, Nicole You Jeung Kim, Rebecca K. Ratner

Consumers frequently engage in activities with others, such as visiting an art gallery with a friend or going to a sports match with a family member, and they tend to assume that sharing experiences with another person will make them more enjoyable (Caprariello and Reis 2013; Ratner and Hamilton 2015). However, navigating a shared experience – making decisions about pacing, sequencing and interacting with another person as the experience unfolds – can take consumers’ attention away from the activity, potentially reducing their enjoyment. In a series of studies in which consumers engage in real consumption experiences, we show that lack of clarity about a partner’s interests can distract consumers, making it difficult for them to focus on the shared activity and reducing their enjoyment of shared experiences relative to solo experiences. Notably, simple interventions can increase clarity of a partner’s interests and consumers’ enjoyment of shared activities, providing tools for service providers who want to retain customers and benefit from positive word-of-mouth.