The aim of this paper is to analyze the behavioral and affective loyalty of retailer customers in order to establish the role played by loyalty programs in the development of these variables. Research Design
Research data were taken from a survey carried out on 720 customers from a Spanish supermarket chain. A stratified selection by simple affixing was used. Out of the entire sample, 180 were participants in the retailer frequent shopper program that was in force at that moment, 180 in the card program and 360 were not participant in any loyalty program at that retailer. Analysis of Data
Several ANOVAs are employed to compare the two loyalty dimensions among participants and non participants in loyalty programs. Findings and Conclusions
The results show that participants in loyalty programs are more behavioral and affectively loyal than non participants. Nevertheless, most customers do not change purchase behavior after joining a loyalty program. The strategy is therefore to retain loyal customers and to achieve the reinforcement of affective bonds linking the customer to the retailer. Companies should focus their efforts on developing a reward plan as adapted as possible to concrete needs of each participant in the program to achieve true loyalty. Contribution to Theory/Literature
The main contribution of this paper is the completion of an exhaustive analysis of customer loyalty. On the one hand, it is a pioneer in the study of the influence of loyalty programs on affective loyalty and, on the other hand, it confirms results from other researches on behavioral loyalty of program participants. In addition, this is one of the few papers developed in this field using the survey as a source of information. Justification of Research Design and Application of Statistical Tools The makeup of this sample allows a comparison between participants and non participants in loyalty programs and the analysis of possible differences between the...