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An analysis of operations‐oriented drivers of customer loyalty for two service channels

Andrea M. Prud'homme (Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Kenneth K. Boyer (Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
G. Tomas M. Hult (Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)

Direct Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1750-5933

Article publication date: 12 June 2007

1485

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines customers of grocers who provide both online and traditional in‐store options to determine if there are substantial differences in customer's perceptions of service quality, product quality, product range, and sacrifices made when using a specific channel. By better understanding customer preferences, firms can appropriately match strategy and market expectations.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from 271 traditional in‐store customers and 1,720 online customers from three grocers. Survey results from these two groups was analyzed using regression analysis consisting of independent variables measuring the sacrifices of using a given channel, and the quality of service, products and product range and dependent variables of behavioral intentions and percent of business given to the grocer.

Findings

Online customers have a higher level of satisfaction with their service encounters, but lower levels with the tangible aspects of product quality, range of products available and channel usage sacrifices. They also spend a larger portion of their grocery “wallet” with the grocer and are less price sensitive than their in‐store counterparts.

Practical implications

Online customers place a premium on convenience and will spend more with firms that meet this need. Given the very low profit margins in this industry, the ability to draw and retain these customers is vitally important.

Originality/value

This study presents one of the first direct comparisons of customers who use two different channels from the same grocery provider to examine customer perceptions for improved strategic service and product delivery.

Keywords

Citation

Prud'homme, A.M., Boyer, K.K. and Tomas M. Hult, G. (2007), "An analysis of operations‐oriented drivers of customer loyalty for two service channels", Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 78-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/17505930710756842

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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