The purpose of this paper is to explore the linkages between the determinants of relationship marketing and the behavioural component of these determinants within a non-Western retail stores setting.
A quantitative approach was employed, using 19-item, seven-point Likert scaled questionnaire administered to 350 participants with 67 per cent usable response rate. Data was analysed using exploratory factor analysis, Cronbach’s α internal consistency; correlation analysis and One-Way Analysis of Variance test.
Trust-Quality services emerged as the most outstanding determinant of relationship marketing within the retail stores context followed by relational orientation, commitment and proximity. Quality services were found to have the most significant positive impact on trust whereas trust was found to have a strong positive impact on commitment. Relational orientation was found to have a strong positive impact on trust, commitment and quality services but proximity was found to be a docile factor determining commitment and relational orientation. Finally, consumers were identified as being more relationally oriented than retailers and all categories of consumers can be served with same blend of relationship marketing strategies.
Since findings could not be generalized across other sectors and regions, guides for testing the proposed research model are put forward.
Relationship marketing implementation within the context of retail stores will be more successful if based on delivery of quality services. Consumers are also more likely to patronize closer than distant retail stores. As such, even if retail firms build strong trust, commitment and relational orientation with customers through quality services, consumers will still patronize stores that are closer to them more than stores in distant locations. Siting retail stores in locations with the largest pool of customers’ is therefore central to enhancing retail stores performance. All categories of customers could be served with same stream of relationship marketing strategies because designing different schemes of relationship marketing programmes for different customer categories were found to be counter-productive.
This paper identified 16 attributes that are important to consumers under four dimensions: Trust-Quality services, relational orientation, commitment and proximity within the retail stores context. The findings are acknowledged to be unique because they emerged from a largely under-researched collectivistic emerging market where relationship marketing formation is key.
The authors thank the Editor, Professor John Kuada, for his careful and detailed feedback. The authors also thank the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on the earlier version of this paper.
Izogo, E.E., Ogba, I.-E. and Nwekpa, K.C. (2016), "Correlates of the determinants of relationship marketing in the retail sector: the Nigerian case", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 30-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJEMS-04-2014-0023Download as .RIS
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