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Understanding loyalty in multichannel retailing: the role of brand trust and brand attachment

Marta Frasquet (Marketing Department, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Alejandro Mollá Descals (Marketing Department, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Maria Eugenia Ruiz-Molina (Marketing Department, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand loyalty in the multichannel retail context. The paper analyses the interplay between offline and online loyalty and the direct and indirect effects on loyalty of brand trust and brand attachment, in a cross-cultural study.

Design/methodology/approach

Online survey answered by 761 multichannel apparel shoppers in two countries (UK and Spain). Structural equation model multigroup analysis is performed to test the hypothesized relations and the role of culture as a moderating variable.

Findings

Online loyalty is largely driven by offline loyalty, which is also positively affected by brand trust and brand attachment. These relationships hold across the two different cultures.

Research limitations/implications

The findings confirm the validity of applying the theory of cognitive dissonance to explain multichannel shopping behaviours. The authors did not find culture that affects the relationships in the model; however, the validity of these findings should be tested considering other cultural variables different from nationality.

Practical implications

Multichannel retailers should focus on building trust and attachment towards the brand if they want to get online and offline loyalty. The efforts to build stronger bonds between the customer and the retail brand translate into higher loyalty, particularly towards the offline channels.

Originality/value

This paper extends the literature on the interactions between online and offline behaviour by focussing on the power of the brand to build strong customer bonds. The model considers the role of brand attachment together with brand trust in offline and online loyalty simultaneously.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is a part of the Project ECO2014-55881-R, Minist. Economia y Competitividad, Spain.

Citation

Frasquet, M., Mollá Descals, A. and Ruiz-Molina, M.E. (2017), "Understanding loyalty in multichannel retailing: the role of brand trust and brand attachment", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 45 No. 6, pp. 608-625. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-07-2016-0118

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited