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Is relationship marketing investments–customer gratitude–customer loyalty linkage influenced by contextual and individual moderators? An emerging economy perspective

Saurabh Mittal (Department of Marketing, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Lucknow, India)
Moutusy Maity (Department of Marketing, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Noida, India)

Journal of Indian Business Research

ISSN: 1755-4195

Article publication date: 30 September 2022

Issue publication date: 29 November 2022

174

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the moderating impact of four moderators, namely, retailer brand strength, customer’s perceived purchase regularity, gender and purchase channel (online and offline) on the relationship between relationship marketing investments (RMIs) and customer gratitude, and customer gratitude and customer loyalty. The context of research is the purchase of a high-involvement product by Indian customers.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adapts Huang RMIs-Gratitude-Loyalty model and empirically validates the associated hypotheses using structural equation modeling. Data is collected through the survey method.

Findings

The study (N = 385) results suggest a significant impact of preferential treatment and interpersonal communication investments on customer’s feeling of gratitude toward the retailer and, consequently, on loyalty. Purchase channel, gender and, to a lesser extent, customer perceived regularity each moderates the relationships between marketing investment and gratitude, and that between gratitude and loyalty; surprisingly, retailer brand is not a significant moderator.

Research limitations/implications

Future research can factor in the impact of loyalty program on the proposed relationships.

Practical implications

This research offers helpful guidelines for retailers, especially for those who currently have a multichannel presence and invest or plan to invest in relationship marketing to obtain benefits from customer loyalty.

Originality/value

This investigation explores not only the relevance of RMIs–gratitude–loyalty model in the Indian retail context but also the influence of moderating variables on the retailers’ efforts of gaining consumer loyalty.

Keywords

Citation

Mittal, S. and Maity, M. (2022), "Is relationship marketing investments–customer gratitude–customer loyalty linkage influenced by contextual and individual moderators? An emerging economy perspective", Journal of Indian Business Research, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 492-519. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIBR-11-2021-0375

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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