Article

Determinants of Customer Loyalty: A Review and Future Directions

Abstract

This paper aims to provide a summary review on the existing loyalty models. It focuses on the key factors and perspectives that can assist marketing scholars and professionals in enhancing customer’s loyalty. A review of the literature has been employed to provide further understandings on customer’s loyalty and its research priorities. The findings of this paper contends that integrating cultural and religious influences into existing models would enhance customer’s loyalty. The study also argues that there are three groups of loyalty antecedents should be taken into consideration. They are 1) loyalty’s primary determinants (PD), which include, customer’s satisfaction, trust, perceived value, and perceived service quality; 2) loyalty’s secondary determinants (SD), which include, other loyalty factors based on the research nature and context; and 3) loyalty’s moral determinants (MD), which include, spiritual, cultural, and religious factors of target markets. Additional propositions and directions are also provided to create efficient loyalty models. Marketing scholars have given inadequate attention to cultural and religious influences in studying customer’s loyalty. This article is a commentary research on previous loyalty models. It is hoped that the propositions provided in the study would inspire future researchers in emerging proper and effective loyalty models.
Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences
2018 July; 12(7): pages 106-111
DOI: 10.22587/ajbas.2018.12.7.17
Research Article AENSI Publications
Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences
ISSN: 1991-8178, EISSN: 2309-8414
Determinants of Customer Loyalty: A Review and Future Directions
1 Ahmad Saifalddin Abu-Alhaija, 2 Raja Nerina Raja Yusof, 2 Haslinda Hashim and 2 Nor Siah Jaharuddin
1 Putra Business School, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Faculty of Economics and Management, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
Correspondence Author: Ahmad Saifalddin Abu-Alhaija, Putra Business School, University Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
Email: ahmadsaifalddinyousef.phd14@grad.putrabs.edu.my
Received date: 15 April 2018, Accepted date: 15 June 2018, Online date: 5 July 2018
Copyright: © 2018 Ahmad Saifalddin Abu-Alhaija, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Key words: Customer loyalty, Loyalty antecedents, Review paper
INTRODUCTION
Customer’s loyalty is received a great marketing attention (Wu and Ai, 2016)since its implications can not be overstated for modern businesses. In fact,
customer’s loyalty is regarded as a long-term asset (Kandampully et al., 2015), and a key business outcome (Ali et al., 2016; Kim et al., 2016). Having loyal
customers is a required option for various companies based on its important role in creating sustainable competitive advantages (Wu and Ai, 2016). Marketing
practitioners are also motivated to develop loyal customers towards their businesses as a central condition for the market success (Kandampully et al.,
2015).Saturated markets motivate companies to re-focus on customer’s loyalty to preserve their loyal customers (Kim et al., 2016). Loyal customers are
considered essential for various service providers in competitive markets(Ali et al., 2016; El-Adly and Eid, 2016; Wu and Ai, 2016), as they would recommend
their preferred products to other customers in the market place (Kim et al., 2016). Customer’s loyalty leads to several economic benefits (Murali etal., 2016), such
as, price premium (Kim et al., 2016),cost reduction (Murali et al., 2016), and additional sales revenue.
Studying customer’s loyalty is a vital research attempt due to its increasing significance for global companies (Haryanto et al., 2016). Marketing scholars
have presented several loyalty models to enhance customer’s loyalty. A recent review of the literature shows that marketing scholars have investigated customer’s
loyalty from different perspectives and factors (e.g.,Casidy and Wymer, 2016; El-Adly and Eid, 2016; Jiang and Zhang, 2016; Rubioet al., 2016; Campón-Cerro et
al., 2016). However, understanding customer’s loyalty from other perspectives has received inconsequential attention (i.e., cultural and religious factors). Thus,
this study intends to review the marketing literature in order to investigate whether researchers should consider other factors and viewpoints in studying customer’s
loyalty. Resolving this question leads us to carefully review the previous studies in the field of consumer’s loyalty with the hope to provide a valid road map for
marketing scholars on current research directions and priories.
Literature review:
Customer’s loyalty:
Customer’s loyalty is considered a significant intangible asset for numerous companies (Jiang and Zhang, 2016). Marketing scholars have provided different
conceptualizations on customer’s loyalty (Ali et al., 2016). Different definitions of customer’s loyalty have been adapted by marketing researchers based on the
research objectives and contexts. For instance, Casidy and Wymer (2016) conceptualized customer loyalty as “one's feelings of devoted attachment to the loyalty
object, rather than repeated commercial transactions” (p.196). Thakur (2016) defined attitudinal loyalty as a customers’ intention to remain committed to specific
provider in the marketplace by repeating their purchasing experiences. On the other hand, Oliver defined customers’ loyalty as “a deeply held commitment to rebuy
or re-patronize a preferred product/service consistently in the future, thereby causing repetitive same-brand or same brand-set purchasing, despite situational
influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behavior(p.34). A review of the literature reveals that numerous marketing scholars have
adopted Oliver’s definition of customers’ loyalty (e.g. Haryanto et al. 2016).
There are two types of customer’s loyalty: a) active loyalty and b) passive loyalty(Kandampully et al., 2015). Companies could have active and passive loyal
customers. Both types are important but active loyalty has become more important due to the widespread usage of internet and social media applications
(Kandampully et al., 2015). Today’s customers depend progressively more on online reviews and electronic word of mouth (E-WOM) in choosing various
products and brands. In this regard, active loyal customers are motivated to spread their evaluations and opinions on their purchasing experiences with the public.
Abstract
This paper aims to provide a summary review on the existing loyalty models. It focuses on the key factors and perspectives
that can assist marketing scholars and professionals in enhancing customer’s loyalty. A review of the literature has been
employed to provide further understandings on customer’s loyalty and its research priorities. The findings of this paper
contends that integrating cultural and religious influences into existing models would enhance customer’s loyalty. The study
also argues that there are three groups of loyalty antecedents should be taken into consideration. They are 1) loyalty’s
primary determinants (PD), which include, customer’s satisfaction, trust, perceived value, and perceived service quality; 2)
loyalty’s secondary determinants (SD), which include, other loyalty factors based on the research nature and context; and 3)
loyalty’s moral determinants (MD), which include, spiritual, cultural, and religious factors of target markets. Additional
propositions and directions are also provided to create efficient loyalty models. Marketing scholars have given inadequate
attention to cultural and religious influences in studying customer’s loyalty. This article is a commentary research on
previous loyalty models. It is hoped that the propositions provided in the study would inspire future researchers in emerging
proper and effective loyalty models.
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Citation: Ahmad Saifalddin Abu-Alhaija, et al., Determinants of Customer Loyalty: A Review and Future Directions. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied
Sciences, 12(7): 106-111.
Customer’s loyalty is still attracting scholars’ attention due to its obvious significance. Realizing the antecedent factors of customer’s loyalty and the
relationships among these factors are considered important research directions (El-Adly and Eid, 2016). Marketing researchers are also advised to keep their eyes
on customers in the marketplace by investigating their needs, wants, and factors that could affect their evaluations, attitudes, choices, and various purchasing
behaviors. According to Jiang and Zhang (2016), customer’s loyalty is a vital source of competitive advantage for different companies. However, customer’s
loyalty is regarded as a challenging issue for existing corporations, especially in competitive markets (Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016). Determinants of
customer’s satisfaction and loyalty might vary based on business nature and customers’ types or goals. For instance, Jiang and Zhang (2016) advised scholars and
experts to take into consideration the differences between leisure and business passengers when studying contributing factors of customer’s satisfaction and loyalty
since these customers have different preferences and values. Murali et al. (2016) stated that companies should continuously observe customer’s satisfaction,
customer’s loyalty, and customer’s WOM. In particular, customer’s loyalty can be characterized as one of the important success measurements for different
businesses in the marketplace (Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016), and marketing practitioners would ultimately embrace appropriate marketing strategies and
approaches in order to maintain loyal customers towards their businesses (Zhang et al., 2016).
Types of loyalty:
Dick and Basu (1994) categorized customer’s loyalty into 4 types based on two dimensions of relative attitude and repeat patronage; these types or groups
include namely a) no loyalty, b) loyalty, c) latent loyalty, and d) spurious loyalty. Marketing scholars should take this classification of loyalty into their research
consideration due to its important impact and implications. This classification has taken into account both attitudinal and behavioral dimensions of loyalty (Bowen
and McCain, 2015). In competitive markets, practitioners are motivated to create true loyal customers, who have high relative attitude with high repeat patronage
behavior via proper marketing strategies and tactics. This outcome requires scholars to consider further research in examining bases of these strategies and
approaches.
Dick and Basu (1994) conceptualized customer’s loyalty based on the relationship between relative attitude and repeat patronage behavior. In other words,
customer’s loyalty includes attitudinal and behavioral dimensions, where relative attitude refers to attitudinal dimension of loyalty and repeat patronage behavior
refers to behavioral loyalty. It has been argued that integrating attitude dimension into the loyalty model (patronage behavior) would enhance its predictive ability
(Dick and Basu, 1994). More specifically, attitudinal loyalty refers to customer’s emotional attachment while behavioral loyalty refers to custome r’s actual
behavior. In this regard, marketing scholars are advised to use both attitudinal and behavioral dimensions of loyalty in their actual measurements and studies.
Employing composite or integrated loyalty measurements can be considered highly critical in order to have a better understanding on customer’s loyalty. Loyalty
is a complex phenomenon and scholars should consider it as a multi-faceted approach (Dick and Basu, 1994). Measuring customer’s loyalty using unidimensional
measurement is not going to explain the true relationships of loyalty (Bowen and McCain, 2015). On the other hand, using only attitudinal measurements or only
behavioral measurements can be regarded as inadequate procedure in evaluating and understanding customer’s loyalty. It becomes clear that a composite
measurement of loyalty includes both attitudinal and behavioral dimensions in measuring customers’ loyalty; a review of the literature reveals that scholars
generally use composite measurements of customer’s loyalty (Bowen and McCain, 2015) due to its significance.
Marketing scholars have examined the loyalty construct from three perspectives: a) attitudinal, b) behavioral, and c) composite (Chang et al., 2009). For
instance, Casidy and Wymer (2016) have conceptualized the loyalty concept as a customer’s attachment feelings towards specific products and brands (attitudinal
perspective). In relation to this, Izogo (2016) has advised scholars to measure the influences of satisfaction, trust, perceived service quality, and brand image on
customer’s attitudinal loyalty. Several recent researchers have measured customer’s loyalty intentions (e.g. Cong, 2016;Dwivedi and Merrilees, 2016). In addition
to this, Thaichon and Jebarajakirthy (2016) have measured customer’s behavioral loyalty (behavioral perspective). On the other hand, other recent scholars have
conceptualized customer’s loyalty in terms of composite perspective which consists of attitudinal and behavioral loyalty (e.g. Ali et al., 2016; Cossío-Silva et al.,
2016; Nisar and Whitehead, 2016; Srivastava and Kaul, 2016).
Marketing scholars are advised to conceptualize customer’s loyalty as a multi-dimensional construct, which consists of attitudinal and behavioral
dimensions; this conceptualization would provide a better knowledge and understanding of customer’s loyalty (Casidy and Wymer, 2016). Studying customer’s
loyalty using a composite approach is regarded as a recommended procedure in order to provide reliable understanding and implications. A composite
measurement of loyalty has been applied in several business fields, such as, online tourism products (Ruiz-Mafe et al., 2016), casino services (Prentice and Wong,
2016), bike traveling behaviors (Han et al., 2017), motor dealership brands (Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016), golf tourism (Wu and Ai, 2016), online shopping
(Chen et al., 2016), and fashion retailing (Stathopoulou and Balabanis, 2016).
Proper conceptualizations of customer’s loyalty can assist researchers in providing effective understanding and perception (Casidy and Wymer, 2016). In this
regard, marketing scholars can view or conceptualize customer’s loyalty either as attitudinal, behavioral, or composite measures based on the research objectives,
settings, and nature. In other words, integrating the research objectives and context into the definition of loyalty is absolutely important in understanding
customer’s loyalty effectively (e.g. Izogo, 2016) Further to this, marketing scholars are advised to address the loyalty concept based on the current research gaps in
order to provide valuable contributions to the theoretical and practical world of marketing.
Categories of loyalty antecedents and consequences:
Marketing scholars have categorized loyalty antecedents into three groups: a) cognitive antecedents (beliefs or evaluations), b) affective antecedents
(feelings), and c) conative antecedents (behavioral dispositions) (Dick and Basu, 1994). Scholars are advised to integrate these groups of loyalty antecedents into
their models in order to have a better examination and understanding of customer’s loyalty. Brand managers aim to consistently and positively take into
consideration cognitive, affective, and conative loyalty antecedents (Dick and Basu, 1994). This practical view shows that marketing scholars need to consider
evaluative, affective, and behavioral antecedents into proposed loyalty models in order to effectively catch the actual loyal ty relationships. More specifically,
cognitive loyalty antecedents are linked to brands beliefs, while affective antecedents are linked to customer’s feelings towards particular brands, and conative
antecedents are linked to behavioral compositions towards certain brands (Bowen and McCain, 2015). It has been argued that customer’s loyalty might be affected
by cognitive, affective, and conative antecedents(Dick and Basu, 1994). A review of the literature exhibits that marketing researchers have studied several
cognitive, affective and behavioral loyalty factors, but less attention has been given to these antecedents indirectly. Therefore, researchers are advised to study the
influences of these factors directly and indirectly to properly understand loyalty relationships. Examining additional cognitive, affective, and conative loyalty
antecedents is also an advisable research in order to provide a better perception and implications in customer’s loyalty development.
Marketing scholars are advised to go beyond the straightforward and direct relationships in studying customer’s loyalty. A review of the literature shows that
recent loyalty scholars have examined several research mediators (e.g. Bilgihan, 2016; Bilgihan et al., 2016; El-Adly and Eid, 2016; Han et al., 2017; Kim et al.,
2016; Kwenye and Freimund, 2016; Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016; Prentice and Wong, 2016; Zhang et al., 2016), research moderators (e.g. Ipek et al., 2016;
Kim et al., 2016; Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016; Rubio et al., 2016; Saleem etal., 2016), and loyalty consequences (e.g. Casidy and Wymer, 2016; Castaldo
etal., 2016; Srivastava and Kaul, 2016). The present study argues that integrating relevant loyalty antecedents, mediators, moderators, and consequences into the
existing models would be considered a valuable research in order to provide a better and further understanding on customer’s loyalty behavior. This direction is in
line with the view of Dick and Basu (1994). Loyalty consequences can explain the importance of customer’s loyalty to various businesses and corporations. More
specifically, customer’s loyalty has three groups of consequences: a) motivational consequences, b) perceptual consequences, and c) behavioral
consequences(Dick and Basu, 1994). Customer’s retention (Eid, 2013), share of wallet (Castaldo et al., 2016; Srivastava and Kaul, 2016), Willingness to pay
premium price(Casidy and Wymer, 2016), WOM, resistance to counter persuasion, and search motivation (Dick and Basu, 1994) are examples of loyalty
consequences. In this regard, researchers are advised to examine further the loyalty consequences since less research has considered this gap.
Antecedents of customer’s loyalty:
Marketing scholars regularly examine customer’s loyalty due to its significance and benefits (Bowen and McCain, 2015). Researchers have studied the
impacts of several factors on customer’s loyalty such as brands (Nisar and Whitehead, 2016), brand attachment (Prentice and Wong, 2016), brand relationship
(Haryanto et al., 2016), positive emotions (Bilgihan et al., 2016), emotions (Ruiz-Mafe et al., 2016), emotional intelligence (Saleem et al., 2016), delight, (Ali et
al., 2016), experiential satisfaction (Wu and Ai, 2016), perceived enjoyment (Su et al., 2016), emotional commitment (Heo and Lee, 2016), empathy (Ansari and
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Citation: Ahmad Saifalddin Abu-Alhaija, et al., Determinants of Customer Loyalty: A Review and Future Directions. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied
Sciences, 12(7): 106-111.
Riasi, 2016), customer commitment (Thaichon and Jebarajakirthy, 2016), customer engagement (Thakur, 2016), and experiential quality (Wu and Ai, 2016). A
review of the literature shows that researchers have presented several loyalty models and factors based on the research objectives and context.
Loyalty antecedents have been categorized into two groups: the first group represents the factors that have been widely stud ied in the marketing literature
such as customer’s satisfaction, perceived service quality, perceived switching costs, commitment, and loyalty programs (Kandampully et al., 2015). However, a
review of the literature exhibits that this group of factors is still important and needs regular examinations due to its importance and predictive power. The second
group of antecedents represents the factors that have appeared in recent loyalty studies (Kandampully et al., 2015). The present study argues that recognizing these
groups of loyalty antecedents is significant in the way to have loyal customers towards particular products and brands. More importantly, practitioners should
integrate relevant loyalty factors into the strategies and tactics of their companies to have genuine loyal customers in order to eventually achieve the market
success.
Understanding customer’s loyalty is absolutely important and researchers need to identify its determining factors (Kim et al., 2016). In this regard, marketing
researchers keep presenting loyalty models to effectively understand the formation of customer’s loyalty. A recent review of loyalty studies shows that researchers
have been advised to investigate specific variables as important determining factors, such as, trust (Ali et al., 2016; Bilgihan et al., 2016; Calisir et al., 2016;
Izogo, 2016; Maggioni, 2016; Thaichon and Jebarajakirthy, 2016), customer’s satisfaction(Akroush et al., 2016; Bilgihan et al., 2016; Chen et al., 2016; El-Adly
and Eid, 2016; Izogo, 2016; Thaichon and Jebarajakirthy, 2016), emotions (Campón-Cerro et al., 2016), enjoyment (Lee and Wong, 2016), word of mouth (Calisir
et al., 2016), customer involvement (Ali et al., 2016), customer commitment (Bilgihan et al., 2016; Silva and Goncalves, 2016), perceived service quality (Izogo,
2016; Rubio et al., 2016), perceived value (Calisir et al., 2016; Chen et al., 2016; El-Adly and Eid, 2016; Lee and Wong, 2016), benefits (Pinkus et al., 2016),
brand reputation(Silva and Goncalves, 2016), brand image (Izogo, 2016), destination image(Kwenye and Freimund, 2016), perceived risk (Chen et al., 2016),
switching costs (Bilgihan et al., 2016; Silva and Goncalves, 2016), CRM (Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016), commercial ads and buyer-seller relationship (Wu
and Lin, 2016), habits (Bilgihan et al., 2016), religiosity (Abu-Alhaija et al., 2017; Kasuma et al., 2016), and religious orientation (Abu-Alhaija et al., 2017). More
importantly, recent scholars have been advised to integrate these loyalty antecedents into future proposed models to examine their impacts. The results of these
studies could help practitioners by providing reliable conclusions and implications in developing and enhancing customer’s loyalty. According to Kandampully et
al. (2015), the loyalty literature has identified factors of customer perceived value, customer engagement, brand and corporate image, customer trust, relational
benefits, brand experience, rapport among customers and employees, and employee engagement as possible loyalty determinants. The present study argues that
selecting loyalty factors should depend primarily on the research nature and service contexts in order to provide valid marketing results and conclusions.
According to El-Adly and Eid (2016), researchers should measure customer’s satisfaction and perceived value, as important loyalty antecedents, on a regular
basis due to their dynamic nature. It is clear that most loyalty studies have focused on positive emotions and experiences while influences of negative emotions on
customer’s loyalty and satisfaction received little research attention. In this regard, Ali et al. (2016) have stated that researchers are advised to examine negative
emotions and experiences, such as, fears, regrets, and boredom in order to achieve an additional understanding of customer’s behavior and loyalty. Investigating
these influences might show the importance of negative feelings and emotions as undesirable outcomes and important factors. Thus, companies should be aware of
their significance and implications.
Scholars are advised to search for additional determinants of customer’s loyalty and satisfaction based on industry context (Ali et al., 2016). Determinants of
customer’s loyalty might differ by industry, country, and market stage of product life cycle (Kim et al. , 2016). For instance, perceived content quality (PCQ),
system quality, and information quality might be proper factors for viewer’s satisfaction and loyalty towards IPTV and satellite TV services. Identifying
antecedents of customer’s loyalty and satisfaction should depend on literature review and product nature. Marketing researchers have examined several loyalty
factors and they admitted that adding other factors would increase the explanatory power of existing loyalty model (e.g. Bilgihan et al., 2016; Kwenye and
Freimund, 2016; Maggioni, 2016; Silva and Goncalves, 2016; Yarmen et al., 2016). According to Lee and Wong (2016), existing research models might not cover
all the factors that influence customer’s loyalty. Therefore, scholars are advised to carry out additional research attempts to provide a better perception and
implication taking into account additional factors, perspectives, and contexts. In short, previous views show that doors are still open to marketing researchers in
exploring and examining additional loyalty antecedents. Researchers are also advised to validate the proposed loyalty models based on future research
opportunities and limitations.
Research priorities of customer’s loyalty:
A recent review of the literature shows that there are four important factors in developing and enhancing customer’s loyalty: a) satisfaction (e.g. Ali et al.,
2016; Casidy and Wymer, 2016; Castaldo et al., 2016; El-Adly and Eid, 2016; Jiang and Zhang, 2016; Kim et al., 2016; Nisar and Whitehead, 2016; Wu and Ai,
2016; Yacob et al., 2016; Yoo and Park, 2016), b) perceived quality (e.g. Akroushet al., 2016; Ansari and Riasi, 2016; Calisir et al., 2016; Heo and Lee, 2016;
Kwenye and Freimund, 2016; Murali et al., 2016; Pinkus et al., 2016; Saleem et al., 2016; Yacob et al., 2016), c) perceived value (e.g. Ansari and Riasi, 2016;
Campón-Cerro et al., 2016; Han et al., 2017; Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016; Thaichon and Jebarajakirthy, 2016; Wu and Lin, 2016), and d) trust (e.g.
Akhoondnejad, 2016; Bilgihan, 2016; Castaldo et al., 2016; Heo and Lee, 2016; Lee and Wong, 2016; Silva and Goncalves, 2016; Stathopoulou and Balabanis,
2016; Tsiotsou, 2016; Yarmen et al., 2016). The present study argues that integrating these factors into loyalty models is considered essential in understanding the
formation and enhancement of customer’s loyalty. However, limited marketing studies have incorporated the cultural and religious influences into the existing
loyalty models despite their importance in today’s individual’s life.
Marketing scholars have given a little research attention to influence of cultural dimensions on customer’s loyalty (Haryanto et al., 2016). According to Lee
and Wong (2016), scholars are advised to examine the role of culture in existing loyalty models to provide a further depth and understanding. Marketing
researchers are also advised to examine influence of cultural issues, religiosity, ethnicity, and the environmental factors on enhancing customer’s loyalty (Kasuma
et al., 2016). Identifying and recognizing the cultural factors that influence customer’s loyalty is considered an important research in order to strengthen marketing
strategies and plans(Haryanto et al., 2016). More importantly, a review of the literature shows that limited studies have examined the cultural and religious
influences on important marketing constructs, such as, customer’s satisfaction, attitudes, loyalty, experiences, trust, perceived service quality, image, and
customer’s perceived value(Ahmad Saifalddin Abu-Alhaija et al., 2017).
The construct of perceived risk consists of different dimensions, such as, financial, social, and psychological. Understanding types of risk based on the
service nature is an advisable research(Casidy and Wymer, 2016). This review paper advises scholars to integrate the religious risk into the construct of perceived
risk as an important and additional dimension. Future researchers can explore and examine the significance of religious risk on various risk dimensions and
marketing concepts, such as, purchasing experience, satisfaction, and loyalty. According to Casidy and Wymer (2016), experiencing higher levels of risks is
associated with high involvement products. However, this review claims that religious risk might affect both low and high involvement products based on its
significance and nature. Further research is recommended on this matter especially in terms of customer’s attitudes and behaviors.
Millennials are essential market for modern businesses. However, the antecedents of loyalty for millennials are different from the baby boomers and
marketing researchers are highly recommended to investigate the antecedents and consequences of millennials’ loyalty (Bowen and McCain, 2015). Examining
customer’s loyalty of generation Y (Millennials) is considered a vital research (Bowen and McCain, 2015; Kandampully et al., 2015). In this regard, millennials
prefer the brands that match their lifestyles, values, and beliefs (Bowen and McCain, 2015). Moreover, practitioners need to track customers’ reviews and feedback
on social media networks since customers’ satisfaction databases and surveys are not sufficient (Bowen and McCain, 2015). Social media applications can assist
scholars and practitioners to better understand customer’s attitudes and behaviors. Millennials consider social media networks as vital information source (Bowen
and McCain, 2015), and modern businesses use these networks in order to be connected with existing and potential customers in the marketplace. These
companies use various applications and networks, such as, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and twitter to promote their brands, products, and offers.
Investigating the influence of social media applications on customer’s experiences, satisfaction, and loyalty is absolutely a recommended research. Individuals also
communicate with their friends, connections, and existing companies through these networks. According to Kandampully etal. (2015), future research are advised
to examine the impacts of online and offline social interactions on customer’s loyalty.
Further marketing studies may address customer’s loyalty towards particular brands (brand loyalty). More specifically, scholars are advised to conduct
comparative loyalty studies between leading brands, such as, IPhone versus Samsung, Toshiba versus Acer computers, LG versus Samsung TV, and Mercedes
versus BMW. This kind of research can help practitioners in understanding customers’ profil es, attitudes and behaviors, which in turn, could help build proper
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Citation: Ahmad Saifalddin Abu-Alhaija, et al., Determinants of Customer Loyalty: A Review and Future Directions. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied
Sciences, 12(7): 106-111.
targeting and marketing strategies and tactics. Additional research might explore and examine educational institutional loyalty, hospital loyalty, hotel loyalty, mall
loyalty, restaurant loyalty, radio and TV loyalty, football team’s loyalty, game’s loyalty, social media loyalty, and employee’s loyalty (internal customers). Further
to this, scholars can consider these sectors in terms of public and private perspectives or marketing mix policies. Previous discussions and views reveal that there is
a need to propose proper loyalty models for various fields and contexts to better explain and enhance customer’s loyalty.
Research designs:
Most marketing studies relied on cross-sectional data in studying customer’s loyalty (e.g. Akroush et al., 2016; Cong, 2016; Han et al., 2017; Izogo, 2016;
Lee, 2016; Prentice and Wong, 2016; Ruiz-Mafe et al., 2016; Saleem et al., 2016; Su et al., 2016; Thaichon and Jebarajakirthy, 2016; Tsiotsou, 2016; Yarmen et
al., 2016; Zhang et al., 2016). On the other hand, recent loyalty studies advised future scholars to use longitudinal research designs to provide a better
understanding of customer’s loyalty and its determining factors (e.g. Casidy and Wymer, 2016; Chen et al., 2016; Dwivedi and Merrilees, 2016; El-Adly and Eid,
2016; Ipek et al., 2016; Kwenye and Freimund, 2016; Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016; Stathopoulou and Balabanis, 2016; Wu, 2016; Wu and Lin, 2016). In this
regard, El-Adly and Eid (2016) advised marketing researchers to use longitudinal approach in order to identify the relative importance of perceived value
dimensions on customer’s loyalty and satisfaction.
Cross-sectional designs only provide a snapshot of impacts of customer’s loyalty determinants (Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh, 2016). Cross-sectional data
represents a snapshot of customer’s evaluations at a specific point in time (Dwivedi and Merrilees, 2016). On the other hand, longitudinal research data would
increase the research validity and decrease the common method bias of research studies (Chen et al., 2016). Using a longitudinal research design would benefit
marketing scholars by eliminating temporary conclusions and implications from the research results (Ipek etal., 2016). Providing strong causal loyalty
relationships is possible by conducting longitudinal research designs (Wu, 2016). In this regard, assessing customer’s loyalty using a repetitive measure is a
recommended procedure(Saleem etal., 2016). Future researchers are advised to conduct longitudinal loyalty studies since customer’s evaluations may differ over
time and this design would provide additional reliability to research results. In addition, longitudinal designs can provide interesting findings as the intentions of
customer’s loyalty are regarded time bound(Saleem etal., 2016).
Conclusions and future research:
Studying customer’s loyalty will always be important to marketing scholars and practitioners due to its implications and significance. The highly competitive
nature of local and international markets motivates practitioners to increasingly focus on customer’s loyalty formation and enhancement. Scholars are also
motivated to propose relevant loyalty models in order to effectively create and enhance customer’s loyalty towards particular brands. In relation to this, researchers
are advised to examine loyalty behavior through customer’s motivation factors. It is important to understand customers’ motivation since customers’ acceptance is
linked to their experience, which in turn, is linked to their motivations (Shin, 2009). Examining customer’s loyalty from motivational perspectives is a vital
research avenue for marketing scholars and practitioners. For instance, Heo and Lee (2016) recommend scholars to examine additional loyalty antecedents, such
as, student’s motivation The motivational approach of religion through religious orientation is also considered an important research topic.
This study concludes that studying the antecedents and consequences of customer’s loyalty is highly recommended to provide reliable and effective
marketing strategies. Marketing researchers are advised to examine the consequences of customer’s loyalty (e.g. profitability , share of wallet, willingness to pay
more, and word of mouth) due to their positive impacts on companies. Integrating relevant mediating and moderating factors into loyalty models are also advised
in order to provide deeper understanding on customer’s loyalty. According to Lee (2016), even though many research antecedents, mediators, and moderators have
been extensively examined through various loyalty models, still there is a need to take other relevant factors into consideration, such as, information, program
content, staff, and facilities.
Studying and understanding customer’s loyalty is crucial in today’s dynamic world due to changing technology, contexts, and lifestyles. This can assist
marketing practitioners in developing reliable plans and tactics. Providing empirical evidences on proposed loyalty models and relationships would help
practitioners in organizing their resources and efforts efficiently in achieving their objectives. Researchers are advised to examine the impacts of personal and
social identity dimensions on customer’s loyalty and satisfaction in order to have a better understanding of customer’s attitudes and behaviors. Potential stream of
research may also examine loyalty factors from distinctive cultures and circumstances since Kassim and Abdullah (2010) stated that customers of different cultures
may respond differently to particular loyalty factors. These types of research can show significance or strength of loyalty factors a t different cultures and settings.
This can help by providing valid implications based on each market’s context and personality. Mo re importantly, scholars should investigate impacts of cultural
and religious backgrounds on customer’s loyalty and its determining factors (e.g., Abu-Alhaija et al.,2018; Abu-Alhaija et al., 2017).
This study argues that there are three groups of loyalty antecedents should be taken into consideration: 1) loyalty’s primary determinants (PD), which
include, customer satisfaction, trust, perceived value, and perceived service quality; 2) loyalty’s secondary determinants (S D), which include, other loyalty factors
based on the research nature and context; and 3) loyalty’s moral determinants (MD), which include, spiritual, cultural, and r eligious factors of target markets. In
sum, researchers have examined numerous loyalty antecedents, but the need to understand customer’s loyalty from additional perspectives is still there.
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Mental associations play a key role in shaping customer-brand relationships and are critical to the development of favourable attitudes and emotional attachment towards a brand. By exploring shoppers’ knowledge structures, this study identifies what drivers of customer loyalty are more relevant to customers in the context of grocery retail. A mix-method study on shoppers’ perceptions and values associated to their most patronised grocery store is presented. Through focus group discussions, concept maps and associative network analysis, three types of associations are identified: functional, relational and premium store associations. Salience and relationships among these dimensions are also discussed.
Within the current economic context, store brands play an important role in differentiation strategies based on assortment and positioning in terms of distributor prices. To begin with, this study identifies three determining aspects of retail loyalty and trust: satisfaction with price levels, the perceived image of the assortment and loyalty to the store brands (SB). Secondly, this study proposes a theoretical relational model among the aforementioned aspects. Finally, this study analyzes the moderating role that the strategy of choosing SB name (umbrella brand label vs. brands different from the label brand) plays in the relationship between loyalty to SB and loyalty to and trust in the retailer. By including this moderating variable, we seek to contribute to current academic research and to provide insights into the importance that SB strategy (label vs. own name) has for the effect of loyalty to SB on the relative results of the retail company. Our research results show that making the umbrella SB name the same as the label brand name increases the positive effect of customer loyalty to SB on loyalty to the retailer, but not the effect of trust on this loyalty compared to chains that use SB names different from those of the label. These results have important implications for management.
This study aims at developing and validating a measurement model for customer engagement with specific focus on mobile devices for shopping. Further, role of customer engagement in building customer loyalty is explored. The research in this investigation used three studies for developing customer engagement scale and validating the proposed model. The study involved data collection from experts and users through varied methods including in-depth interviews, and surveys. Further structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. Findings of this study include development and validation of customer engagement as second order construct arising out of six different customer experiences - social-facilitation, self-connect, intrinsic enjoyment, time-filler, utilitarian and monetary evaluation experiences. Further, the study established significant role of customer engagement in predicting customer loyalty in addition to existing constructs of satisfaction and convenience. This study contributes to evolving scholarly research on customer engagement. This study further provides a framework to retailers for devising matrices to track experiences and engagement of customers on mobile devices for shopping. Further, retailers may be able to use customer engagement to differentiate themselves from competition in attracting merchants and advertisers.
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Customer loyalty is a source of competitive advantage and an important intangible asset to any organisations, but empirical evidence from China's airline market regarding the determinants of passenger satisfaction and loyalty is lacking. This paper investigates the service quality of four major airlines in China's domestic market and explores the links between their service quality and customer satisfaction, as well as the conditions under which airlines can retain existing passengers. In line with previous studies, service quality variables are significant factors influencing customer satisfaction levels. However, satisfactory service was not found to result in higher customer loyalty among business travellers. In comparison to Hainan Airlines, passengers who travelled with Air China, China Southern and China Eastern were more likely to switch to an alternate carrier, indicating lower levels of brand loyalty. In addition, the frequent flyer programs (FFPs) have been largely a failure for the four major airlines in terms of increasing customer loyalty, as revealed in this study. It is necessary to draw distinctions between business and leisure travellers when studying the determinants of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Ticket pricing had a positive and significant effect on passengers' overall satisfaction and in turn strengthened customer loyalty among leisure travellers, but achieved no impact on the satisfaction and loyalty of business passengers. Some demographic variables such as gender, income and education are statistically significant for one group of passengers but not for another in the probit models estimated. It is suggested that different marketing strategies may be used to target different market segments to improve customer loyalty.