Where do customer loyalties really lie, and why? Gender differences in store loyalty


International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

2016, vol. 44, n°8, pp.799-813

Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Gender, Customer satisfaction, Loyalty

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine gender differences in store loyalty and how those differences evolve with age.Design/methodology/approach – Data for the study were collected in a survey of 32,054 shoppers in more than 50 grocery stores belonging to the same chain. In total, 20 satisfaction items were factoranalysed, resulting in four satisfaction factors. A logistic regression with store exclusivity as the dependent variable was then run to test the research hypotheses.Findings – This study finds that men are more loyal than women to the store chain, while women are more loyal than men to individual stores. Women’s loyalty is more influenced by their satisfaction with interaction with store employees, while for men loyalty is more influenced by satisfaction with impersonal dimensions. Store loyalty increases with age, an effect that cannot be explained solely by declining mobility and cognitive impairment.Research limitations/implications – This research examines declared behavioural practices rather than actual behaviour. However, in view of the high frequency of purchases in the retail category examined, and also because of the large sample of over 50 different stores, declared practices should be highly correlated with actual behaviour.Practical implications – Results from satisfaction surveys should be interpreted differently for men and women. Loyalty programmes may want to adapt their approach, to incorporate gender differences into their loyalty reinforcing measures.Social implications – This paper should also help to a better understanding of loyalty programs for both men and women, younger and older people.Originality/value – This is the first demonstration from an in store customer survey that the shopping experience drives store loyalty differently for men and women