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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION, CUSTOMER LOYALTY AND BUYING INTENTION

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There are too many supermarket retailers in today's marketplace in Turkey. While some retailers are very successful, others are however unsuccessful in their business. Retailers want to attract and hold customers who spend more money in their stores in order to increase the possibility of success. Thus, it is necessary to create, evaluate and retain the loyalty of customers for retailers.

Driven by rapidly changing retail environments, more demanding customers, intensified competition, and slow growth markets, retailers are more than ever obliged to continually focus on establishing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Understanding how customer satisfaction and customer loyalty develop remains one of the crucial retail management issues today. Thus, in order to take competitive advantage, retailers must understand the customer behavioral process that could lead their buying intentions.

In this study, the relationship between customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and buying intention is addressed. The objective of this study is to empirically test a model of relationships among customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and buying intention. Customer loyalty is investigated by examining two dimensions which are behavioral loyalty and attitudinal loyalty. Data was obtained from 600 shoppers in Turkey via questionnaire. The data was analyzed by structural equation modeling in order to test all the relationships between variables in the model. Results of structural equation modeling analysis indicated a good fit between the model and the observed data.

The findings supported the proposed hypotheses, which are consistent with the theoretical framework. A number of notable findings are reported related to customer satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty, behavioral loyalty and buying intention. The results indicate that customer satisfaction influences attitudinal loyalty and buying intention. In addition, empirical study reveals that attitudinal loyalty has an impact on both behavioral loyalty and buying intention. The results also suggest that attitudinal loyalty has more impact than satisfaction on buying intention. Thus, fostering favorable attitudinal loyalty holds key to gain customers' buying intention and behavioral loyalty.

The contribution of this paper is to model all the relationships between buying intention and its antecedents, and to test these relationships simultaneously. The results have implications for both retailing managers and researchers in order to predict customers' buying behavior. From a strategic viewpoint, this suggests that retailing managers can focus on customer satisfaction and customer attitudinal loyalty to develop effective marketing strategies and plans in order to gain customer behavioral loyalty.
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Keywords: Attitudinal Loyalty; Behavioral Loyalty; Buying Intention; Customer Satisfaction; Structural Equation Modeling

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • The International Journal of Management Cases (IJMC) developed in 2002 from its predecessor The Journal of Management Cases, and present case studies across a broad range of management disciplines. The IJMC is the official journal of the CIRCLE Research Centre. CIRCLE (Centre for International Research Consumers, Locations and their Environments) is a virtual research group spreading over 70 universities.
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