Dissertation Consumer Loyalty in Retail - AnInvestigation Into Loyalty Schemes
Consumer loyalty is one of the most valuable assets a retailer could possess. With increased competitionfrom rival stores and brands, a vast range of product choice and variations, and the expansion of internet trading and comparison websites, loyalty is scarcely existent in the modern retail environment.With the retail world saturated in plastic cards, point schemes, and a whole spectrum of consumerloyalty tactics, the investigation into loyalty schemes establishes their effectiveness in living up to theirname. Research has expanded knowledge of previous authors, and examines what does and does notmake a consumer loyal, taking into account the effect of loyalty cards for both the consumer andretailer. It attempts to develop an understanding of the most effective way for retailers to turn a mereconsumer into a loyal customer. The development of loyalty models and analysis of research begin tosuggest that loyalty schemes are successful when offering sustainable benefits to the consumer such asspecial offers, reduced pricing, and free gifts, however the effectiveness of loyalty schemes aredramatically reduced when the participants privacy is invaded with purchase tracking and direct mail.However, it is discussed that loyalty schemes should be used only as one part of a customer loyaltystrategy, and that other techniques such as building staff and customer relationships should beemphasised to begin to increase the wavering loyalty levels within today's disloyal retail environments.