Relationship intention amongst clothing retail customers : an exploratory study

18 Nov 2015

ORIENTATION : Increasing competition has resulted in clothing retailers placing more emphasis on expensive relationship marketing tactics to retain customers. The retailers often use customers’ loyalty programme membership and the duration of their support to identify and target them in relationship-building efforts. RESEARCH PURPOSE : This study determines the viability of relationship intention by measuring and categorising clothing customers according to their relationship intentions. The study also explores the duration of customer support for a clothing retailer, membership of their loyalty programme and the relationship thereof with customers’ relationship intentions towards that retailer. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Relationship building efforts would be better directed at customers with relationship intentions. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD : Quantitative in nature, this study followed a descriptive research design and used an interviewer-administered survey to collect data from 511 clothing retail customers residing in the greater Pretoria metropolitan area. MAIN FINDINGS : Clothing retailers can effectively determine and categorise customers according to their relationship intentions. The duration customers have supported a clothing retailer and its loyalty programme has no relationship with their relationship intentions. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS : Clothing retailers should focus their relationship building on customers with relationship intentions, as they are more likely to respond favourably. They are more likely to be retained by the clothing retailer and provide a return on investment. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD : This study gives clothing retailers a reliable and valid measuring instrument that can be used to identify customers with relationship intentions, rather than relying on the duration of the customers’ support and their loyalty programme membership