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Long-Term Impact of Loyalty Programs

Liu, Yuping (2007), "The Long-Term Impact of Loyalty Programs on Consumer Purchase Behavior and Loyalty ," Journal of Marketing, 71 (4), 19-35.

Abstract: Despite the prevalent use of loyalty programs, there is limited evidence on the long-term effects of such programs, and their effectiveness is not well established.  The current research examines the long-term impact of a loyalty program on consumers’ usage levels and their exclusive loyalty to the firm.  Using longitudinal data from a convenience store franchise, the study shows that consumers who were heavy buyers at the beginning of a loyalty program were most likely to claim their qualified rewards, but the program did not prompt them to change their purchase behavior.  In contrast, consumers whose initial patronage levels were low or moderate gradually purchased more and became more loyal to the firm.  For light buyers, the loyalty program broadened their relationship with the firm into other business areas.  The findings suggest a need to consider consumer idiosyncrasies when studying loyalty programs and illustrate consumers’ co-creation of value in the marketing process.