Customers and Repurchase Behavior
Customer Preferences and Characteristics
Customers and their shopping habits have been studied extensively to determine what influences their choices. Studies often focus on customers repurchase behavior to determine strategies that businesses can take to increase their profits and provide better goods and services. Repurchase behaviors are often studied over customer satisfaction and future purchase intentions because it studies what the customer does, rather than what they predict they will do in a future situation. The more often repurchasing behavior happens, store sales are affected positively (Simon, Gomez, McLaughlin, & Wittink, 2009). Researchers have discovered that not only do physical characteristics of the stores and goods offered affect the customers, but also their own, personal characteristics (Gomez, McLaughlin, & Wittink, 2004). Additionally, a customer’s personal preferences and physical location also play a role in determining where they shop and what they buy. If a business is closer to their home or other places that they frequent, the customer is more likely to shop their over somewhere else (Moschis, Curasi, & Bellenger, 2004). Additionally, the ease of finding goods and familiar brands affects how much a customer purchases in one shopping trip and in return trips (Seiders et al., 2005).
Age plays a significant role in determining purchase behavior and intentions. If businesses know the influence that age has on customers’ behaviors, then they can efficiently market specifically to certain groups. For example, older adults are more likely to watch for exclusive deals and sales and to value customer assistance (Moschis, Curasi, & Bellenger, 2004). Gender also plays a role. Females are more likely to look for sales policies like price matching and rules concerning coupons than males (Moschis, Curasi, & Bellenger, 2004). Additionally, the level of involvement of customers in their shopping tendencies, like looking at sales ads and finding the best deals, affects purchase behaviors. The more involved the customer is and the more satisfied they are, they will spend more money, but does not affect their return visits to the store (Seiders et al., 2005).
Physical characteristics of the store affect a customer’s repurchase behavior. Aspects like store lighting, music played, product quality and freshness, cleanliness and customer service all affect a customer’s satisfaction and repurchase behavior (Gomez et al., 2004). However, if a customer experiences one unsatisfactory experience while shopping, regardless of how often they have returned to the store, it can cause a shift in their repurchasing behavior and negatively affect store sales (Gomez et al., 2004). The number of marketing advertisements and price promotions utilized by a business also affects customers repurchase behavior in that the different advertisements may cause switching behavior, like when a new store opens and is heavily marketed or businesses have one-day special sales (Seiders, Voss, Grewal, & Godfrey, 2005).
Many factors influence a customer’s choice in purchasing certain products. Store characteristics, product assortment, and labels/store colors are important effects. Shoppers prefer large assortments of familiar brands, however factors like a variety of product sizes also has a role. In a surprising study, Briesch, Chintagunta, and Fox found that even the amount of product on the shelf affects what customers buy and do not buy (2017). Additionally, changes in the labels of products can cause customers to change their brand preference (Garber, Burke, and Jones, 2000). On the other hand, if the label change is too drastic, then customers may completely ignore the product because it has become to unfamiliar.
Employees play a significant role in determining customer satisfaction. Though there are some things they can control, like their attitudes and own behaviors, there are some things that they cannot control that do influence customer satisfaction (Simon et al., 2005). For example, product quality and prices are not under the control of the cashier. However, how employees handle disgruntled customers can be a buffer to their dissatisfaction. Studies have shown that if employees remember customers’ orders and become familiar with regular customers, customer satisfaction increases dramatically (Moschis et al., 2004). Also, a study done by Skarlicki, van Jaarsveld, and Walker demonstrated that employees who cannot handle customers being rude to them and perform acts of sabotage against the customer, have a poorer work ethic than those who do not (2008).
Employee morale can affect their attitudes and behaviors that, in turn, affect the customer. Morale is not only determined by the work environment that the employers create, but also interactions between coworkers. The differences in attitudes and the way employers treat full and part time employees can create a division between coworkers (Conway & Briner, 2002). Part time employees are often very young or very old, whereas full time employees are middle aged (Conway & Briner, 2002). Because of the difference in number of hours worked, employees’ motivations for working and job satisfaction are different, which can create tension between coworkers (Conway & Briner, 2002). Part time employees may have other factors that are more important to them than their job, whereas full time employees may value their job most. This can result in a difference in work ethic which can create conflict. A difference in age can also be a barrier between coworkers, especially if the difference is large in a supervisor and worker relationship. Collins, Hair, and Rocco did extensive studies studying the differences and expectations in relationships between young supervisors and older workers, older supervisors and younger workers, and supervisors and workers of the same age (2009). They found that older workers do not think highly of their younger supervisors and have lower expectations for them. On the other side, younger workers and workers of the same age rate their supervisor’s leadership abilities higher. If there is a conflict between a supervisor and their worker, then employee morale is likely to be affected, which could lead to a negative attitude towards a customer.
Collins, M. H., Hair, J. E., & Rocco, T.S. (2009). The older-worker-younger-supervisor dyad: A test of the reverse Pygmalion effect, Human Resource Development Quarterly, 20(1), 21-41. Doi: 10.1002/hrdq.20006
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Garber, L. L., Burke, R. R., & Jones, J. M. (2000). The role of package color in consumer purchase consideration and choice, Marketing Science Institute, 00(104).
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Moschis, G., Curasi, C., & Bellenger, D. (2004). Patronage motives of mature consumers in the selection of food and grocery stores, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 21(2), 123-133. Doi: 10.1108/07363760410525687
Seiders, K., Voss, G. B., Grewal, D., & Godfrey, A. L. (2005). Do satisfied customers buy more? Examining moderating influences in a retailing context, Journal of Marketing, 69(4), 26-43. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30166550
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Skarlicki, D. P., van Jaarsveld, D. D., & Walker, D. D. (2008). Getting even for customer mistreatment: The role of moral identity in the relationship between customer interpersonal injustice and employee sabotage, Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(6), 1335-1347. Doi: 10.1037/a0012704