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Loyalty cards in the apparel industry in Germany and Spain -- Acknowledgements -- Executive Summary -- Tables of Contents -- Index of Tables -- Index of Figures -- Abbreviations -- 1. Introduction -- 1.1. Introduction -- 1.2. Preface -- 1.3. Research aim and objectives -- 1.4. Research problem -- 1.5. Research questions -- 1.6. Hypotheses -- 1.7. Structure of the investigation -- 2. Literature Review -- 2.1. Introduction -- 2.2. Background information -- 2.2.1. Marketing stimuli: loyalty cards in Germany and Spain -- 2.2.2. General consumer characteristics in Germany and Spain -- 2.4. Theory of global marketing -- 2.4.1. Definition of global marketing -- 2.4.2. Discussion -- 2.5. Theory of consumer behaviour and external influences -- 2.5.1. Definition and development of consumer behaviour -- 2.5.2. Theoretical models of consumer behaviour -- 2.5.3. Stimuli and characteristics affecting consumer behaviour -- 2.6. Theory of customer loyalty in marketing management -- 2.6.1. Consumer loyalty -- 2.6.2. Loyalty programmes and consumer loyalty management -- 2.6.3. Loyalty cards -- 2.7. Research design and research tactics -- 2.8. Conclusion of the literature review -- 3. Research Methodology -- 3.1. Introduction -- 3.2. Research objectives -- 3.3. Research design and strategy -- 3.4. Research tactics: Sources of data -- 3.5. Questionnaire design -- 3.5.1. Operationalisation of research variables -- 3.5.2. Questionnaire development -- 3.5.3. Pilot study and finalised version of the questionnaire -- 3.6. Respondents and sampling procedure -- 3.6.1. Target population -- 3.6.2. Justification -- 3.7. Data collection -- 3.8. Problems and limitations -- 3.9. Conclusion of methodology -- 4. Research Findings and Data Analysis -- 4.1. Introduction -- 4.2. Sample composition -- 4.3. Research findings and data analysis.
4.3.1. General behaviour and attitude towards loyalty cards -- 4.3.2. Preferences regarding loyalty card features -- 4.3.3. Store loyalty towards favourite retail store -- 5. Research discussions, conclusion and recommendations -- 5.1. Introduction -- 5.2. Analysis of store loyalty tendencies and success factors -- 5.2.1. General behaviour and attitudes towards loyalty cards -- 5.2.2. Preferences regarding loyalty card features -- 5.2.3. Store loyalty towards favourite retail store -- 5.3. Review theory used -- 5.4. Recommendations for apparel retailers -- 5.5. Recommendations for future research -- 6. References/Bibliography -- 6.1. References -- 6.2. Bibliography -- 7. Appendix -- 7.1. Questionnaire.
Internationally operating apparel retailers are expanding throughout Europe (Noordhoff et al, 2004; Seock and Lin, 2011). To be able to cope with the fierce competition in the apparel retail industry, many retailers have implemented loyalty cards in order to keep current customers. Several retailers have opted for a global marketing strategy which includes implementing loyalty cards with the same features in several countries (e.g. Hunkemöller, Promod, Esprit). This research is a comparative analysis of young adults, aged between 18 and 30, from a Northern European country (Germany) and a Southern European country (Spain). The objective is to determine if there are significant differences in attitudinal and behavioural patterns, as well as in preferences regarding the features of loyalty cards in the consumers of the two countries, to find potential success factors for retailers. In the first place, international apparel retailers have to decide which marketing approach they intend to follow. This may be either a standardised, etic marketing approach, which aims to have one overall marketing strategy for all countries, or a non-standardised, emic marketing approach, which aims to adapt the marketing strategy in every country to the local culture (Trommsdorff, 2009; Solomon et al, 2002). Research of consumer behaviour has shown that consumers are influenced by external stimuli (political, economic, social, technological) and consumer characteristics (cultural, social, personal) (Foscht and Swoboda, 2005; Kotler et al, 2009). Marketers have to be aware of these external influences in order to develop marketing strategies that appeal to the target market(s). By making use of the right marketing instruments, customer satisfaction and loyalty and, subsequently, long-term profitability can be established (Seock and Lin, 2011). Loyal customers have been
shown to be more profitable to the company than continuously acquired new customers (Reichheld and Teal, 2001). In the literature, the distinction between attitudinal and behavioural loyalty is widely spread, and it will also be upheld in this research. One instrument often used in relationship marketing is the promotional tool of loyalty cards (Aßmann et al, 2008). There are different forms of loyalty cards, which differ in loyalty card type, in loyalty card functions and in target groups (Steffens, 2010). The image and efficacy of loyalty cards are highly controversial in the literature. Recent research has shown, however, that loyalty card possession may have an influence on behavioural and attitudinal store loyalty (Seock and Lin, 2011). In order to reach the research objective, an online survey was conducted providing a suitable basis for a comparative analysis between Germany and Spain. The findings of this survey revealed significant differences across the two countries in attitudes towards loyalty cards, preferences regarding promotional techniques and bonus systems, and in levels of attitudinal store loyalty. Unfortunately, the outcome did not provide any significant differences in behaviour in relation to loyalty cards and behavioural store loyalty. The paper recommends undertaking local adaptations on the basis of the findings of the target population when advertising and deciding about the features of loyalty cards. Furthermore, it would be advisable to undertake more profound and representative research of the whole target population. Auszug aus dem Text Text Sample: Chapter 3, Research Methodology: 3.1, Introduction: This chapter provides an overview of exactly how research will be undertaken to achieve the research aim. This chapter is divided into eight sections. The first section reflects the objectives and the conceptual method
developed in the literature review. The second and third section describe the research strategy and explain in detail which research design and tactics are chosen for the present research. The next section deals with the generation and the actual design of the questionnaire followed by the section explaining more about the respondents and the sampling procedure. Subsequently, the next section is concerned with how the data is obtained from which target population and how the research design will be structured in detail. At the end, research limitations and problems will be mentioned. 3.2, Research objectives: In chapter 1.3 'Research aim and objectives', a clear aim, and also objectives regarding each research chapter are presented. The research aim may be broken down into three different research objective sections according to which the research hypotheses were developed. In general, the questionnaire seeks to obtain information regarding attitude and behaviour of German and Spanish consumers which has been influenced by external stimuli and marketing stimuli. On the basis of these findings, conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the marketing stimuli may be drawn. In accordance with the research aim, the behavioural and attitudinal impact of loyalty cards will be analysed in this paper and the preferences regarding promotional techniques and bonus systems will be reviewed. In addition, behavioural and attitudinal store loyalty will be analysed and compared between loyalty card holders and non-holders in the two countries, referring to the favourite retail store of the respondents. Consequently, the following research objectives for the questionnaire arise: General behaviour & attitude towards loyalty cards: a. General behaviour: Find out if Spanish consumers possess more loyalty cards and make greater use of respective benefits b. General
attitude: Find out if the attitude differs across Germany and Spain. Preferences regarding loyalty card features: a. Find out if German and Spanish consumers prefer different promotional techniques and bonus systems. Store loyalty towards favourite apparel retail store: a. Find out if behavioural and attitudinal store loyalty differs across the two countries. Important is also the demographic composition of the respondents: Demographic variables: Determine the demographical information of the target population and the sample: 3.3. Research design and strategy: In order to gather all the information needed to answer the research questions, primary quantitative information needs to be obtained to create a reasonable basis for comparative analysis. Therefore, the research design 'survey' was chosen. The survey is the appropriate research design for this research for several reasons. Firstly, a survey provides the opportunity to gather primary quantitative data to undertake a clear comparative analysis. By means of this research design, data about persons and their attitudes and behaviour can be obtained. The purpose of research is often divided into three different types, namely „exploratory, descriptive and explanatory" (Saunders et al, 2009 p. 139). The purpose may either be a single one of these or a combination. Young (2008) distinguishes between exploratory, constructive and empirical research. Explanatory research, according to Saunders et al (2009 p. 140), is the „studying (of) a situation or a problem in order to explain the relationships between variables." Exploratory research investigates a 'new' topic that has not yet been properly examined. Constructive research seeks to answer a specific research problem about a topic that has already been explored. Empirical research seeks to prove the feasibility of findings (Young, 2008). The present
research will be explanatory, as it seeks to analyse 'causal relationships' (Saunders et al, 2009 p. 140) by undertaking a comparative analysis of the two countries, Germany and Spain. In addition, the research will be constructive because it aims to find answers to a research problem. A survey, which will be analysed statistically, adds an empirical side to this research. For any type of research (e.g. explanatory, exploratory), all sorts of research strategies may be employed (Saunders et al, 2009). Due to the nature of this research attempt, the approach will be deductive. The alternative approach, the inductive approach, would gather information with the aim to create a theory (Saunders et al, 2009). Saunders et al (2009) argue that surveys are commonly employed in the deductive approach. Consequently, this work will make use of a research strategy that will serve to test hypotheses to confirm the developed theory. 3.4, Research tactics: Sources of data: In the present investigation, quantitative and primary data shall be obtained. Gathering information about consumer store loyalty and analysing the behaviour and attitudes of consumers between two countries requires quantitative data for comparative analysis. Qualitative data would provide little individual input that would not enable the research to provide a meaningful comparison. Primary data will be obtained due to the fact that a data base or a research providing the specific data needed for this specific research project could not be found in secondary data. Biographische Informationen Sarah-Mailin Janotta, M.Sc International Business, was born in Münster in 1985. During her internationally oriented studies - which she completed in, among others, Spain, England, Belgium and the Netherlands - she often encountered and dealt with cultural differences in communication, behaviour and
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