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Does retailer CSR enhance behavioral loyalty? A case for benefit segmentation

Kusum L. Ailawadi, Scott A. Neslin, Y. Jackie Luan and Gail Ayala Taylor

International Journal of Research in Marketing, 2014, vol. 31, issue 2, 156-167

Abstract: We study the effects of consumer perceptions of four types of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on their behavioral loyalty toward retailers. The four activities are environmental friendliness, community support, selling locally produced products, and treating employees fairly. Behavioral loyalty is measured by share-of-wallet (SOW). We control for other retailer attributes that drive attitudes and SOW, and examine how the market is segmented in terms of consumer response. We partition the total effect of CSR on SOW into a direct effect and an indirect effect mediated through attitude towards the store. These effects differ by CSR activity and customer segment. The effects on attitude are positive and positive attitude enhances SOW, so the indirect effects on SOW are positive. While we generally find positive total effects, the total effect of one of the CSR activities, environmental friendliness, is significantly negative for one group of consumers. The magnitude of CSR's total impact on SOW is not only statistically significant but also managerially meaningful in an industry where every share point carries a substantial dollar amount. We characterize the customer segments and conclude with implications for how best a retailer can manage its CSR initiatives.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Dimensions of CSR; Retail store patronage; Attitude towards store; Loyalty; Share of wallet (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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