Does Attitudinal Commitment to Stores Always Lead to Behavioral Loyalty? The Moderating Effect of Age
P. VAN KENHOVE
K. DE WULF
D. VAN DEN POELT
Assuming a positive relationship between two outcomes of relationship marketing - affective commitment and behavioral loyalty, the question arises whether this relationship holds for all consumers. This paper analyzes the moderating role of age on the relationship between affective commitment and behavioral loyalty. The study does not rely on a single measurement tool, but is based on panel data collected over eight months and two different mail surveys of 301 Belgian households. Information was gathered about their behavioral loyalty, affective commitment towards shoe stores or perfume stores, their ages and different measures of individual difference variables. The results from our analysis show that age moderates the relationship between affective commitment to a store and behavioral loyalty. For young respondents no significant relationship was found between affective commitment and behavioral loyalty. For older respondents, this relationship is significant and positive. The moderating role of age may be explained by its negative correlation with exploratory purchasing behavior, tendency to seek change, innovativeness and risk aversion and the variables’ positive relationship with spontaneous buying behavior.
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