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H1: Loyalty programs do not substantially modify the general market structure on stationnary markets (Ehrenberg 1988)
Loyalty programs are more efficient for leaders which seem to have a more loyal segment which have systematically the store in their evoked set (Fader and Schmittlein 1993, Hauser and Wernerfelt 1990).
The loyalty program diminishes duplication to competitors’ stores (Carrefour Leclerc) but increase duplication in the own store chain (Carrefour Carrefour)
Generally the research of Ehrenberg is confirmed as thee are more „change of pace“than „niche“ stores (Fader and Schmittlein 1993)
H2.1: There are significant differences between card/no card holder which opens possibilities for relationship marketing (Thibaud&Kelley 1978)
H2.2: The loyalty card’s impact on purchase behaviour is weak (Sharp 1997, Benavent 2000) and transitory (Ehrenberg et al. 1994) with the exception of the SOR+ Switching behaviour. This is underpinning the defensif caracter of LP’s.
We confirm that the loyalty program are creating a preference effect but there is no purchase acceleration Several possible explanations exist:
Cost (switching costs, behaviour change)/Utility (rewards) theory: If C&gt;U no behaviour change.
Heterogenity: certains individuals have a strong motivation to commit in efforts leading to futur benefits (Atkinson 1957, Nicholls 1989) others not.
At the moment of subscription the futur benefit (utility) &gt; efforts (costs) as consumers seem to be unable to evaluate futur costs (Sorman 2000).
But with the time the futur benefit becomes less motivating as the utility is deflated and efforts (costs) &gt; benefit (utility) (Bootzin et al. 1991 Sorman 2000).
This phenomenon seems to increase the more the gratification is delayed.
Another explanation is that once reward acquired the principal motivation to stay loyal disappears (Rothschild et Gaidis 1981)
Transaction Utility &gt; Acquisition utility (Lichtenstein et al. 1990). The former one is less enduring than the later one
H3: The card auto-selects brand’s heaviest clients’, but no heavy category buyers as the penetration stays stable. The former ones seems to have higher utilities and lower costs then the last ones. With advanced time the loyalty program attracts less interesting clients indicating a certain level of opportunism