Relationship Marketing and Customer Loyalty: Examination of Bulgarian Grocery Market
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Relationship marketing has attained significantly importance during last decades as with the increasing competition and greater variety of suppliers, customers has become more fastidious in their choice, expecting greater variety, superior quality and higher levels of customer service. The aim of the current research is to contribute to better understanding of the effects of different relationship marketing activities. The study will investigate how companies can get a competitive advantage within a highly rival and saturated market, such a Bulgarian grocery sector, shifting their focused from transaction marketing to relationship one, which aims to maintain a strong relationship with stores’ clients. Applying a deductive approach, the research will firstly review the existing theory and concepts about relationship marketing, comparing and critically analysing different results and outline the advantages which companies can get by customer- centric strategies, and then investigating what is the Bulgarian customers’ attitude to different relationship marketing approaches. There are lot of researches providing evidences about economic benefits of applying relationship marketing and building long-standing relations with consumers, which are going to be examined through the current study. The study has applied quantitative approach as 130 questionnaires have been distributed to Bulgarian customers above 18 years old, living in Sofia, in order to examine how different relationship marketing tactics affect consumers buying behaviour, what are the most important criteria for getting their satisfaction and retention, and what is the loyalty programs’ influence. Different aspects of relationship marketing and customer loyalty were analysed in light of the findings. It was revealed that relationship marketing can lead to customer loyal and numerous benefits of customer loyalty were noted, but an important criteria is to understand customers’ needs and expectations, as their future repurchases depend on different factors. The study has made recommendations for both: business in general and grocery retailers specifically, as well as proposals for future researches.
Masters in Business Administration
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