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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Effects of loyalty programs non-monetary benefits on customer gratitude, customer referral and customer purchase intent

Published: May 27, 2020


Isabelle Garnier, ESG - UQAM; Anne Françoise Audrain, ESG -UQAM; Julien Claude Bernard François, ESG -UQAM


loyalty program; gratitude; purchase intent


This research investigates the effects of loyalty programs non-monetary benefits on customer gratitude, as well as the effects of gratitude on customer referral and purchase intent. Though loyalty programs are frequently used in the retail industry, little is known regarding their effects on customer gratitude, in spite of the importance of gratitude to understanding and building long-term relationships. This research aims at filling this gap. We propose and test a conceptual framework relating loyalty programs non-monetary benefits to customer gratitude, customer referral, and customer purchase intent. A survey-based study is carried out to test six research hypotheses with a PLS-SEM approach. Our findings indicate that two out of the four hypothesized benefits, entertainment and recognition, positively affect customer gratitude, which in turn positively affects referral and purchase intent towards the promoted brand.