Academic journal article Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior

Customer Loyalty, Repurchase and Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytical Review

Academic journal article Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior

Customer Loyalty, Repurchase and Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytical Review

Article excerpt


The purpose of this article is to investigate the relationship between customer loyalty, repurchase/repurchase intent and satisfaction in order to attempt to resolve the mixed views on these concepts. A quantitative review of loyalty-repurchasesatisfaction constructs was conducted to identify the strength and direction of the researched relationships and the influence of possible moderating factors affecting those relationships. The Hunter and Schmidt (1990) meta-analytical technique and software were employed. The results demonstrate that loyalty and satisfaction indicate strong positive relationships (0.54). Repurchase and satisfaction display a complicated relationship, which confirmed the view that satisfaction does not explain repurchase behavior. Repurchase intent and satisfaction display strong positive relationships in the meta-analysis (0.63) and moderator analyses. Loyalty and repurchase/repurchase intent indicate the strongest positive relationship (0.71) among all conducted analyses. This study provides value to managers dealing with customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repurchase by presenting a detailed overview of these three concepts, and relationships between them.


Customer loyalty, repurchase and satisfaction are among the most researched concepts in academia and among the most important constructs in practice. Loyalty, repurchase and consumer satisfaction have a powerful impact on firms' performance by providing a competitive advantage (Edvardsson, Johnson, Gustafsson and Strandvik 2000; Lam, Shankar, Erramilli and Murthy 2004; Reichheld, Markey and Hopton 2000; Zineldin 2006), numerous loyal consumers (Mellens, Dekimpe and Steenkamp 1996; Zineldin 2006), and increasing customer satisfaction. Despite extensive research on the relationships between customer loyalty, repurchase and satisfaction, these constructs appear to be complex and multidimensional, and are, therefore, not well understood.

While one stream of loyaltysatisfaction research indicates that loyalty has a strong association with different aspects of consumer satisfaction (Ashley and Varki 2009; Boshoff 2005; Butcher, et al. 2001; Carpenter and Fairhurst 2005; Law, et al. 2004; Taylor and Hunter 2002; Yang and Peterson 2004), other researchers have suggested that not all aspects of loyalty are important to build consumer satisfaction (Floh and Treiblmaier 2006; Genzi and Pelloni 2004; Harris and Goode 2004; Kandampully and Suhartanto 2000; Shankar, et al. 2003). Oliver (1999) proposed six types of relationships between satisfaction and loyalty. All these relationships rise from different definitions and perspectives on satisfaction and loyalty. On one end of the spectrum, satisfaction and loyalty are two manifestations of the same concept. At the other end, satisfaction and loyalty are very distant. Oliver (1999) demonstrated that ultimate loyalty can totally encompass satisfaction, satisfaction and loyalty can overlap, but also that satisfaction does not necessarily transform into loyalty and can indeed exist without the latter.

Loyalty-repurchase research recorded different observations as well. While a number of researchers argue that loyal consumers return to purchase goods or services (Taylor and Hunter 2002; Lee, at al. 2006), others have argued that high repurchase rates do not necessarily indicate loyalty, while low repurchase rates do not always indicate disloyalty (Dick and Basu 1994; Peyrot and Van Doren 1994; Rowley and Dawes 2000).

Establishing a direct link between repurchase and satisfaction ratings has not been easy for many organizations (Mittal and Kamakura 2001), and some researchers have demonstrated that this link can be weak (Homburg and Giering 2001; Kumar 2002; Quick and Burton 2000; Seiders et al. 2005; Shih and Fang 2005). Jones (2006) pointed out the importance of communicating the level of customers' satisfaction to the company's shareholders, either in the company's annual report, or in its letter to the shareholders, as an overall indication of the firm's performance. …

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