Loyalty card adoption in SME retailers: the impact upon marketing management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to understand how small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) retailers adopt and implement a loyalty card programme as a marketing management decision-making tool.Design/methodology/approach– A qualitative and longitudinal case study research design is adopted. Data were collected from multiple sources, incorporating semi-structured interviews and analysis of company documents and observation within a retail SME.Findings– The findings presented focus on the loyalty card adoption process to reflect both the organisational issues and impact upon marketing management decision-making.Research limitations/implications– This research is restricted to one region within the UK, investigating loyalty card adoption within a specific industry sector.Practical implications– SME retailers operate in an industry environment whereby there is a competitive demand for loyalty card programmes. SME retailers need to carefully consider how to match the firm’s characteristics with customer relationship management (CRM) operational requirements as highlighted in this case.Originality/value– The evidence presented extends current knowledge of retail loyalty card programmes beyond the context of large organisations to encompass SMEs. The study also illustrates the value of a structured, formal CRM system to help SME retailers compete in a complex, competitive and omni-channel marketplace, adding new insights into the retail literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-490
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 13 Apr 2015


  • CRM
  • SMEs
  • Retail
  • Marketing management
  • Loyalty card


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