Enhancement of Retail Consumer Loyalty in Latvia by Means of Social Media Communication
Keywords:consumer loyalty, retailing, social media communication, consumer engagement, eWOM
Social media communication has become an important tool both in relying information to potential consumers, as well as in creating experience sharing opportunities. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of’ social media communication on the loyalty formation in retailing. The tasks to be carried out are: (1) to research theoretical framework of social media communication and loyalty; (2) to work out methodology for empirical research; (3) to carry out research on consumers’ perception of retail stores online communication. Within the framework of the current study the authors employed a method of customer survey. Applying the non-probability snowball sampling method the questionnaire was distributed via e-mails and Facebook groups (n=327). The general population in this research consisted of the economically active Latvia residents in 2020. The authors used 5-point Likert scale (1-low evaluation, 5 – very high evaluation). The SPSS program was used for this purpose, the following indicators were calculated: arithmetic mean (X ̅), Median (Me); Mode (Mo); Variation; Standard Deviation; Variation Coefficient. The research question posed in the article was the following: What role does social media play in enhancing consumer loyalty in retailing?
Findings: 87% of all respondents have noticed the communication of Latvian retail store networks on social media and 60% of all respondents have chosen to follow the profile of social networks to one of them, which indicates the untapped opportunities of companies in this respect. Evaluating the communication of Latvian retail store chains, the arithmetic average is 2.68, but for communication on social media - 2.72. It means that in order to increase these indicators, Latvian retail store chains must develop a communication strategy taking into account both the values of the target audience and the basic principles of building relationships with customers. The current research results can serve as grounds for the strategy development.