Testing Retail Marketing-Mix Effects on Patronage: A Meta-Analysis

Markus Blut, Christoph Teller, Arne Floh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Retailers have always worked to establish close relationships with customers through the retail marketing mix. Thus, the literature has a long tradition of testing the effects of various instruments on retail patronage. This meta-study synthesizes prior research into one comprehensive framework. We use 14,895 effect sizes reported by more than 239,000 shoppers from 41 countries extracted from 350 independent samples, to test the impact of 24 marketing-mix instruments on retail patronage. Specifically, we investigate the direct and indirect effects of these instruments on store satisfaction, word of mouth, patronage intention, and behavior. Product and brand management related instruments display the strongest effects on most outcome variables, whereas price, communication, service and incentive management instruments display effects on selected outcomes. Distribution management turns out to be of secondary importance. However, the effectiveness of these instruments depends on the specific shopping context (food/non-food, shopping frequency, single store/agglomeration, hedonic/utilitarian), the retail environment (gross domestic product, country innovativeness, retail sales share, retail employment, Internet era), and the employed method (participant type, study design, data source). Specifically, we reveal most differences for hedonic shopping environments and developed countries. Also, the store’s advertising and atmosphere have gained importance in the Internet era, while purchase incentives, in-store orientation, and store location have lost relevance. This study contributes to a synoptic understanding of the comparable effectiveness of retail marketing instruments on retail patronage. It offers insights into the effectiveness of marketing-mix instruments and provides guidance on whether and when to invest in them. It also presents an agenda for future research on marketing-mix instruments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-135
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number2
Early online date13 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

©2018 The Authors.Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of New York University. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


  • Retail marketing-mix instruments
  • Retail patronage
  • Shopper behavior
  • Country differences
  • Meta-analysis


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