Charity at Check-Out: The Effect of Exchange Relationships
Despite their growing popularity, the implications of point-of-purchase solicitations are unclear. Some research has shown that CRM activities are positively viewed by shoppers (Ellen, Mohr and Webb 2000; Strahilevitz and Myers 1998) and others have shown that it can back-fire (Drumwright, 1996; Osterhus, 1997; Varadarajan and Menon 1988). It is specifically unclear if point-of-purchase solicitations boost a retailer’s reputation, sales, shopper loyalty, or result in any other competitive lift. With that said, we explore the impact of CRM activities involving direct participation by shoppers on retailers. We first link point-of-purchase charitable requests to retail performance in a survey-based experiment. Results from this experiment suggest that shoppers asked to donate rate their satisfaction with the retailer to be lower than those that are not asked to donate. Second, we explore the relationship between ACSI scores and point-of-purchase charitable requests by using a regression analysis. Here, we find that retailers that participate in shopper involved CRM activities fair better if said activity involves the donation of a product. Collectively, these results suggest that retailers that solicit point-of-purchase donations are likely to underperform relative to comparable peers.