Title

Essays on product returns: The impact of customer product return behavior on profitability

Date of Completion

January 2008

Keywords

Business Administration, Marketing

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The firm-customer exchange process consists of three parts: (1) firm-initiated marketing communications, (2) customer buying behavior and (3) customer product return behavior. Much of the research in marketing has focused on the relationship between firm-initiated marketing communications and customer buying behavior. The relationship between customer product return behavior and the other two parts of the firm-customer exchange process have been vastly ignored. As a result, it is unclear how customer product return behavior impacts the firm-customer exchange process. This is due to a lack of data availability and a lack of understanding of the role customer product return behavior plays in the firm-customer exchange process. ^ Thus, in this thesis we help to explain this relationship with two different studies. In the first study of this thesis, we present a descriptive study that empirically demonstrates the role of customer product return behavior in the firm-customer exchange process. Then in the second study of this thesis, we present an empirical application that leverages the knowledge about the role of customer product return behavior in the first study. We do this by integrating customer product return behavior into a customer value framework to help measure and maximize customer lifetime value. ^