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JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES


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ISSN: 2306-3483 (Online), 2071-8330 (Print)



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Segmentation of Portuguese customers’ expectations from fitness programs

Vol. 10, No 3, 2017

 

Ricardo Gouveia Rodrigues

 

NECE – UBI (Research Unit in Business Sciences), 

Business and Economics Department, Universidade da Beira Interior

Portugal

Email: rgrodrigues@ubi.pt

 

 

Segmentation of Portuguese customers’ expectations from fitness programs

 

Paulo Pinheiro

 

NECE – UBI (Research Unit in Business Sciences), 

Universidade da Beira Interior

Portugal

Email: pgp@ubi.pt


Ana Gouveia

 

Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering, University of Lisbon, and Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidade da Beira Interior

Portugal

Email: anagouveia@fcsaude.ubi.pt


Rui Miguel Marques Brás

 

CIDESD (Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development), Sport Sciences Department, Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal

Email: rmmb@ubi.pt


Kelly de Lemos Serrano O’Hara

 

CIDESD (Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development), Sport Sciences Department, Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal

Email: ohara@ubi.pt


Paulo Alexandre de Oliveira Duarte

 

NECE – UBI (Research Unit in Business Sciences), 

Business and Economics Department, Universidade da Beira Interior

Portugal

Email: pduarte@ubi.pt


Maria Dulce Leal Esteves

 

Sport Sciences Department, Universidade da Beira Interior

Portugal

Email: desteves@ubi.pt 

 

 

 

Abstract. Expectations towards fitness exercises are the major factor in customer satisfaction in the service sector in question. The purpose of this study is to present a segmentation framework for fitness customers, based on their individual expectations. The survey was designed and validated to evaluate individual expectations towards exercises. The study included a randomly recruited sample of 723 subjects (53% males; 47% females; 42.1±19.7 years). Factor analysis and cluster analysis with Ward’s cluster method with squared Euclidean distance were used to analyse the data obtained. Four components were extracted (performance, enjoyment, beauty and health) explaining 68.7% of the total variance and three distinct segments were found: Exercise Lovers (n=312), Disinterested (n=161) and Beauty Seekers (n=250). All the factors identified have a significant contribution to differentiate the clusters, the first and third clusters being most similar. The segmentation framework obtained based on customer expectations allows better understanding of customers’ profiles, thus helping the fitness industry develop services more suitable for each type of customers. A follow-up study was conducted 5 years later and the results concur with the initial study.

 

Received: July, 2017

1st Revision: August, 2017

Accepted: October, 2017

 

DOI: 10.14254/2071-8330.2017/10-3/16

 

JEL ClassificationM10, M31, M39

Keywordsfitness industry, marketing segmentation, customer’s expectations, customer loyalty, designing fitness programs, customer differences, factor analysis, cluster analysis