Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 186–204 | Cite as

Buyers’ perceived switching costs and switching: a meta-analytic assessment of their antecedents

  • Doreén Pick
  • Martin Eisend
Original Empirical Research


This article presents a meta-analysis of the antecedents of buyers’ perceived switching costs and switching. The authors synthesize results from 170 independent samples in 152 manuscripts and test several moderator effects and a causal meta-analytic model. The major findings are as follows: (1) Of all antecedents, market-related variables (i.e., alternatives and competition) have the strongest influence on switching costs; they reduce these costs via affecting buyers’ quality perception of a relationship and offerings. Firm-related variables (e.g., seller investments) play a minor role as a driver of switching costs and switching, indicating a limited influence of firms’ activities on switching costs. (2) Switching costs have only a weak negative influence on switching. (3) A moderator analysis reveals that most of the effects are context specific. For instance, services (versus goods) decrease and B2C (versus B2B) settings increase the relationship between antecedents and switching costs. Further, the moderating influence of year and culture indicate fundamental market changes and variations across countries. The study provides several implications for relationship research and management.


Perceived switching costs Switching Relationship marketing Meta-analysis 



The authors would like to thank the editor and the two anonymous JAMS reviewers for their constructive and helpful comments. They wish to acknowledge the helpful input of Wayne D. Hoyer, Peter C. Verhoef and Jochen Wirtz and thank them for comments on a former draft of this article.

Supplementary material

11747_2013_349_MOESM1_ESM.doc (556 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 556 kb)


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Freie Universitaet BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)Frankfurt (Oder)Germany

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