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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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.

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Pick, D., Eisend, M. Buyers’ perceived switching costs and switching: a meta-analytic assessment of their antecedents. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 42, 186–204 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-013-0349-2

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Keywords

  • Perceived switching costs
  • Switching
  • Relationship marketing
  • Meta-analysis