Syndicated Studies


The Authoritative Voice of Switching in Canada

The "Switching Study" has become the authoritative source for understanding financial services switching in Canada. It is one of the ‘most trusted and used' syndicated products ever offered in Canadian financial services. One major Canadian FI conducted over 15 internal presentations over the course of a year based on its contents.

First conducted in the early 90s, the study has been repeated bi-annually ever since. A total of 3000 switchers of personal financial services in seven product categories are examined. The study concentrates on switching dynamics, gain-loss information by financial institution, motivations for switching by product category and sub-category and media and marketing support programs switchers most associated with the switch. It is the authoritative source for identifying changes in switching patterns. 

Make No Mistake -- Canadians Switch Often

Canadians are always on the move. In a typical year, between 15% and 20% of the population switches one or more financial services products. If you thought that switchers were revolving-door price shoppers, think again. The average financial services switcher in Canada has been with his or her old financial institution for over 8 years. As we like to say, switching lies at the intersection between consistent delight and continual disappointment, and it's important to know where you lie on this spectrum. 

Research with Many Uses

Over the years, we have found that this study has quite a range of uses. It is helpful in understanding where markets are headed over time. For example, is service becoming more or less important? What is the impact of the online banks on financial services overall? The Switching Study is an excellent tool for ensuring that what you are planning at a product level speaks directly to switchers' core motivations. Is my new credit card feature in line with those characteristics that actually motivate a switch? What drives switching in mortgages? How am I trending in terms of appealing to a certain important group over time?

Understanding switching is critical. While 85% of your customers are not going to change their purchasing patterns, at least in the short run, the other 15% are going to significantly impact business outcomes in the short to medium term. There is tremendous leverage to be had, therefore, in better understanding this key group.

What Our Clients Say About the Switching Study

Here’s what some of our recent clients have said about the Switching Study and how they use it:

  • "The best and most comprehensive Canadian financial services switching study"
  • "[HRI’s Switching Study] enabled us to understand all the dynamics of switching for both us and our competitors"
  • "The Switching Study is an incredibly useful study that gets used across all corners of our retail bank."

Retail Switching in Canada

A Whole New Class of Marketing Information

A Nation of Switchers

Wondering where those changes in store traffic from period to period are coming from? Here's an important part of the answer.

Canada is a nation of switchers! Between 5% and 15% of consumers switch the retailer they go to most often in any particular retail sector in a typical 3 month period. (These are actual shifts in loyalty.)

Switching Dynamics from Hay Research International is a new large-sample, quarterly study of retail switching in Canada. Each study involves over 4000 switchers. Between 500 and 1000 switchers in each of 8 retail sectors are examined yielding switching information for over 50 of Canada's largest retailers. These sectors include: Hardware stores, Grocery Stores, Drug Stores, Department Stores, Fast Food, Coffee Shops and Cell Phones.

Only Switching Dynamics offers "Motivational Dynamics", a comprehensive, detailed, new system for understanding why people switch.

Marketers often make the mistake of assuming that what motivates customers at large is what motivates those who switch. There are differences. Doesn't it make sense to appeal to those who are going to more immediately affect your bottom line?

By understanding why people switch in your retail sector – and seeing how you are doing against these critical motivators – you can make immediate improvements in your market share. 

The Motivation Dynamics System

Switching Dynamics offers Motivational Dynamics, a comprehensive, new motivational system which detects the broad "macro" reasons for change but enables you to drill down to the finer areas as well. In any particular sector up to 100 causes are examined. If you ever wondered how powerful "x" was as a switching motivator, Motivational Dynamics can tell you.

Most retailers have a good idea about their strengths and weaknesses. But, most don't know precisely what this means in terms of actual business won and lost. Now you can quantify this: how many, how much, where they went and, most importantly, why. Responding directly to some of the most important things they are saying can have an immediate impact on your business and your bottom-line.

Areas of Measurement

Our switching expertise involves the following areas of measurement: Switching Volumes and Dollar Estimates --the incidence of switching in the quarter by category

  1. Switching gains and losses by retailer by quarter
  2. Switching flows by retailer – which specific retailers' customers are you attracting? Which retailers are benefiting from defection to you?
  3. Key drivers of attraction in the market as a whole
  4. Key drivers of defection in the market as a whole
  5. Switching-to and switching-from shares by retailer
  6. Motivational dynamics of attraction -- switchers to you
  7. Motivational dynamics of defection – switchers from you
  8. Types of marketing support most effective in your retail sector
  9. Types of marketing support experienced by retailer
  10. Product types involved in switching to you
  11. Product types involved in switching away from you
  12. Switcher Profiles – shopper attitudes, segments and core demos

Why Switching's Time Has Come

The answer is simple. It's not that switching hasn't mattered in the past. It's just that we've never been able to measure it. Switching usually involves less than 1% of the total population for any single retailer. And so the study of switching has been virtually ignored, being far too difficult and expensive to manage efficiently. By employing a unique design using large on-line samples, Hay Research International has overcome these obstacles. The result is a whole new class of marketing information available now to the savvy marketer.

Here’s what a major Canadian retailer had to say about Switching Dynamics:

"Finally, a research agency who understands the importance of studying switching in the retail sector. In today’s competitive environment, controlling the number of consumers who switch from you while leveraging those who switch to you should be a top priority for retail marketers and merchants."

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