Seasonal game changers in online sports betting

Game changers in online sports betting

Following the dramatic variances we found in brand recall amongst the online sports betting sector during the 2014 AFL, NRL and Spring Racing periods, we gathered together the same data for 2015 to see how the industry played to the peak online betting season this year.

The following infographic plots the variances in unprompted brand recall and website visits when researching a provider to place a bet through. Using August as a baseline, we can see how the awareness and visit rates rise and fall with each sporting season and subsequent boosts in advertising.

Sports betting recall vs visitsThis data is collected monthly so register your brand to discover how your marketing efforts are playing out compared to that of your competitiors.

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Financial Services: Online Customer Experience

Banking info

As part of the Global Reviews Digital Effectiveness programme, we ask in-market consumers to assist in the benchmarking of the customer journey and website experience across each of the following banking services:

  • Credit Cards
  • Credit Cards (mobile site)
  • Mortgages
  • Personal Loans
  • Personal Loans (mobile site)
  • Savings Accounts
  • Transactions Accounts

This infographic shows you which banking products and brands are delivering the best online experience through the impression their homepage gives, the consumers’ perceived effort in completing basic tasks and finding information, and how likely consumers are to abandon the website if they encountered a problem.

Financial Services InfographicThe next round of data collection is happening NOW, so register your brand to ensure it’s captured in this study period.

For more research across the banking sector visit our research library.

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Australian Digital University Rankings

Higher Learning Top Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings have been announced with 22 Australian universities securing places within the top 400. The rankings are decided upon based on the following criteria:

  • Teaching
  • International Outlook
  • Research
  • Citations
  • Industry Income

Despite being the gateway into the universities, websites are one area that does not come under consideration in the ranking score. Coincidentally, over the past year Global Reviews has assessed the website usability and digital effectiveness of 22 Australian universities and TAFE colleges.

Here is our list of top Australian Universities from the Global Reviews Digital Effectiveness benchmark:

1 Curtin Uni 63%
2 Swinburne Uni 63%
3 Deakin Uni 62%
4 Uni of Wollongong 61%
5 Griffith Uni 60%
6 Uni of Newcastle 60%
7 Melbourne Uni 59%
8 RMIT Uni 59%
9 Uni of Sydney 59%
10 Holmesglen Institute 57%
11 Latrobe Uni 57%
12 Macquarie Uni 57%
13 Monash Uni 56%
14 Open Uni 56%
15 Uni of WA 55%
16 AUT Uni 53%
17 Uni of QLD 52%
18 Uni of Sunshine Coast 51%
19 Uni of Tasmania 50%
20 UNSW 49%
21 Box Hill Institute of Tafe 47%
22 Flinders Uni 45%


Our next study is currently underway so contact us to ensure your university is assessed and find out how to become #1.

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5 tips to maintain the balance between form vs function

Form vs function

Authors: Lia Purdie & Suzy Coulson

We’ve come a long way from the days of static and even flash powered websites. Dynamic functionality has become an integral part of web design as consumers jump between desktop and mobile devices.

But is this change in website design resulting in an efficient and positive experience for the consumer?

In research conducted by Global Reviews assessing the effectiveness of researching and purchasing goods and services online, it is quite often found that consumers are reaching the correct product pages, but not finding – or realising they found – the information once they get there. This is then leading them to continue fishing through the website in order to find what they’re looking for, thus undermining what could otherwise be positive online experience.

So with that we bring you:

5 tips to maintain the balance between form vs function


  1. Ensure the process and next steps are clear – guide users with verbal and non-verbal communication
    Functionality differing from standard navigation is fine, however it needs to be matched with strong communication to help consumers navigate this new style.
  2. Clearly communicate filtering options and tie back to customer needs and choices
    Dynamic filtering certainly has benefits, but it can only enhance the experience if it’s clearly communicated and understood. If consumers are filtering product options, clearly explain that options are not available due to the users’ selection – consider showing message on hover, dynamically moving to available products, or hiding unavailable options. Explain that you’re eliminating these options to better meet their needs.
  3. Ensure icons do not inhibit message communication
    Excessive use of obscure icons to communicate complicated messages can leave customers confused particularly when it comes to comparing product options. Icons are perfectly fine to use, just be sure additional details are evident and easy to find.
  4. Make access to more details and options to tailor highly visible
    Ensure advanced options and required actions are easily understood and highly visible. Be mindful that customers do want finer details but don’t want to be overwhelmed with information, so be sure to get the balance right.
  5. Balance additional functionality, designers aspirations and ease of use
    Don’t shy away from improved functionality and beautiful websites, but make sure that a good customer experience always trumps sexy and cool!

Embrace additional functionality and your designer’s aspirations, just be sure to balance that with ease of use to maintain the fine line between form and function.5 Tips to Maintain Balance Between Form vs Function


Click the thumbnail for a full size infographic highlighting the 5 tips to maintaining the balance between form vs. function.


For further details on these tip and how they apply to real life websites, view our Health Insurance Webinar recording.


Visit our reports library to download FREE research reports or contact us to find out more about our research programmes.

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Infographic: What prospective students think of Australian University & higher learning websites

Infographic: What prospective students think of Australian University & higher learning websites

Every 6 months Global Reviews measures the Digital Effectiveness of Australian University Websites, from the view of a prospective student.

This infographic shows you how well some of the various Australian higher learning institutions are performing, in terms of Customer Satisfaction and Effort. We also look at the stages of the Digital Journey and where Universities could be compromising their chance of gaining prospective students.

Digital Experience of Australian University & Education Websites

Visit our reports library to purchase the Tertiary prospective student digital experience report, or contact us to find out more about this study.

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How personalisation can help banks retain customers

Banking personalisation copy

In research conducted across retail financial services, in 2014 and 2015, it was found that around 74% of consumers would initially prefer a provider, when looking for a banking product, because they’re a current customer. However, of that 74%, 35% go on to choose a different provider to open an account with or apply through. The credit card industry fared the worst with 41% of people selecting a different brand, followed by mortgages with 34% going elsewhere.

Brands within the banking industry generally aim to encourage customers to hold multiple accounts and products with them, so to lose a current customer to another bank when they’re seeking out a new product can result in a significant loss for the bank. Not only are they missing out on a new opportunity, but it also puts the bank at risk of losing the customer’s business across other accounts as well.

Why are banks losing so many opportunities?

In addition to competitive offers and rates, website usability plays a major role in which brands consumers choose to do business with. To assess how well banking websites aid consumers online, a series of consumer experience benchmarking studies were conducted. For the most part, Australian banks perform relatively well across the online customer journey, compared to UK peers, however there is one area that suffers greatly: the handling of existing customers.

Across the main banking products, credit cards and mortgages are the worst performers in this area, with industry averages of 38% and 30% respectively. The performance is far better within transactions accounts, averaging 58%, leaving personal loans (45%) and savings accounts (44%) in the middle, although still a lot of room for improvement.

Existing customer handling

When we break down some of the key elements used to aid in existing customer handling, we can see that there are areas that are lacking. Looking at the Big 4 banks (ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac), all brands ask if you’re an existing customer during the application process for a personal loan. However, when it comes to applying for a credit card or transactions account only three of them ask and for mortgages and savings accounts only two ask the question.

Going on to prompt a non-registered customer to register for online member services, three brands do this for transactions accounts, but only one brand for each of the other products does so – and it’s not the same brand each time!

Big 4 banks criteriaFrom this assessment we can see that not only are there areas that are missing, but there is also an inconsistency across brand websites. In recent years there have been endless discussions about ensuring a consistent user experience across devices in order to create a seamless flow as consumers switch between desktop and mobile devices. This same focus of consistency is not being considered and implemented across the full product range a brand’s website offers. When there isn’t a predictable and reliable flow throughout a website, it creates more work for the customer as they try to navigate their way through a mix of design structures.

It’s human nature to stick with what we know. So if a customer knows the process of opening up a savings account with Bank X and they now want to get a credit card account, then it would be reasonable for them to expect the process to be similar. If Bank X is offering a completely different experience across the two products, then there is no sense of familiarity for the customer and therefore getting a credit card account with a competing bank would hold just as much consistency.

Until brands implement a more universal approach on their websites, customers may as well view each product offering as a separate website. So the question for customers then becomes whether to use different websites within the same domain or across a multitude of sites? After all 18% of consumers surveyed within our consumer experience benchmarking studies for financial services products, stated that if they encountered a problem they would most likely leave and try a different site.


Visit our research library for more research across the banking sector and register your brand to ensure it’s captured in our next study period.

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Website experience influencing which energy brand consumers prefer

Select energy digital

Australia’s energy retail industry is made up of a mix of big brands and mid-small brands. AGL and Origin hold a long history and therefore find themselves to be better known than the likes of Energex and Momentum.

In a digital marketing effectiveness study conducted by Global Reviews in March 2015, consumers were asked to recall up to five energy providers. AGL and Origin were on equal placement both with 66%, nearly double the recall rate of EnergyAustralia who was on 34%. Red Energy and Lumo Energy rounded off the top five with 21% and 19% respectively. It should be noted that even through TRUenergy has not been branded as such since 8th October 2012, it still equals Integral Energy and Momentum in terms of brand recall, all on 5%.

In spite of the gap between AGL and Origin, and EnergyAustralia, when it came to initial brand preferences, EnergyAustralia was able to match Origin, both on 10% – just three points behind AGL.

recall and initial preference energy

Being a current or former customer and having trust in a brand are key drivers when consumers first have a brand in mind. It’s not until consumers begin their research that they become influenced by other factors in making a decision. With 91% of consumers who are searching for a new provider stating that they would research online, the internet suddenly becomes a prime influencer.

Typically a mix of search engines, aggregators and brand websites are used when researching an energy provider online. Whilst brands may not have absolute control over the role search engines and aggregators play in influencing the consumer, they do control their own website experience.

In a real life situation, 65% said that they would only spend between 1-4 hours researching an energy provider and 55% would only get prices from 1-3 providers. In addition to that, 18% said that they would leave a website if they encountered a problem. With all of this in mind, brands do not get a lot of time or leeway to get on the consideration list. If their website is not up to standard, they are a risk of losing out.

In order to ascertain just how well the websites of energy providers perform, a digital sales effectiveness customer experience assessment was completed on the websites of nine energy providers. This benchmark assessment was made up of a best practice features and functions audit, consumer usability testing and a customer audit. Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL topped the benchmark at 55%, 52% and 49% respectively. ActewAGL and Red Energy sat one point below the industry average with 44%, whilst Powershop, Lumo, Simply Energy and Momentum all fell further below the line.

Since the previous sales effectiveness benchmark in September 2014, Lumo and AGL have shown the greatest improvement, rising by 11 points and 8 points respectively.

Overall Energy DSE score

With Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL providing the best online experiences, the question then was whether this influenced how consumers selected a preferred provider.

In terms of shortlisting providers Origin was considered by 51%, ahead of AGL on 46% and EnergyAustralia on 35%. Origin retained this lead in the final preferences with 28%, while EnergyAustralia moved up to take second place with 18%, two points ahead of AGL who moved down to third. These three brands kept well ahead of the rest of the market at every stage of the research journey.

Shortlist final preference energy

Here is where we see the influence websites have on considering a preferred provider. Between July 2014 and March 2015, website usability has become a far more prominent reason for considering a brand. The appearance of being easy to use doubled in importance when considering a brand, with the ability to compare options, ease of finding products and a visually appealing site all also increasing between study periods. With Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia offering the top websites across the industry, it’s no surprise that the experience they’re providing is feeding into why consumers are considering them.

shortlisting energyThe same goes for the final preference. Having a website that made it easy to locate the right plan was an influencing factor for 17% – up from 14% in 2014. The ability to find plans quickly also rose from 9% up to 14%.

final preference energy

Looking back at the benchmark assessment, it’s noted that EnergyAustralia performed particularly well in the stages of introducing product options and assisting the customer in the evaluation of the products. Leading in these stages coupled with website usability being a strong reason behind selecting a brand would have helped push EnergyAustralia ahead of AGL when it came to final preference.

While AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin continue to offer the best website experiences, they will remain on the top of the list for preferred brands. If the other brands in the industry want a greater share of final preferences, then they need to not only consider how their brand is perceived beyond the internet, but also how well their website is retaining prospective customers through ease of use and appearance.


Contact us to find out more about what is influencing consumers online.

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Internet Service Providers: Battle of the Commonwealth

Internet Service Providers: Battle of the Commonwealth

In May and November of 2014, Global Reviews ran Digital Sales Effectiveness benchmark studies across 10 internet service provider websites in Australia, New Zealand and UK. Overall, Australian brands performed better than UK and New Zealand brands, with Optus coming out on top as the leader. A similar result to that of the mobile phone provider study that was conducted at the same time.

#1 Optus 62%
#2 Telstra 60%
#3 iiNet 59%
#4 Spark 53%
#5 Vodafone (NZ)
#6 BT 51%
#7 TPG 51%
#8 Compass 51%
#9 EE 50%
#10 Orcon 50%


Despite the variance in scores across for each brand and region, there is a consistency in where along the customer research and purchasing journey the industry as a whole is excelling and where it is falling short. The telecommunication industry is strong in how they introduce their products and how they facilitate a consumer in the checkout, with scores of 67% and 61% respectively for these stages. However, getting from the product options through the decision making to the purchase/checkout stage is quite a sore spot for the industry. On average the industry scores just 37% for helping facilitate a decision and guiding the customer to a means of purchasing.

DSE x country2

This poor score in the crucial phase of the purchasing journey can be detrimental to a brand’s ability to close the sale, not to mention hindering all the marketing efforts used to get consumers to this point. When customers were asked what they would do if they encountered problems on a website when researching and obtaining a new internet service provider, an overwhelming 22% said that they would leave the website and go somewhere else, highlighting just how crucial this step of the sales process is.

When we looked at this further, we found that the customers who said they would leave the website and go elsewhere were more commonly the ones who had just completed tasks on the websites that scored lowest in the digital effectiveness study. From here we found a strong negative correlation (r=-0.798) between a poor website experience and opting to leave the website and go elsewhere if a problem is encountered – as demonstrated in the following graph.DSE vs leave website

What this shows is that if a brand is unable to at least meet the industry average, then customers will go elsewhere to get the service they want and expect. When we’re dealing with internet service providers, the digital experience delivered can make or break a customer’s opinion of the brand. They are not going to want to commit to a brand’s service if they can’t deliver within their own medium.

In a market where prices are so competitive – it’s the experience that could be the differentiator.


Contact us to ensure your website’s experience isn’t losing you customers.

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How AU consumers research & select a car insurance provider online

On a monthly basis as part of our Digital Marketing Effectiveness program we ask 200 Australians who are in the market for motor insurance to use the internet to research, shortlist and choose a provider.

In April we found that while 71% of consumers had a brand in mind before beginning their research, only 34% of these consumers still preferred that brand at the end of their research.

Motor Insurance researchVisit our reports library to download FREE industry reports from across our digital marketing and digital sales effectiveness programs, or contact us to find out how well your brand converts from initial through to final preference.

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Betting on Mobile: The differences between iPhone and Android users


Author: Marie Sheehan

With the mobile betting industry set to be worth £27 billion* by 2017, Sports Betting Providers are sharpening their mobile strategies in order to optimise punters’ mobile customer experience. It’s even more pertinent when you consider that the Google Play Store does not allow apps that facilitate online gambling.

So how will Sports Betting Providers win the punters’ mobile pound?

Should Sports Betting Providers have one mobile strategy for Apple fans and a different strategy for Android users?

Or should they just have one mobile strategy irrespective of which type of mobile device punters bet on?

Findings from Global Reviews’ latest research into the UK Sports Betting industry will help to answer these questions.

The science behind the mobile research

The Global Reviews Mobile Sales Effectiveness* study of UK Sports Betting Providers Q1 2015 looked at how effective the mobile sites of Bet 365, Bet Fred, Bet Fair, Bet Victor, Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Sky Bet and William Hill are at converting and convincing punters to place a bet with them.

The field work for this research was completed in January and February of this year. Along with Global Reviews’ best practice audit, the research also comprised remote usability testing, an element of which is where tasks were set for punters who are looking to open or switch an online sports betting account within the next 90 days. These tasks are completed by the participants as they are going through a pre-assigned sports betting mobile site.

Even spilt of Android and iOS devices users in study

A total of 281 in-market bettors participated in this study. 51% (or 143) of those interviewed completed the research on an Android device, while 49% (or 138) of those interviewed completed the research on an iOS device.

Less effort needed by iPhone users

The Customer Effort Score (CES) is measured by asking punters to rate the level of effort needed to move and navigate through a particular sports betting providers mobile site. Where 1 is ‘not an awful lot of effort’ and 5 requires a ‘very high level of effort’. The score we are looking for here is the score that is closest to zero.

With the lower CES score of 1.85, bettors with an iPhone perceive the amount of effort required to be less than the perceived level of effort needed by Android users (1.92).

Fig 1 Customer Effort Score Source: Global Reviews Mobile Sales Effectiveness study into UK Sports Betting Providers Q1 2015

Fig 1 Customer Effort Score
Source: Global Reviews Mobile Sales Effectiveness study into UK Sports Betting Providers Q1 2015


Higher task success rate by iPhone users

At the end of each task Global Reviews asked each of the ‘in market’ research participants to indicate how successful they were in completing the task by hitting either the success or abandon button. 62% of all participants across the nine different brands were successful in completing the five different tasks.

There is a noticeable difference in the task success rate between those using an iPhone or an Android device. At 65% the iPhone score is six percentage points higher that the score for Android. So punters with iPhone are more successful at complete the assigned tasks (we have no comment on whether or not they are more successful at winning!)

Fig 2 Task Success Rate Source: Global Reviews Mobile Sales Effectiveness study into UK Sports Betting Providers Q1 2015

Fig 2 Task Success Rate
Source: Global Reviews Mobile Sales Effectiveness study into UK Sports Betting Providers Q1 2015


So who are they? The profiles of iPhone and Android bettors

Android owners are more likely to be male, and to be older than iPhone users. Yet there is little difference between the different phone owners in terms of family status, propensity to be single, be in a relationship or to have children.

There is a significant difference however in the total household income of each of these segments. iPhone owners total household income is on average £13,000 higher than Android owners – which has of course significant implications on potential disposable income and need states.

It is interesting then, when it is considered that the mobile websites of iPhone users are rated as being easier to navigate than the Android website, when in reality they are largely the same.

Considering the differences between those who own an Android against those who own an iPhone, it could be postulated that iPhone owners are not only easier to please they are a more valuable consumer base.

As casual gaming on smartphones has exploded amongst women in recent years, is there an opportunity for Sports Betting companies to set new sights on attracting more female bettors?

It is important to note however that 67% of UK consumers in 2013 were reported as owning a smartphone of which iPhone own 31% of this market**. So Android users still represents the lion’s share of the market.

Please contact us to find out more

*Juniper Research
** Kantar World Panel


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