Home Insurance – Online providers failing to help customers

Home Ins

A recent Global Reviews webinar, Home Insurance: How Australian and UK websites compare, looks at the Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) of online home insurance brands in both regions. The benchmark study follows the customers’ journey online and found that easy steps can be taken in order to improve the journey and ultimately, conversion rates. However currently, no one brand succeeds in helping customers throughout each stage of the sales journey online in either region.

Looking at the overall scores relating to customer experience, it is clear that across all brands in the research, there is no clear outstanding performer but most providers in Australia are scoring slightly better than the UK.

Home Insurance Scores Q3 2015

Home Insurance Scores Q3 2015

Despite the slight variations in scores, it becomes apparent when we look at the industry averages across all stages of the customer journey that ‘Evaluating Options’ scores quite poorly and it is here that home insurance providers could make significant gains, by actively helping customers to find specific cover to suit their needs. On average, 40% of users in the UK failed to find a specific cover, with most websites making it a long and time-consuming process. Introducing quick wins such as a comparison table or calculator function could prove highly effective. In addition, the home insurance industry is weak at the ‘Facilitating Decisions’ stage. It is at this stage providers can really prove their value and stand out to customers by making it easy to communicate or indeed help users to self-serve online by offering relevant channels through which to escalate problems or ask questions. 50% of providers in the study failed customers by not offering clear phone numbers or help sections, meaning users who do have a problem will simply leave the website rather than be presented with opportunities to solve the issue.

Industry averages across the stages

Industry averages across the stages

In summary, no one brand succeeds across all the stages of the customer journey for home insurance across the UK and Australia. Home insurance providers are not maximising the simple opportunities to create an effective and satisfying buying journey for their customers.

For more in-depth analysis and our best practice examples, view the full webinar. 

Contact us for more information on our Digital Sales Effectiveness programme and to find out how your website rates.

Continue reading

Mobile websites offer a better experience than desktop and tablet sites when researching and booking domestic flights

Domestic airline booking

In the latest Global Reviews Domestic Booking (Flights) Industry Digital Sales Effectiveness Report, it shows that when it comes to researching and booking a flight online, mobile websites are offering a better experience than their desktop and tablet counterparts.

The benchmark tracks the customers’ journey, across key brands in the travel sector, from their initial engagement with the website, when they are locating and considering the flights, through to completing the booking form.

On a combined average Qantas was seen to offer the best online experience with a score of 59.8%. However, when splitting the results across each of the devices Qantas only led on desktop while Swiss was number one on mobile with Jetstar and Virgin Australia sharing the lead on tablet.

As part of the benchmarking study, consumers are asked about their propensity to recommend a website to a friend or colleague, this forms the Web Promoter Score (WPS) metric.

The industry average WPS was -19%.

airline wps scoreThe mobile sites fared the best with -6%.

Despite mobile sites providing the better experience across devices, there are still areas where it falls behind and therefore is not yet offering a consistently strong performance which shows in this negative WPS score.

Most important website elements as stated by prospective customers
When asked to rate on a scale of 1-10 how important particular features would be on a website when researching and booking a domestic flight, the most important elements were:

Top needs airline websites

As a whole the industry is performing well to meet these needs, however they are lacking some points along the way. The mixed results across brands, with no sole brand dominating all stages of the research and booking process, means that there is a lot of potential for the industry to learn from each other to lift the industry up even further.

Click here to download the full report.

For more information on the research or to find out how your website rates, please contact:
Mark McCathrion
Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3417
E: mark.mccathrion@globalreviews.com

Continue reading

Energy Retail: Comparing provider preferences across Australia, Ireland and the UK.

Energy infographic

Throughout November and December we asked Australian, Irish and English consumers who were in the market for a new energy provider to conduct their initial research online and tell us which brand(s) they initially preferred vs. which brand they are currently with and which brand they would finally prefer after initial research.

The following infographic shows some of the key differences between the three markets and what elements are driving brand preference.

Energy AU IE UKIn addition to studying the research habits and processes of consumers, Global Reviews also assesses the usability of the individual brand websites, focusing specifically on how well the website aids the consumer when researching and opening an account online.

Contact us to find out how consumers are researching your brand and whether or not your website is helping or hindering them in the process.

Continue reading

First impressions dropping when researching motor insurance providers

motor insurance

At the end of 2015, Global Reviews conducted two different research studies to assess how Australian’s are researching motor insurance online. The first study looked at how consumers were using the internet to browse for and research insurance, whilst the second study was a multi-faceted benchmarking audit that focused in on how specific insurance websites perform when it comes to enabling consumers to find and apply for a policy to best suit their needs.

When initially researching a motor insurance provider the following website types were used:

90% search
60% brand
46% aggregator

In addition it was found that the bulk of consumers would typically spend time researching 3-6 providers, but would go so far as getting a quote from just three providers, creating tight competition among the industry – especially when it comes to the policy evaluation and decision making phases of the research and sales journey.

Findings from the benchmark study showed that overall the motor insurance industry scored an average of 58% in the first stage of a customer’s journey whereby they initially engage with the brand and its website. This is three points lower than both the previous study run in April 2015, and the home insurance study from June 2015.

Feeding into the benchmark to achieve this score was a mix of best practice audits, consumer audits and consumer behavioural inputs. Among these data inputs it was found that:

  • The motor insurance industry averaged 57% for assisting the needs of customers.
  • Whist the industry averages 70% for whether or not customers can locate general information about home insurance, it scores just 18% for how efficiently that information can be found.
  • RACV had the most efficient path of finding information at 28%. Budget Direct, GIO and Suncorp were the next best performers, each scoring 21% for efficiency.
  • Detail in the information about motor insurance is, for the most part, lacking with the industry averaging 47%. Real Insurance was the top performer with 67%, just slightly ahead of their 64% in the home insurance study. Allianz and GIO were next with 60% followed by Suncorp with 53%.

With the limited opportunity to get on the consideration list, if a brand is unable to hold onto the consumer by creating engagement within moments of landing on their homepage, and ensuring important information is easy to access, then they are at risk of losing the customer before they’ve even begun researching – especially given that 18% of consumers stated that if they encountered any problems on a website while researching a new policy then they would leave the website and look for another provider.

Download the industry report for more insights from this research and contact us to ensure your brand is captured in our upcoming studies.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading