Does the tertiary sector consumer experience meet the grade?

Tertiary student research

If we equate the tertiary sectors consumer website experience for future domestic students with the academic grading in Australia, it would receive a ‘C’. So with an industry average Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) score of 55%, it’s a ‘Pass’ – but only just!

20 of Australia and New Zealand’s University and Tafe colleges were assessed in November 2014 to understand the experience they offer prospective students during the research and consider phase of their journey and to a lesser extent, through to the application process (for post graduate or direct study).

We know the process of selecting the correct course and institution can be overwhelming and confusing, which is perhaps why prospects feel they need tools to assist them in selecting the right course (NB: 92% rate this as important to extremely important). It is therefore surprising that university websites aren’t taking advantage to direct prospects into appropriate study, rather than being a passive source of course information. In fact, the industry is only offering an overall experience for this category (Matching courses to needs) at 46%. Institutions however, are providing better assistance around pathways to study with a higher average at 67% (for category ‘Pathways to the university’). Our audit of features and functions that allow prospects to match needs came in at a staggering low of 32% with 13 of the 20 under the average.

The question that remains is: does the experience offered online influence prospects’ opinions of the universities they navigate?

In a recent mobile experience study by Global Reviews, we found that 27% find that a bad experience makes the company look unprofessional, with 25% indicating that it makes them doubt the quality and service of the company’s product or service offerings. 13% even went to the length of saying they feel that the company is not valuing their time as important, by not putting more emphasis on a good experience. What is clear is that a poor experience will stop many prospects in their tracks and push them off the site, often onto competitor websites.

Learn more about how this industry meets prospective student expectations in our recent whitepaper.

Continue reading

If ‘Last Click’ tells how a conversion story ends, ‘Points of Attribution’ paint the full picture

600x330POints of attribution

Author: Marie Sheehan

If the digital pathway to purchase was a linear and simple process, consumers would find the product they need…. and then just purchase it.

But it’s not.

How do you measure attribution?

Before the customer makes that last click, what happened to influence the consumer to make that purchase?

What are the points that influenced and steered the consumer to choose a particular brand over all others?

How can a marketer understand how the different channels and different campaigns work together to produce a purchase?

How can you attribute what delivered success and what didn’t?

Finding the answers to these questions is the ‘holy grail’ for (digital) marketers.

The Global Reviews Points of Attribution Model

Using findings from the Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness programme we measure all elements of attraction which drives a consumer to choose or not to choose a particular brand.

There are a number of different touch points that can be in the model:

1. Previous relationship with the brand.
Including the level of that relationship. The concept of retention – is a person already with a brand? Is the customer looking to renew? Has the relationship lapsed?

2. Online journey.
Where are consumers being intercepted online and what messages are they seeing as they move through the digital journey? Looking at things like Search engine, aggregators, affiliate models, online advertising, banner ads and SEM.

3. Advertising.
Traditional through the line advertising – including TV, billboards and radio advertising.

All of these elements feed forward and push value statements through to consumers to consider a particular brand.

Fig 1: The Global Reviews Points of Attribution Model

Fig 1: The Global Reviews Points of Attribution Model

 

An example: Health Insurance Providers in Ireland

We ran a Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME)* study of the Health Insurance providers in Ireland in February. The DME measures how effective Irish health insurance providers are at attracting customers online.

‘In market’ consumer data is gathered at each stage of the sales and acquisition funnel and rolled up into scores. These scores benchmark each provider against other providers and against the industry average.

Aviva’s website challenge

A fifth of consumers chose Aviva as their preferred provider in the February study, but this figure is down 7% since August 2014. We know from the results of the DME that the propensity to actually purchase increases if consumers visit the brand website.

Irish consumers are far more likely to choose the provider whose website they visit on the purchase decision journey – but only 8% of all consumers in Ireland are visiting Aviva’s site – compare this to 50% for Vhi’s website and 34% for both Laya Healthcare and Glo Health websites.

Aviva is depending too much on the strength of its brand – but the results of our research indicate that the importance of previous brand relationship in choosing a health insurance provider is beginning to erode.

Not enough Irish consumers are visiting Aviva’s site. Aviva is under leveraging its website as a point of attribution.

Laya Healthcare is becoming more attractive as an alternative to Vhi

Between August 2014 and February 2015 Aviva’s weighted unprompted brand recall fell from 53% to 48%, whereas Laya Healthcare’s score improved from 36% to 43% over the same period.

Laya Healthcare is increasingly becoming the most attractive option as an alternative to Vhi, replacing Aviva who traditionally held the second place spot.

Vhi is, not surprisingly, the first health insurance provider Irish consumers think of when asked to recall brands. The percentage of consumers that recall Aviva after Vhi has dropped from 30% to 24% between August 2014 and February 2015, while Laya Healthcare’s score increased from 19% to 25% over the same six month period.

These figures and Laya Healthcare’s increasing ‘top of mind’ recall score indicate that advertising is an effective point of attribution for them.

Three key touch points

The three key touch points Irish consumers move through when searching for a health insurance provider online are:

• A search engine which is used by 91%
• While 76% visit the brand website
• And 31% use a research website

Unlike consumers in the UK, very few consumers used an aggregator site.

The brand website is hugely important as a point of attribution for health insurance providers in Ireland.

Fig 2 Breakdown of how that actual journey takes place

Fig 2: Breakdown of how that actual journey takes place Source: Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies into Health Insurance Providers in Ireland, August 2014 and February 2015

 

The search engine is not delivering for Aviva, but is for Laya Healthcare

Even though Aviva has a strong presence on the search engine results, the majority of consumers looking for health insurance online in Ireland are still not clicking on Aviva and visiting the Aviva website.

However, Laya Healthcare is enjoying a lot more success from both organic results and paid contextual ads on Google.

What’s interesting to note is that 29% actually clicked on Laya Healthcare from this results page – either on the organic results (which is interestingly listed underneath Aviva) or the “Healthcare from €9 a week” ad on the right hand side. In fact Laya Healthcare scored higher than any other brand.

When used cleverly the search engine can be a very effective point of attribution.

Fig 3: Google Search Engine Results page one for search term: “health insurance Ireland”

Fig 3: Google Search Engine Results page one for search term: “health insurance Ireland”

 

The search is on for Laya Healthcare

Laya Healthcare’s advertising is definitely working as consumers are being prompted to use “Laya Healthcare” and “Laya” as keywords when searching for a health insurance provider on Google.

Usage of their brand name as a search keyword has increased from 9% in August 2014 to 15% in February 2015 while other brand terms have dropped.

Fig 4: Search keywords used by Irish consumers looking for a Health Insurance Provider Source: Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies into Health Insurance Providers in Ireland, August 2014 and February 2015

Fig 4: Search keywords used by Irish consumers looking for a Health Insurance Provider
Source: Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies into Health Insurance Providers in Ireland, August 2014 and February 2015

 

Laya is being very clever in their approach to both SEO and SEM, making search a successful point of attribution for them.

If you would like to know more please contact us.

 

International best practice

To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it view our webinar: Health Insurance Providers in Ireland – Digital Sales & Marketing Effectiveness

Health insurance webinar

*Digital marketing effectiveness
The Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) programme focuses on the Discover and Consider stages of the online purchase journey. The best results come from continuous measurement.

Digital Marketing Effectiveness

The DME identifies both the barriers and enablers to how and who consumers shortlist in the online purchasing decision journey, what drives final preference and crucially WHY your potential customers (but now lost opportunities) pick another brand over yours.
We use life-like methodology which virtually places companies in the homes of 50,000 ‘In market’ consumers in the UK annually.

DME process

Adopting both a passive and claimed research approach, we bridge the gap between claimed search behaviour and actual search behaviour.
Using cutting edge technology we measure every key stroke, link clicked and website visited. Most importantly, our methodology investigates and explores WHY consumers search and research the way they do.

We can provide you with a unique insight into how ‘in market’ consumers research and make decisions about your brand, your products and your competitors online and will help you to answer the following strategic marketing questions:

1. How integrated is your offline (traditional) marketing with your digital strategy?
2. Why are competitors winning the online prospects you are losing?
3. Who is stealing the prospects that short listed you?
4. How can you reduce lost opportunities and increase sales?

Continue reading

What is causing Aviva to fall into third place in the Irish health insurance online market?

Health Insurance

 Author: Marie Sheehan

Laya Healthcare is increasingly becoming the most attractive option as an alternative to Vhi, replacing Aviva who traditionally held the second place spot.

Aviva’s scores are down
The Global Reviews sales and acquisition funnels shows how consumers are moving through the online pathway to purchase and choosing one provider over another. As you can see from fig 1, Aviva’s unprompted brand recall score has dropped four percentage points from 69% in August 2014 to 65% in February 2015.

Their shortlisted score or repertoire of brand has also fallen from 73% to 66%, and the percentage of consumers who choose Aviva as the one single brand they prefer has dropped from 28% to 21% over the same six month period.

Avivas funnels

Fig 1: Aviva’s Sales and Acquisition Funnels Source: Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies Feb 2015 and Aug 2014

 
 
Not enough Irish consumers are visiting Aviva’s site
As you can see from Fig 1 only 8% of consumers are visiting aviva.ie (compare this to 50% for Vhi’s website and 34% for both Laya Healthcare and Glo Health websites).

We know from the results of the Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME)* study into health insurance providers in Ireland, that the propensity to actually purchase increases if consumers visit the brand website.
Irish consumers are far more likely to choose the provider whose website they visit on the purchase decision journey.

Aviva is relying too much on brand awareness.
Aviva’s retention rate is dropping

53% of current Aviva customers would renew with them again, however this percentage has dropped significantly from 83% in August 2014.

The search engine is not delivering for Aviva
The most used the search term by Irish consumers looking for a health insurance provider is “health insurance Ireland”.

Even though Aviva has a strong presence on the search engine results using this search term (see fig2 it’s the second ad and the highest ranked organic SEO result) the majority of consumers looking for health insurance online in Ireland are still not clicking on Aviva and visiting the Aviva website.

Aviva google

Fig 2: Google Search Engine Results page one for search term: “health insurance Ireland”

What’s interesting to note is that 29% actually clicked on Laya Healthcare from this results page – either on the organic results (which is interestingly listed underneath Aviva) or the “Healthcare from €9 a week” ad on the right hand side. In fact Laya Healthcare scored higher than any other brand.

Even though Aviva has a presence on a Search Engine; people are still not clicking on Aviva. In fact the consumers who choose Aviva as their provider are not doing so because they visited their website.

If you would like to know more please contact us.

International best practice

To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it view our webinar: Health Insurance Providers in Ireland – Digital Sales & Marketing Effectiveness

Health insurance webinar

* Digital marketing effectiveness
The Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) programme focuses on the Discover and Consider stages of the online purchase journey.

Digital Marketing Effectiveness
The DME identifies both the barriers and enablers to how and who consumers shortlist in the online purchasing decision journey, what drives final preference and crucially WHY your potential customers (but now lost opportunities) pick another brand over yours.

We use life-like methodology which virtually places companies in the homes of 50,000 ‘In market’ consumers in the UK annually.

DME process

Adopting both a passive and claimed research approach, we bridge the gap between claimed search behaviour and actual search behaviour.

Using cutting edge technology we measure every key stroke, link clicked and website visited. Most importantly, our methodology investigates and explores WHY consumers search and research the way they do.

We can provide you with a unique insight into how ‘in market’ consumers research and make decisions about your brand, your products and your competitors online and will help you to answer the following strategic marketing questions:
1. How integrated is your offline (traditional) marketing with your digital strategy?
2. Why are competitors winning the online prospects you are losing?
3. Who is stealing the prospects that short listed you?
4. How can you reduce lost opportunities and increase sales?

Continue reading

How are Irish Health Insurance Providers going to win Online in the Age of LCR?

Health insurance feet

Author: Marie Sheehan

With Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) being introduced in Ireland at the start of next month, let’s take a look at which Irish health insurance provider attracts more potential customers online…and why.

First, we measured each provider’s performance
The Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME)* programme measures how effective Irish health insurance providers are at attracting customers online. It identifies both the barriers and enablers to how and who consumers shortlist in the online purchasing decision journey, what drives final preference and crucially WHY potential customers pick one health insurance provider over another.

The most recent iteration of the Global Reviews Irish health insurance providers DME programme took place in February 2015 and before that it ran in August 2014.

Let’s have a look and see what’s happened in those six months…

What’s important to health insurance customers in Ireland is changing
The market is evolving.

Over time the reasons Irish consumers give for choosing one provider over another are increasingly about product details that meet their needs. Essentially Irish consumers want providers to show them the policies that suit them best, but at the same time giving them options to choose from and making sure that it is all easy to understand.

 
The importance of brand relationship is beginning to erode
Irish consumers are shopping around more.

“I have used them before” has dropped as a reason to purchase from 35% of consumers to just 30% in the six month period August 2014 to February 2015. Trust in a company and previous brand relationship is becoming less important.

With LCR becoming a reality, it makes it all to play for!

 
Brand awareness is not enough
Not surprisingly, as the legacy health insurance provider in Ireland, Vhi is the provider Irish consumers are most aware of. 84% recalled Vhi as a provider without being prompted. However just 28% choose Vhi in the end.

Compare this to Laya Healthcare who has a lower unprompted brand recall score of 58%, but is actually chosen by more consumers (final preference score: 34%).

 
Vhi’s retention rate is increasing
71% of current Laya Healthcare customers would renew with them again, however this percentage has decreased slightly from 76% in August 2014. Conversely Vhi has seen an increase from 61% to 69% over the same period. Both Glo Health and Aviva have seen significant drops from 83% to 53% and from 72% to 55% respectively.

 
Consumers who visit the brand website are more likely to go with them
Again Laya Healthcare scores really well here with 42% of potential customers, who visited their site, ultimately choosing them in the end. Interestingly, a third of those who visited Vhi.ie preferred Laya Healthcare, however 31% of those who visited the website chose with Vhi in the end.

We know online is important, but this research further underpins the importance of the brand website over aggregator and research sites. Irish consumers are far more likely to choose the provider whose website they visit on the purchase decision journey.

More consumers are searching for Laya Healthcare in February 2015
18% of Irish consumers looking for health insurance search for Vhi by brand name (“Vhi” = 12%, “Vhi health insurance” = 3%, “Vhi healthcare” = 3%).

15% of Irish consumers looking for health insurance search for Laya Healthcare by brand name (“Laya healthcare” = 9%, “Laya” = 6%).

Vhi as a search term is still the highest brand, but Laya Healthcare is growing and hot on their heels.
Laya Healthcare’s advertising is definitely working as consumers are being prompted to search for them by name in Google. They are certainly emerging as being very clever in attracting customers and very effective at converting them.

If you would like to know more please contact us.

International best practice

To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it view our webinar: Health Insurance Providers in Ireland – Digital Sales & Marketing Effectiveness

Health insurance webinar

* Digital marketing effectiveness
The Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) programme focuses on the Discover and Consider stages of the online purchase journey.

Digital Marketing Effectiveness
The DME identifies both the barriers and enablers to how and who consumers shortlist in the online purchasing decision journey, what drives final preference and crucially WHY your potential customers (but now lost opportunities) pick another brand over yours.

We use life-like methodology which virtually places companies in the homes of 50,000 ‘In market’ consumers in the UK annually.

DME process

Adopting both a passive and claimed research approach, we bridge the gap between claimed search behaviour and actual search behaviour.

Using cutting edge technology we measure every key stroke, link clicked and website visited. Most importantly, our methodology investigates and explores WHY consumers search and research the way they do.

We can provide you with a unique insight into how ‘in market’ consumers research and make decisions about your brand, your products and your competitors online and will help you to answer the following strategic marketing questions:
1. How integrated is your offline (traditional) marketing with your digital strategy?
2. Why are competitors winning the online prospects you are losing?
3. Who is stealing the prospects that short listed you?
4. How can you reduce lost opportunities and increase sales?

Continue reading

The inconsistency of financial services in the digital space

Banking target

Digital Sales Effectiveness benchmark research conducted across credit cards, home loans, personal loans, savings accounts and transactions accounts reveals how differently financial service providers handle and present each of the products they offer. The benchmark follows the customers’ journey, across key brands in the financial services sector, from their initial engagement with the website, when they are locating and considering the products, through to completing the application form.

Within the typical customer journey there is the consideration phase which is made up of four stages, followed by the action phase, made up of two stages:

  • Initial Engagement – where a prospective customer is introduced to the website
  • Introducing Options – process of locating the product options
  • Evaluating Options – considering and comparing the products on offer
  • Facilitating Decisions – making a final selection on which product to choose

  • Channel Selection – choosing how and where to apply for the product
  • Application Form – process of applying for the product online

In looking at the consideration phase across each of the financial services products, home loans was the worst performing product in the first three stages, but came through as the best performer in the fourth stage. In contrast, personal loans was the lead performer with initial engagement and introduction to the products, but then takes a steep dive to end the consideration phase below all of the other products. Whilst this is the industry view across the products, each of the brands captured within the benchmark hold their own individual strengths and weaknesses.

financial services customer journey

It is clear from the above graph where the focus tends to lie within financial service websites. Homepages are largely driven towards the promotion of credit cards, savings accounts and personal loans. The more complex product, home loans, is not promoted quite as enthusiastically. It’s not until consumers get into the nitty gritty of the home loan details do they begin to see a better experience than when they’re at the same stage of research for credit cards, savings/transactions accounts and personal loans.

Given that on average across the financial services industry, 15% of customers would leave a website if they encountered a problem, this leads to the possibility of a lot of bouncing between brands in order to not only find the best product offer, but also a positive website experience, which incidentally is one of the top reasons for shortlisting a brand in their decision making.

Considering many brands within the financial services industry offer two or more of these key products, there’s a lot that they can learn by assessing the highs and lows of each products’ customer experience journey and in turn lessen the risk of losing out to competitors.

Want more information?

Join us for our webinar ‘The good, the bad & the opportunities’ on Tuesday 21st April at 11:00am AEST

Download our latest home loans report for a closer look at why this particular banking product falls short

Register your details to ensure your brand is captured in this month’s wave of research

Research completed by Global Reviews in November 2014. © 2014 Global Reviews

Continue reading

Irish Motor Insurance providers need to shift up a gear online

Irish Motor Insurance providers need to shift up a gear online

Author: Marie Sheehan

Which gear is each provider in?
We ran three waves of the Global Reviews Irish Motor Insurance Industry Digital Sales Effectiveness* programme over the last year – in February 2014, August 2014 and the most recent study in January 2015.

These studies measure how easy it is for customers to buy a motor insurance policy online from each provider and identifies how they can shift up a gear and increase their sales conversions online.

The studies were conducted on the following Irish motor insurance providers: 123.ie, The AA Ireland, AIG Direct, Allianz, Aviva, AXA, FBD, Liberty, No Nonsense and Zurich.

The digital gears
Each time we run a Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme we assign a DSE score** to the website of each motor insurance provider. This helps to benchmark each motor insurance provider against each other, against the industry average and against other industries.

….Or if you like – tells us what gear each provider is in…

Just three motor insurance providers in Ireland are accelerating online, all others are falling behind and some are even close to stalling
123.ie, AA and AXA are the only motor insurance providers in Ireland to have improved on their August DSE score.

Fig 1: Ireland Motor Insurance Providers DSE scores January 2015 Source: Global Reviews Ireland Motor Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study January 2015

Fig 1: Ireland Motor Insurance Providers DSE scores January 2015
Source: Global Reviews Ireland Motor Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study January 2015

 

UK motor insurance providers are overtaking Irish providers in the digital lane
In terms of benchmarked performance against other industries, Ireland under performs against the UK motor insurance companies except in initial engagement.

Fig 2: UK & Ireland Motor Insurance Providers DSE scores  Source: Global Reviews UK & Ireland Motor Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Studies

Fig 2: UK & Ireland Motor Insurance Providers DSE scores
Source: Global Reviews UK & Ireland Motor Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Studies

 

Irish motor insurance providers can also learn how to take off from travel insurance providers
Irish motor insurance providers can also learn from the travel insurance industry particularly in the “evaluating options” stage of the online pathway to purchase.

Fig 3: Ireland Motor and Travel Insurance Providers DSE scores Source: Global Reviews UK & Ireland Motor Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Studies

Fig 3: Ireland Motor and Travel Insurance Providers DSE scores
Source: Global Reviews UK & Ireland Motor Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Studies

 

If you would like to know more please contact us

International best practice
To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it view our webinar recorded on February 25th: Motor Insurance Providers in Ireland – Digital Sales Effectiveness

Motor insurance IRL webinar

Research calendar
The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness Studies into the UK Insurance industry will be fielded as follows:
• UK Home Insurance February 2015
• UK Motor Insurance March 2015
• UK Travel Insurance April 2015

* The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme focuses on the Consider and Act stages of the online purchase journey.

DSE circles

Through a proprietary, task based methodology; we invite ‘In market’ consumers to visit and experience the customer journey on your site.

We also measure the performance of your competitors’ sites in a similar fashion with a separate group of ‘In market’ consumers. This enables us to benchmark the performance of your brand within the marketplace and against the competitive landscape. We can tell you why some customers abandon the purchase journey on your website and complete purchase with a competitor.

We can provide you with a totally unique insight into how ‘In market’ consumers research and make decisions about your brand, your products and your competitors online and will help you to answer the following strategic digital sales questions:
1. Is your online sales journey more effective at converting prospective leads than your competitors?
2. Where do you need to focus resources to maximise online sales and customer experience?
3. Does your website meet best practice customer experience design for that product purchase journey?
4. How much effort is it to buy from you online?

 

** There are four unique data streams that make up the Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) benchmark:
1. Customer behaviour
How customers rate the websites when we ask them to conduct various tasks. We examine efficiencies, click through paths and length of time.
2. Customer attitude:
How customers’ expectations before completing the task compare to their levels of satisfaction afterwards. We also examine “Voice of Customer”.
3. Customer audit:
Customers rate different elements of the website during the task. We examine the importance of navigability, look & feel and content to the customers.
4. Best practice audit
This is an audit made of between 400 and 500 different data points based on our fifteen years of experience that we conduct on each website.
These four elements – some of which are qualitative in nature, some of which are quantitative – are brought together, weighted per importance of the customer journey and rolled up into a final score. This is the Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness score.

Continue reading

Sports bettors expect ease of use as a bare minimum

Sports bettors expect ease of use as a bare minimum

Author: Marie Sheehan

In the year February 2014 to February 2015 Global Reviews conducted three Digital Sales Effectiveness* studies into the Sports Betting Industry in the UK and Ireland.

This research examines how effective 888, Bet Fred, Bet Victor, Bet365, Betfair, Coral, Ladbrokes, Matchbook, PaddyPower, Sky Bet and William Hill are at converting customers online.

Bettors expect more online
Prospective bettors are looking for key online capabilities from a sports betting site – a website that is easy to navigate, information that is easy to understand and the ability to register and manage their account online.

These factors have remained key to their usage decisions for the past year, and in fact, one in five would immediately abandon the website if they encountered a problem; users just won’t give sites the benefit of the doubt any more, they will seamlessly move on to a competitor.

Sites that make registration a faff, or hide key pieces of information such as phone numbers, will suffer as users refuse to make what they see as unnecessary effort.

Features of sports betting providers’ websites that were “nice to have” are now expected to be there by consumers. The key is keeping them “invisible” while delivering a seamless customer journey filled with all the factors bettors need, but that doesn’t get in the way on their pathway to purchase.

Fig 1: Top ten reasons a bettor chooses one sports betting provider over another (mean scores on a ten point scale) Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Fig 1: Top ten reasons a bettor chooses one sports betting provider over another (mean scores on a ten point scale)
Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Expecting more: Higher abandonment rate
When we asked in market consumers (consumers who are looking to open a sports betting account within the next 90 days) what they would do if they encountered a problem on a sports betting provider’s website, 19% would immediately leave and look for another provider. This has increased from 12% in the last year.

This increase in abandonment rate is a clear sign of change. Consumers are becoming harder to please and should they encounter a problem on the website, they more likely to leave than they were 12 months ago.

It is worth pointing out that the study we ran in June was conducted during the World Cup, when there were consumers opening sports betting account that aren’t regular bettors; so they might have needed more support, which it seems they didn’t get.

Fig 2: What consumers would do if they encountered a problem on a Sports Betting provider’s website Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Fig 2: What consumers would do if they encountered a problem on a Sports Betting provider’s website
Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Users want an online chat feature

A substantial number of bettors who encounter a problem on sports betting provider’s website would look for an online chat feature for support. At 28% this is a much higher proportion of consumers when compared to other industries – 18% in the motor insurance industry and 17% in the mortgage industry.

Why might this be? Well, it may be related to the time sensitive nature of the industry; the urge to lock down certain odds would suggest a need to solve a problem sooner rather than later. This means that sports betting sites need to be alert to users’ demands for immediate support throughout the application and betting process.

Fig 3: Excerpt of what consumers would do if they encountered a problem on a Sports Betting provider’s website Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Fig 3: Excerpt of what consumers would do if they encountered a problem on a Sports Betting provider’s website
Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

So what does this mean for sports betting sites? Our three top tips:

1. Keep the website simple, but clever – meet consumers expectations on ease of use and account navigation, anticipating issues before they arise
2. Provide contextual online chat features – anywhere and everywhere relevant
3. Measure and track customer effort scores to ensure that the website is easy to navigate – where are the points of pain?

If you would like to know more, please contact us

Maybe of interest:
• Recorded Webinar: UK Digital Sports Betting in 2014 – A Review of the Year
First impressions convert: Blog posting on the importance of initial engagement on sports betting websites
KISS your website: Blog posting on importance of keeping a website simple

* The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme focuses on the Consider and Act stages of the online purchase journey.

DSE circles

Through a proprietary, task based methodology; we invite ‘In market’ consumers to visit and experience the customer journey on your site.

We also measure the performance of your competitors’ sites in a similar fashion with a separate group of ‘In market’ consumers. This enables us to benchmark the performance of your brand within the marketplace and against the competitive landscape. We can tell you why some customers abandon the purchase journey on your website and complete purchase with a competitor.

We can provide you with a totally unique insight into how ‘In market’ consumers research and make decisions about your brand, your products and your competitors online and will help you to answer the following strategic digital sales questions:

1. Is your online sales journey more effective at converting prospective leads than your competitors?
2. Where do you need to focus resources to maximise online sales and customer experience?
3. Does your website meet best practice customer experience design for that product purchase journey?
4. How much effort is it to buy from you online?

Continue reading

How good are banks in Ireland and the UK at attracting and converting customers online?

600x330 bank laptop

Author: Marie Sheehan

In 2014 we ran multiple studies* into the banking industry in Ireland and the UK, measuring the digital sales and digital marketing effectiveness of savings account, mortgages, current account and credit card providers.

Mortgage providers are the least effective online

Overall, mortgage providers are the least effective online of the financial services industries examined. This is mainly driven by consumers’ inability to complete a mortgage application online and the unclear information given about that process; for example, poor explanations of how the offline application process works, as well as inadequate details of products.

Conversely, current account providers score highest for digital effectiveness; findings show that this is because they are pretty good at conveying their value proposition online, explaining to consumers why they should choose their brand and for including product comparison capabilities online.

Interestingly no one bank performs well at everything

Examining how banks perform at an aggregate level, HSBC, Lloyds and Nationwide come out on top. However if you take into account that we consider 55% the minimum score a company needs to achieve in order to meet the basic needs of a customer, there is lots of room for digital improvement in the banking industry.

DSE Scores: How do brands do at aggregate level? Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into banks in the UK & Ireland 2014

DSE Scores: How do brands do at aggregate level?
Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into banks in the UK & Ireland 2014

 

Financial services brands need to help consumers to make decisions
Plotting the performance of each of the product providers against the stages of the online customer journey reveals that there is an industry pain at the “facilitating decisions” stage.

Credit card providers in particular are weak at explaining why consumers should chose them, where they can get help support and ultimately helping them to make the final purchasing decision.

Financial services brands are poor at helping users evaluate options as well as helping them make decisions Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into banks in the UK & Ireland 2014

Financial services brands are poor at helping users evaluate options as well as helping them make decisions
Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into banks in the UK & Ireland 2014

RBS
When looking online for mortgages consumers are struggling to find and compare options. In general they don’t understand what they are being shown and find it all very confusing.

However there are exceptions. RBS for example performs better than competitors here because they use needs based language and facilitate easy comparison of multiple mortgage options.

RBS performs better than competitors because they use needs based language and facilitate easy comparison of multiple mortgage options.

RBS performs better than competitors because they use needs based language and facilitate easy comparison of multiple mortgage options.

 

Bank of America
Looking at banks in the US, Bank of America allows consumers to filter by a variety of different types of mortgage requirements and then shows key options side by side with more filters. This really enables customer to drill down to the options that suit their needs.

Bank of America allows consumers to filter by a variety of different types of mortgage requirements.

Bank of America allows consumers to filter by a variety of different types of mortgage requirements.

Chase
For current accounts Chase performs well at reassuring consumers that all their checking accounts come with key features such as online banking. The site also has clever filtering options to help customers to find the current account right for them.

For current accounts Chase performs well at reassuring consumers. The site also has clever filtering options.

For current accounts Chase performs well at reassuring consumers. The site also has clever filtering options.

HSBC
We know from our research that enabling customers to save/print/forward their options for revisiting or checking later helps to facilitate decision making.
HSBC has a sharing and printing facility. This is a simple piece of technology that really helps consumers to make a considered decision.

HSBC has a sharing and printing facility

HSBC has a sharing and printing facility

 

AIB
We know that 20% of customers who experience a problem on website will leave immediately. 30% would look for FAQ or help. AIB scores high here by providing multiple contact options such as live chat and a call me back feature.

AIB scores provides multiple contact options such as live chat and a call me back feature

AIB scores provides multiple contact options such as live chat and a call me back feature

Nationwide
Nationwide conveys their value proposition really well by explaining to customer why they should choose them.

Nationwide conveys their value proposition really well by explaining to customer why they should choose them

Nationwide conveys their value proposition really well by explaining to customer why they should choose them

Nationwide continues its drip feed of value information by including external validation and award information.

Nationwide continues its drip feed of value information by including external validation and award information.

Nationwide continues its drip feed of value information by including external validation and award information.

 

Measuring how easy banks make it for consumers at every step of the online journey
The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness* (DSE) programme focuses on the Consider and Act stages of the online purchase journey. As part of this research we asked ‘in market’ consumers to go through the online pathway to purchase and complete a number of tasks. We then overlay these results with findings from our expert audit at every step. In total 500 data points show how effective a website is at each point of the journey.

Consider phase of the Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness programme

Consider phase of the Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness programme

 

Act phase of the Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness programme

Act phase of the Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness programme

As part of the DSE programme we score each bank at each of the six stages from how they perform at creating a great first impression and building trust, right through to submitting the application form.

If you would like to know more, please contact us.

Research Calendar 2015
Credit Cards: January and July
Savings: February and August
Mortgages: April and October
Current Accounts: April and October
Personal Loans: April

International Best Practice

To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it view our webinar recorded on January 29th: Ireland & UK Digital Banking in 2014 – A Review of the Year.

Banking webinar

*In 2014 we ran the following programmes of study into the Banking Industry in Ireland and the UK:

Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE): This study measures how effective Banks are at converting customers online. We ran the DSE programme twice in 2014 for Credit Cards (January & July), Mortgages (March & September) and Current Accounts (March & September); and once for Savings (August).

Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME): This study measures how effective Banks are at attracting customers online. We ran the DME programme once in 2014 for Credit Cards (August) and twice for Current Accounts (January & July)

Continue reading

Nationwide convert more current account customers online than any other UK bank

600x330Nationwide

Author: Marie Sheehan

Sales and acquisition funnels

The Global Reviews’ Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) study measures how effective banks are at attracting customers online. The DME programme maps the digital sales funnel beyond what a company’s usual analytics systems can see, in order to compare performance against competitors and provides insights as to where and why a product or brand is excluded in the consideration set.

We measure how the consumers’ journey progresses from initial brand preference and recall, which sites consumers visit, which brand they shortlist and which brands they give their final preference to.

Sales & Acquisitions funnels: Nationwide convert from shortlist most effectively Source: Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness study into Current Account providers in the UK 2014

Sales & Acquisitions funnels: Nationwide convert from shortlist most effectively
Source: Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness study into Current Account providers in the UK 2014

 

Leakages in the consumer decision process

Where are banks losing potential current account customers?

Is it at the beginning of the process – where banks are not attracting consumers to visit their site? Is it later in the process when the website comes into play and banks are not explaining the options well enough? Or is it that banks are making it onto the consumer’s shortlist to failing to be their final preference?

Nationwide is the best performer through the funnel

Nationwide is the most successful at driving current account consumers to visit their website – attracting 78% of those consumers who are aware of them. Compare this to 44% for Santander, 25% for Lloyds and 37% for Barclays.

Nationwide also have the highest conversion ratio from shortlisted to final preference. 41% of consumers put Nationwide on their shortlist and 20% ultimately choose them as their current account provider. This is not only because Nationwide’s website is easy to use, provides the information that consumers want and facilitates comparison of options, is it also about first impressions and the initial impression Nationwide’s website makes on potential customers.

From our Digital Sales Effectiveness* research we know that Nationwide’s website creates a really positive first impression with consumers, scoring highest in the industry for meeting customers’ needs and building trust. Nationwide does this by explaining why consumers should them, listing awards and including customer reviews and external validation.

Whose customers is Nationwide stealing?

Most consumers who chose Nationwide at the beginning chose Nationwide at the end of the pathway to purchase. They weren’t swayed by any other brands and are fairly brand loyal.

Initial Preferences of those finally choosing Nationwide Source: Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness study into Current Account providers in the UK 2014

Initial Preferences of those finally choosing Nationwide
Source: Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness study into Current Account providers in the UK 2014

11% of consumers who chose Nationwide originally chose HSBC. Similarly 8% originally chose Barclays and 8% originally chose Lloyds, but Nationwide managed to change their minds and convince consumers that they are better placed to meet their needs.

Nationwide are not only doubling the amount of consumers who prefer them, but they are also stealing customers from a wide range of other banks.

If you would like to know more, please contact us.

Research Calendar 2015

Credit Cards: January and July
Savings: February and August
Mortgages: April and October
Current Accounts: April and October
Personal Loans: April

 International Best Practice

To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it view our webinar recorded on January 29th: Ireland & UK Digital Banking in 2014 – A Review of the Year.

 

Banking webinar

 

* The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme focuses on the Consider and Act stages of the online purchase journey.

 

DSE circles

Through a proprietary, task based methodology; we invite ‘In market’ consumers to visit and experience the customer journey on your site.

We also measure the performance of your competitors’ sites in a similar fashion with a separate group of ‘In market’ consumers. This enables us to benchmark the performance of your brand within the marketplace and against the competitive landscape. We can tell you why some customers abandon the purchase journey on your website and complete purchase with a competitor.

We can provide you with a totally unique insight into how ‘In market’ consumers research and make decisions about your brand, your products and your competitors online and will help you to answer the following strategic digital sales questions:

1. Is your online sales journey more effective at converting prospective leads than your competitors?
2. Where do you need to focus resources to maximise online sales and customer experience?
3. Does your website meet best practice customer experience design for that product purchase journey?
4. How much effort is it to buy from you online?

Continue reading

How do consumers in the UK search for travel insurance online?

600x330Insurance keyboard

Author: Marie Sheehan

In 2014 we ran Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) and Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) studies into the UK travel insurance industry. These studies measure how effective travel insurance providers are at attracting and converting customers online.

First step in the online customer journey: The Discover Phase
How did consumers search for travel insurance online in 2014?

Searching for travel insurance online

If you would like to know more, please contact us.

 

International Best Practice
To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it view our webinar recorded on February 10th: UK Digital Travel Insurance in 2014 – A Review of the Year.

Travel insurance webinar

 

Research Calendar
The next Global Reviews UK Travel Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study will be fielded in May 2015. If you would like to know more, please contact us.

Continue reading