Mobile phone providers and initial engagement online

cellphone-signal

Author: Marie Sheehan

Which mobile phone provider is best at meeting customer needs at the initial engagement stage online? – Comparing the top performer Optus (Australia) with Tesco Mobile (UK)

In Q4 2014 Global Reviews ran a multi country study into the Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE)* of mobile phone providers. Our study included sixteen providers from across the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Looking at Five Key Providers within the Industry
Optus (Australia), Tesco Mobile (UK), Verizon (New Zealand), Vodafone UK and Three (UK)

These five mobile phone providers (Fig 1) include top performers, providers who perform stronger in a particular area and providers who are under performing.

Optus is the strongest performer in the early part of the customer’s pathway to purchase, scoring 74% and 69% in the ‘initial engagement’ and ‘introducing options’ stages respectively.

Tesco Mobile spikes at the ‘evaluating options’ stage (62%) which a noteworthy improvement on how they perform in the earlier stages.

Verizon comes up strongly at the ‘online purchase’ stage (67%), where Three scores just 26%

Which Mobile Phone Provider is best at Meeting Customer Needs at the Initial Engagement stage online

Fig 1: Optus (Australia), Tesco Mobile (UK), Verizon (New Zealand), Vodafone UK and Three (UK)

What is driving Tesco Mobile’s ‘Initial Engagement’ score down?
The initial engagement stage is the consumer’s first encounter of a provider’s website. We measure how effective that website is at helping consumers to locate what they are looking for, while considering their first impressions of the website, how fundamental site elements like navigation and privacy perform, as well as if the website build trust.

Optus performs best in the initial engagement stage with 74%, Lebara are the weakest with 28% while the industry averages at 62% The underlying parts of this stage are ‘meeting expectations and building trust’ and ‘assisting the needs of the customer’. Optus performs exceptionally well in the latter part achieving 83% which drives up their high score for the ‘initial engagement’ stage.

If customers can’t find what they are looking for in the first ten seconds of being on a website they are very likely to abandon and leave the site. We completed a behavioural audit as part of the study, and from this we know that Tesco Mobile’s website falls well behind the top performer particularly in the areas of first impression, its visual appeal, its layout, how easy to use it looks, and whether or not it displays all the impression a customer would expect to see.

Voice of Customer
“The visual design was almost too bland and basic. It gave the impression of not wanting to make too much effort for the person looking. It needs to retain the basic layout, but put a little more ’home’ into the design, to make it feel less sterile”

Tesco Mobile's homepage (December 2014)

Tesco Mobile’s homepage (December 2014)

Does this customer have a point? Is Tesco Mobile’s site bland?
When consumers visit a website for the first time, they don’t read a website, they scan it. The human eye is very good at picking up on colours and indeed shapes, so when you want a consumer to slow down and actually read a website, colours and shapes help to group relevant information together. While the Tesco Mobile site is simple, a lot of the colour is the same. The website design does not deliver any friction to prompt visitors to stop and read, so the visitor is more likely to abandon and leave the site.

The homepage is also missing a value proposition, a contact phone number, FAQs, a comparison table and information on why consumers should choose Tesco Mobile as their provider. These are some of the elements that would help Tesco Mobile to improve in this area, by building trust and showing customers that they actually want to engage with them.

 

Looking at Optus, the Top Performer
The value proposition is very strong and obvious on Optus’ homepage – both above and below the fold. The information, layout and visuals above the fold encourage scrolling. For example the headings on the fold ‘Popular Phones’, ‘Latest Phones’, ‘Hot Offers’ and ‘Prepaid Phones’ indicate that there’s more information further down the page worth looking at.

Optus' homepage (December 2014)

Optus’ homepage (December 2014)

Looking at the right hand side of the page, you can see how Optus has grouped information together on the basis of customer needs and presented in different coloured boxes. The dark grey box contains links to info such as billing and usage, and the darker blue box has links to their community and social sites. Along the top of the page are more generic information tabs – different types of signposts depending on the customer’s needs. Lexical and illustrated signposting also increases success and it gives the visitor more than one way to read the text.

Due to the methods Optus has used to signpost key information and a clear balance of funnel pages with call to action pages, when a visitor clicks on the image of a particular device the information which appears beside that device changes. The filter option is on the homepage which also brings the information forward, which means the customers does not need to leave (or abandon ) the homepage and keeps them close to the call to action.

Research Calendar
The next Global Reviews International Mobile Phone Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study will be fielded in May 2015. 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 recorded webinar: Digital Sales Effectiveness of International Mobile Phone providers.

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

DSE circlesThrough 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?

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How does UK mobile phone providers’ digital performance compare to providers from other countries?

mobile ph with globe

Author: Marie Sheehan

In Q4 2014 Global Reviews conducted a multi country study into the Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE)* of mobile phone providers.

As part of this study we placed a number of different ‘in market’ consumers (pre-qualified customers with intent to buy a mobile phone subscription within the next 90 days) on the websites of 16 phone mobile providers across Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA, and measured how effective they are at meeting customer’s needs and ultimately driving them to an online purchase.

International Mobile Phone providers included in Global Reviews DSE study Q4 2014

Fig. 1 International Mobile Phone providers included in Global Reviews DSE study Q4 2014

 

Top Performers per Geographical Territory
The average customer experience dashboard score across these international mobile phone providers is 52%

New Zealand:
Verizon comes out on top with a score of 59%

UK:
Vodafone UK has the highest score (59%) in this region with Tesco Mobile (52%) being a strong performer in a number of key categories.

Australia:
With a score of 63% Optus out shines all other providers internationally.

Fig 2. Overall DSE Score by Mobile Phone Provider and Geographical Territory Source: Global Reviews International Mobile Phone Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study Q4 2014

Fig 2. Overall DSE Score by Mobile Phone Provider and Geographical Territory
Source: Global Reviews International Mobile Phone Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study Q4 2014

 

New Zealand: Strongest Performance
UK: Underperforming

Each of the lines on this graph (Fig 3) represent the industry average on a geographical basis through the each of the stages in the mobile phone subscription consumers’ purchase pathway – from ‘initial engagement’ to ‘check out’.

Fig 3. Industry performance by geographical territory  Source: Source: Global Reviews International Mobile Phone Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study Q4 2014

Fig 3. Industry performance by geographical territory
Source: Source: Global Reviews International Mobile Phone Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study Q4 2014

The UK figures (in red) show that the UK providers are underperforming when you compare them to other providers across APAC and the US. Particularly in the ‘initial engagement’ stage as there is a very large gap between the UK (53%) and New Zealand (70%)

In fact, on average there is a stark difference between UK mobile phone providers (the weakest at each stage of the journey) and the top performers.

Fig 4. Percentage difference between UK scores and those of the top geographical performer Source: Global Reviews International Mobile Phone Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study Q4 2014

Fig 4. Percentage difference between UK scores and those of the top geographical performer
Source: Global Reviews International Mobile Phone Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study Q4 2014

It is also noteworthy that there is a general industry pain in the ‘facilitating decisions’ (the ability of the sites to further assist in the customer’s decision making process before committing to purchase) and ‘evaluating options’ (matching options to their personal needs ) stages.

Research Calendar
The next Global Reviews International Mobile Phone Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study will be fielded in May 2015. 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 recorded webinar: Digital Sales Effectiveness of International Mobile Phone providers.

 

Mobile ph 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?

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First Impressions Convert

first impressions convert

Author: Marie Sheehan

The importance of initial engagement on sports betting websites

Funnel Vision
As part of our research* into the Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) of UK Sports Betting Companies, we look at the top level conversion ratios through their sales and acquisition funnels.

During our DME research we asked 200 ‘in market’ consumers (pre-qualified customers with intent to open (or switch) an online account with a betting provider) what persuaded them to choose one betting provider over all others.

We captured each action and key stroke in order to measure the level of “recall” (unprompted brand awareness) all the way through to “final preference”. As they move through the funnel we also measure who visited their site and what brands they shortlisted.

We examined the different steps in the bettor’s journey in opening an online sports betting account. We can see how they shop around, the snippets of information they find and how that impacts their behaviour and ultimately who they choose and why.

Sales & Acquisition Funnel UK Sports Betting Providers Source: Global Reviews UK Sports Betting Providers Digital Marketing Effectiveness Study 2014

Fig 1. Sales & Acquisition Funnel UK Sports Betting Providers
Source: Global Reviews UK Sports Betting Providers Digital Marketing Effectiveness Study 2014

Stronger Digital Strategy at Betfair
Betfair score well at driving bettors to their website when they start shopping around online, and they have the highest conversion ratio of unprompted recall to final preference, albeit from a lower base. However it does suggest that Betfair’s digital search marketing strategy is working.

Lost Opportunities at Paddy Power and Ladbrokes
Both Paddy Power’s and Ladbrokes’ healthy shortlist scores (51% and 48% respectively) translate poorly into final preference scores (17% and 15% respectively). Given Ladbrokes’ very high brand recall (56%) and visited (42%) scores, you could be lead to question if Ladbrokes is depending too much on the loyalty of existing customers and not focussing enough in trying to “steal” additional customers online?

Highest Final Preference at William Hill
William Hill starts off with a really strong unprompted brand recall score (63%) in comparison to Betfair (23%), but even though they have the lowest number of visitors to their site (17%) of the four sports betting companies in fig 1, they have the highest final preference score (26%) across the entire industry. What needs to be asked here (and answered) is: Why does William Hill have the highest final preference score?

First impressions count and for William Hill they convert
The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme focuses on the Consider and Act stages of the online purchase journey. The first part of the consider stage is “initial engagement”, where we measure the effectiveness of a website when consumers are locating service or product options.

William Hill out performs all other sports betting providers at the initial engagement stage and creates a winning impression; scoring 68% (compare this to Bet365’s score of 48%). This impression carries right through to the purchase stage – as William Hill score highest at the registration (72%).

Fig 2. Top and bottom performers UK Sports Betting Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Programme June 2014  Source: Global Reviews UK Sports Betting Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

Fig 2. Top and bottom performers UK Sports Betting Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Programme June 2014
Source: Global Reviews UK Sports Betting Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

 

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

Global Reviews Research Calendar 2015: UK Sports Betting Industry

Digital Sales Effectiveness Programmes – February and August 2105
Mobile Sales effectiveness Programmes – February and August 2105
Digital Marketing Effectiveness Programmes – Monthly

 

Recorded Webinar: UK Digital Sports Betting in 2014 - A Review of the Year

Recorded Webinar: UK Digital Sports Betting in 2014 – A Review of the Year

 

*In 2014 we ran three programmes of studies into the UK Sports Betting Companies:

Thirteen brands were included in the research: 888.com, Bet365, BetFair, BetFred, BetVictor, Boyle sports, Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, MatchBook, SkyBet, SportingBet and William Hill.
1. Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE): This study measures how effective UK Sports Betting Companies are at converting customers online. We ran the DSE programme twice in 2014 – Q2 and in Q3 – before and during the World Cup. As UK bookmakers were expecting to take as much £3 billion in action during the World Cup, we felt there was no better time to analyse online purchasing behaviour and track sports betting customers online.

2. Mobile Sales Effectiveness (MSE): This study measures how effective UK Sports Betting Companies are at converting customers on their mobile sites. We ran the MSE programme in Q3. The benchmark delivered an overall industry average of 54%, with a small variance between scores; the highest score being 55.9%, attained by SkyBet followed closely by Ladbrokes with a score of 55.7% and BetVictor with 55.6% The lowest scoring site – Betfair – achieved a score of 48.5%.

 

3. Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DSE): This study measures how effective UK Sports Betting Companies are at attracting customers online. William Hill came out on top in the DME study with an unprompted brand recall score of 63% and a shortlist score of 26% However Paddy Power performs better when you compare brand recall (45%) to shortlist score (51%), but then they lose more potential customers than William Hill with a lost opportunity score of -67%

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Why travel booking websites are losing out to airlines

internationalbooking

Author: Suzy Coulson

When it comes to booking an international flight, consumers use a range of websites to research and find the best flight options. Across October, November and December 2014, Global Reviews ran digital marketing effectiveness studies to better understand what these research journeys look like. Across the three studies we saw that:

  • 93% used a search engine
  • 82% used aggregator/travel booking sites
  • 42% used airline websites

The top websites visited were Webjet, Flight Centre and Expedia.

Whilst it initally looks good for travel booking sites, when we dig deeper into the studies we found that 47% are going on to their chosen airline’s website to make the final decision and booking. An additional 2% would call the airline and 24% would either visit or call the travel agent, leaving just 27% remaining on the travel booking site to make the final booking.

When asked why they would prefer to book through the airline’s website directly, 66% said that it was because they thought that they would get the best deal directly, 44% thought it would be quicker through the airline and 44% would just generally prefer to deal with the airline directly. A further 7% said that they didn’t trust the travel booking site with their personal or financial information and 3% stated other reasons including having specific requests that they didn’t trust the travel booking site to ensure their requirements would be passed onto the airline.

If travel booking sites are so highly valued at the earlier research stages, why is this trust suddenly lost when it comes to making the final decision and booking?

To find out more, Global Reviews conducted a digital sales effectiveness study looking specifically at the complete research through to booking process on five of the most popular travel booking sites (Expedia, Flight Centre, Hello World, Last Minute and Webjet), and two of Australia’s biggest international airlines (Qantas and Virgin Australia).

The research conducted in November 2014 showed that travel booking sites perform quite well in the initial research stages of introducing flight options and allowing for an easy comparison of these options. However, when it comes to aiding consumers in making a final decision, the high performing website experience appears to fall away.

Whilst this is generally the same with the airline website experience, there was one key area where the airlines outperformed the travel booking sites – the ‘why choose us’ stage.

Where the airlines averaged 62% for this section, the travel booking sites averaged just 51%. Qantas far exceeded everyone else when it came to providing content to learn about the company, and Virgin Australia led the pack when it came to evaluating how helpful their website was at helping to make a decision before beginning the booking process. Both these areas help to build a sense of understanding, trust and security with the company – three of the major reasons why consumers said they would prefer to book with the airline directly.

If travel booking sites want to improve their conversion rates, then this is a key area to focus on. A better understanding of the company, their value proposition and a greater sense of trust could go a long way for these websites. Without these element, consumers will continue to abandon the site at the most critical moment and finalise the transaction elsewhere – resulting in a loss of possible revenue for the travel booking sites.

For information about how travel booking sites can improve their conversion rates please contact:

Jane Robertson
Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3417
M: +61 400 560 652
E: jane.robertson@globalreviews.com

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The Influence of Comparison Sites on the Digital Pathway to Purchase Car Insurance

The Influence of Comparison Sites in the pathway to Purchase Car Insurance

Author: Marie Sheehan

One third decide which car insurance provider to go with on a comparison website
While 92% of UK consumers will use a search engine at some stage of the pathway to purchase motor insurance, 87% actually start the journey there. 30% then move to the brand website, however almost half go to a comparison or aggregator site.

29% are then making the decision to purchase and stopping their journey on the aggregator site. A further 9% of those who visit provider’s site are going back to aggregator sites.

Do consumers see the aggregator brand and the motor insurance brand as the same thing?
From the “Search Acquisition Module”* of the Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness programme**, where we capture every keyword searched on and every click made, we know that after “car insurance”, “compare the market” is the second most used search term – putting it before any of the brands. In fact the top three destination sites from consumers’ search are aggregator sites.

Car Insurance keyword search

Organic & paid key word search by domain. Research completed by Global Reviews in Q3 2014
UK Motor Insurance Brands DSE

The top two reasons that consumers use aggregator sites are that 63% think it would be the easiest way to compare different options and 57% say that it is the easiest way to see a range of policies from different providers at the same time.

Choice overload
Consumers could recall 46 motor insurance providers. With the market being so fragmented, consumers are looking for help and cues to help them make the purchase decision. From a consumer’s point of view the line between a brand and an aggregator is becoming increasing blurred.

“It’s quicker this way”
52% of consumers go to the comparison sites for pricing information and only 32% go to the brands sites themselves. Consumers tend to look for information up front on aggregator sites and then make their purchase on brand websites (42%). They are doing this on the basis of speed.

Should Motor Insurance Providers act more like comparison sites?
Consumers who go to the aggregator first believe they will finish the journey faster, whereas consumers who go to the brand website believe they will get the best price. The question is can the brands not introduce a comparison across the market themselves? As aggregators are acting more like brands, why don’t the brands start to act more like aggregators and start taking back control of the consumers touch points?

 

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

*The Global Reviews Search Acquisition Module gives you back what Google took away and give you the keyword analytics of those who bought not only from you, but those who chose your competitor.

**As part of our ongoing programme of studies into the digital marketing effectiveness of UK motor insurance providers we ran the latest round of our Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DSE) benchmark in November.
The Global Reviews Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) programme focuses on the Discover and Consider stages of the online purchase journey.

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

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

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.

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What is the online experience for prospective mortgage consumers?

On a bi-annual basis, Global Reviews collects the research journeys of in-market customers and analyses how they go about selecting a preferred mortgage lender. The results help businesses understand the drivers behind the audience that are not selecting them in their final decision, which in turn helps to uncover new opportunities to tackle and ensure that marketing dollars are working effectively.

MortgagesVisit our reports library to download FREE industry reports from across our digital marketing and digital sales effectiveness programmes.

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How are Australian consumers researching superannuation?

As part of our Digital Marketing Effectiveness programme we asked 200 Australians who were in the market for superannuation to use the internet to research, shortlist and choose a provider.

SuperannuationVisit our reports library to download FREE industry reports from across our digital marketing and digital sales effectiveness programmes.

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Changes in the way Australian consumers are researching and selecting home insurance providers

Home Insurance

Author: Suzy Coulson

Competition within the home insurance market is heating up. While most Australian home owners are seeing a slowdown in the rise of home insurance premiums, the big insurance companies are beginning to feel the pressure to bow down to the rates offered by their smaller competitors, or risk losing customers.

Throughout 2014, Global Reviews ran four Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies to follow the research journeys of consumers currently in-market for home insurance and analyse how they go about creating a consideration shortlist of preferred providers. In comparing the results from across the year, it is evident that the way consumers research and select home insurance providers is changing.

One area that saw quite a shift in results as the year progressed was within the reasons for putting a brand on the consideration shortlist. Whilst brand familiarity and trust remain consistently important when selecting a provider, previous use dropped dramatically in recent months. In April 47% of consumers considered brands because of previous use, but this has since dropped to 35% in both the July and November studies. Instead, price and website usability have started to become more common reasons for considering a home insurance provider.

Researching home insurance

So if brand loyalty is no longer such an influence and price and website usability is becoming increasingly important, how does this impact the home insurance industry and which brands are being considered?

Insurance giants AAMI, Allianz and NRMA have each remained fairly steady across the year with the number of people shortlisting them showing no change from February 2014 to November 2014. However, their competition is drawing closer. As the importance of price and website usability has increased, so has the number of people shortlisting Budget Direct, RACQ, Real Insurance and Youi – averaging a 7% increase between February and November. While GIO and NRMA were previously the third and fourth most shortlisted brands respectively, they have now been overtaken by Budget Direct and Youi.

The question for the bigger insurance companies is, do they try and match the pricing of their smaller counterparts and risk revenue loss, or do they stick to what they’re doing and risk losing customers?

Website usability is clearly becoming increasingly important to consumers, and with 16% (n=419) stating that they would leave the website and go to another provider if they encountered problems it is vital that providers are meeting the customer’s expectations and not losing out to the competition unnecessarily. So where price cannot be met, home insurance providers need to at least ensure that their websites are working in their favour.

To find out more about which providers are getting shortlisted and who’s offering the best website experience, please contact:

Darren Watson
Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3412
E: darren.watson@globalreviews.com

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Usability of health insurance websites drop (so does the desire to use them)

Health Insurance

Author: Suzy Coulson

The health insurance landscape is set to change with the privatisation of Medibank Private. We won’t necessarily see the effects immediately, but it will undoubtedly impact the industry and the general public who use it. While Medibank Private has been supported and protected by the government, this will soon change, which will throw Medibank Private into a new realm of market competition.

Before any changes do come into play, Global Reviews ran a Digital Marketing Effectiveness study to capture the ways in which consumers are currently researching and selecting a health insurance provider. Between November 2013 and November 2014, there have been some notable changes with a drop in brand preferences as well as a shift in the reasons why consumers are considering brands.

Across the top 10 brands for health insurance, only three brands saw an increase in the number of prospective customers putting them on their consideration shortlist, with a combined increase of 12%. This increase doesn’t make up for the combined 41% decrease of the seven other top 10 brands. Of the three brands who had increases, Medibank Private had the biggest lift with 5%. They were followed by GMHBA who increased by 4% and Bupa with 3%. Heading the other way, Australian Unity and HCF suffered the biggest losses, both with a 9% drop, followed by HBF and NIB with a 7% drop.

Along with a drop in brands getting shortlisted, there’s also been a drop across some of the key reasons why brands were selected to be on a shortlist. Previously, the following reasons for shortlisting a brand ranked quite high:

  • The website helped me compare options
  • They gave me plenty of options to choose from
  • Their products/offers were easy to understand
  • Their website helped me find products/services quickly

In this latest study, however, all the above reasons dropped by an average of 9%. Meanwhile, selecting a website that is visually appealing and/or looks easy to use was chosen by consumers on an average increase of 5% from the previous study. So whilst health insurance websites may look better than they did 12 months ago, their usability appears to have suffered because of it.

The Global Reviews Sales Effectiveness benchmark study shows that website functionality has indeed dropped for the health insurance industry. Either that, or consumer expectations have increased. At the same time, the desire to use the websites has also dropped. In 2013 when the benchmark industry average was 51%, 48% of consumers were stating they would want to research policy options, get a quote and purchase the insurance online. Now, in 2014, the benchmark industry average has dropped to 49% and the number of consumers wanting to complete the research through to purchase process online has also dropped, now at 35%. Consequently, as website usability drops, so too does the desire to use it; to the point where having the ability to apply online has dropped from an importance rating of 8.2/10 down to 7.9/10. Considering 17% of consumers would leave a website and look for another provider if they encountered problems, it’s vital to ensure website usability doesn’t continue to drop.

As the dynamic of the health insurance industry faces change with the government letting go of control of one of Australia’s biggest health insurance providers, it marks a vital time for providers to reassess their offerings and the channels in which they deliver that offer. Consumers currently aren’t considering as many providers as they were previously, and research is showing that lacking website usability is contributing to this. Nobody can predict how the industry will be impacted by the privatisation of Medibank Private, so if brands want to secure a leading position in this changing market, then they need to take a look at their websites as this is one variable than they can control.

For information about our upcoming research please contact:

Jane Robertson
Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3417
M: +61 400 560 652
E: jane.robertson@globalreviews.com

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Is the ACCC set to change which mobile providers we choose?

accc mobile phone review

Author: Suzy Coulson

Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), released a discussion paper in August aimed at finding a way to lower the costs Australian consumers are currently paying for their mobile phone services. Whilst this is great news for mobile phone users, this does mean a potential shift in which providers we choose.

In July, Global Reviews conducted a marketing effectiveness study into the ways in which consumers research and select mobile phone providers to meet their needs. It was found that of those who didn’t have a preferred provider before they began their research, 54% would go into their research specifically looking for the provider with the best prices i.e. rates and fees. Once consumers had commenced their research, 60% built their shortlist of providers based on them having good rates and fees.

As it currently stands, Optus and Telstra are the most shortlisted brands at 68% and 66% respectively. Whilst Optus and Telstra are the dominant players, there is room for other brands given that consumers said that they would research an average of 4.7 providers. Even so, they still hold quite a lead on the next most shortlisted brands, Vodafone (40%) and Virgin (34%).

Being the largest telecommunications companies in the country, Optus and Telstra can perhaps afford to play around with the rates and fees they charge their customers. Smaller companies, however, most likely don’t have such freedoms which is an issue considering that on an importance scale of 1-5 (1=not at all important, 5=very important), customers rated low fees and charges as a 4.5 in importance when it comes to choosing a preferred provider. This was made evident when Optus, who was originally only preferred by 17% versus Telstra at 35%, managed to finish just one point behind Telstra in final preference thanks discovering their “good plan options” during the research and discovery phase.

With the amount that service providers are charging each other to receive phone calls and text messages now under scrutiny by the ACCC, the costs between providers is set to drop from May 2015, which will in turn allow for a drop in the fees charged to the consumer, opening up the competition to the smaller companies.

So as fees and rates begin to get more competitive, will we begin to see a change in which brands consumers prefer? Will the criteria in which we shortlist and choose providers change? In the coming weeks, Global Reviews will be running a sales effectiveness benchmark to evaluate the digital sales experience of the major telco’s and see just how prepared they are for this potential shift in how consumers will select a provider. The complete website journey will be assessed to see if providers can cater for the full range of customer needs, not just the pricing.

Download our free report for more insights from the study.

For information about our upcoming research please contact:

Jane Robertson
Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3417
M: +61 400 560 652
E: jane.robertson@globalreviews.com

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