Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Admiral’s chasing the online pack in home insurance

Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

Author: Marie Sheehan

Comparing Admiral with top performer Direct Line

In Q4 2014 Global Reviews conducted a Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE)* study on the following twelve home insurance brands in the UK: Admiral, Aviva, AXA, Barclays, Churchill, Direct Line, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, LV=, More Th>n, Nationwide and Tesco Bank.
Measuring the home insurance customer’s journey
Our DSE programme focuses on the “Consider” and “Act” stages of the online purchase journey – from the point when a customer initially engages with the website through to when they submit their details and apply or purchase online.

DSE circles

Top and bottom performers across the customer’s pathway to purchase home insurance online

As you can see from Fig 1, different home insurance providers are meeting or even exceeding customer needs at each stage of the journey, however the industry average line shows that the industry as a whole is making it difficult for customers to buy from them online.

The industry as a whole is particularly weak at helping customers to evaluate the different home insurance policies and choose which option best suit their needs.

The poorer performers across the online customer journey are Tesco Bank and AXA, with Admiral coming out weakest in four of the six stages of the online customer journey.

Fig 1 DSE benchmark scores Source: Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

Fig 1 DSE benchmark scores
Source: Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

 

First impressions of Admiral and Direct Line online
The first part of the consider stage is “initial engagement”, where we measure the effectiveness of a website when consumers are looking for home insurance – the first impression the website makes and if it helps to build trust.

The categories within the initial engagement stage are:
1. Meeting expectations and builds trust
Where Admiral scores 42%, Direct Line scores 57% and the industry average is 63%

2. Assisting customer needs
Where Admiral scores 48%, Direct Line scores 52% and the industry average is 61%

As you can see from these figures there is a substantial difference of 21 percentage points between how well Direct Line’s website meets customers’ expectations and builds trust with them, and how poor Admiral’s site is in these areas.

What’s driving Admiral’s score down?
Drilling down into the sub sections (Fig 2) you can see that there is a lot of work for Admiral (and indeed the industry as a whole) to do. Admiral needs to improve their value proposition (scoring just 17%), their differentiation message and explaining why a customer should choose Admiral over other providers.

“Returning prospects” scores 0% for Admiral, which clearly means that is not something Admiral currently incorporates on their site. Admiral also has quite a bit of work to do in the area of building trust.

Fig 2 “Meeting expectations and building trust” sub section of the initial engagement stage Source: Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

Fig 2 “Meeting expectations and building trust” sub section of the initial engagement stage
Source: Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study 2014

 

What Admiral can learn from Direct Line
When we asked consumers to rate the home pages of the insurance providers, Direct Line’s homepage ranked much higher than Admiral’s because it displayed all the information they would expect to find when looking for home insurance. Plus consumers found that Direct Line’s homepage had a visual design that was appealing.

In contrast to this, consumers thought that the visual appeal of Admiral’s website was somewhat lacking as it looks a little “child-like with its cartoonish characters” and quite a number of consumers found that the website was only geared towards car insurance.

Direct Line’s website uses both a lexical and icon based menu which increases the possibility of the consumer understanding the message which is being communicated. The website has clear signposting with a funnel process, which means that consumers intuitively know where they will be taken when they click a particular button.

The multiple use of the “get a quote” call to action on the Direct Line homepage with clever placement of use of colour also increases success. As does the simple and clean design of the page which allow customers to understand very quickly what it going on and where to find what they need in order to move on.

If you would like to listen to my colleague Gerard Farrell, our Senior Client Advisor, walk you through both homepages, listen to our recorded webinar from the 22:35 minute mark.

Research Calendar
The next Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Sales Effectiveness Study will be fielded in February 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 webinar recorded on January 27th: Digital Sales Effectiveness of UK Home Insurance providers.

Home Insurance webinar recording

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

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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