Impact of third party websites on consumers’ journey and purchase decisions

Impact of third party websites on consumers’ journey and purchase decisions

For any brand targeting their prospects, it is important to understand how their brand is found or rather, how their potential customers search for brands within their industry. In several of our research studies it was found that consumers rely heavily on third party and aggregator sites when making a brand choice within an industry.

Our research studies found that even though most consumers have a brand in mind before they begin their research, most prefer to use a search engine when researching products or services to then take them through to brand or aggregator sites.preferred brand search journey

So, how can you use search to better your chance of being a preferred brand within an industry?

  1. Aim to meet the broader needs of consumers by tailoring the search creative to the search keywords. Consider paid search for keywords where third party sites are getting featured snippet listings to ensure your brand stays in the mindset.
  2. Tailor search ad creative to the search keyword entered like Budget Direct and Australian Super.
  3. Endeavor to attain a high position on search engines. As seen in the heat map below, most clicks are for the top listings.

best super fund search results compare car insurance search results

search results heat map

Why are consumers going from search through to aggregator sites?

  1. The ease of comparing options and seeing a range of companies in one place are the main reasons consumers want to use an aggregator site.
  2. Almost half of consumers incorrectly think that all companies are shown on aggregator sites and they’ll get the best deals there. This is a risk for brands, if you are not present on the aggregator site – you may lose a chance to join the consumers’ consideration set.

why consumers compare brands

When looking at specific industries, the graphs below show the impact that aggregator sites have on final preferences when it comes to consumers choosing a preferred brand. For example in superannuation, overall 20% of consumers preferred AustralianSuper. However, when we just look at those who visited Canstar as part of their research, 30% of those consumers went on to prefer AustralianSuper.

Interestingly, when we look at energy the two biggest players, AGL and Origin, get a far lower final preference rate from those who used an aggregator site.

Final preference superannuation

final preference home insurance

final preference car insurance

final preference energy

Whilst we acknowledge that aggregator sites are not always the preferred strategy for some brands, there is no doubt that third party sites such as search and aggregators have an impact on which brands consumers ultimately choose as their preferred provider, and there is ample opportunity for brands to take advantage of the popularity of third party websites and increase the likelihood of being chosen as a final preference.

To summarise our findings from our research studies, here are a few key insights and opportunities for brands:

INSIGHTSOPPORTUNITIES
During the consumers' discovery journey, third party sites often gain the most visits- Ensure your brand has a presence on third party sites relevant to your industry
Third party sites are attracting visits through search engine results pages (SERPs)- Tailor search ad creative to key words to ensure more relevance against the third party offering
- Consider paid search for some specific targeted search terms to ensure your brand stays top of mind
Consumer behaviour and display of information on third party sites will affect how competitive your product looks against other brands- Consider tailored products for promotion on third party sites
- Look at ways to gain more exposure on third party sites
Many consumers arriving at your website will already have completed a lot of research at a third party site - they will not want to 'start again'- Offer multiple pathways to products based on the different stages of decision making

To learn more on what you, as a brand can do, see what we revealed during our webinar on this topic:

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Prospective students don’t know what they don’t know

university website

Our recent UK higher learning study revealed that 1/3 of UK prospective students don’t know what specific course they want to research, but rather, they have a broad idea of an area of interest.  Until students know more about the university and area of interest, they’re not going to know what courses are on offer let alone which course to specifically search for.

While browsing behaviour dominates when it comes to locating a range of courses, leading universities are providing multiple pathways to cater to different needs of students, for example those that know the specific course they want to study verses those that don’t know but may have an interest area in mind.

Our recent webinar explored some of the ways Australian universities are helping prospective students to find the right course to match their needs and area of interest. For example, search capabilities within the site provides the opportunity to not only help prospective students find specific courses and subject areas, but also to serendipitously discover other courses that might be suitable for them through the use of additional filters.

For more insights into the student mindset when researching universities and courses online, watch our webinar or contact us for more information. We will also be featured at the upcoming Higher Education Marketing Conference in London, so be sure so come say hello!

Presented by: Geri McGann – Principal Client Advisor

Let is know what you thought about the webinar and have your say as to what we deliver next!

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Global Reviews announces headline sponsorship of the London Higher Education Marketing Conference 2019

higher education marketing conference

Global Reviews brings its world renowned research programme to London’s Higher Education Marketing Conference.

“The Higher Education Marketing Conference 2019 will offer leading professional development in supporting innovation and maximising impact in the delivery of effective higher education marketing campaigns. Those attending will gain the latest insights from higher education marketing experts and leading practitioners in understanding the evolving trends in student recruitment, assessing how to enhance engagement and communication with prospective students and developing marketing strategies which support outstanding outcomes within higher education.”

Regent’s Park, London – Tuesday 30th April 2019

Global Reviews, a company dedicated to empowering businesses with data driven insights and recommendations, is proud to announce it will be the headline sponsor of Inside Government’s Higher Education Marketing Conference for 2019 (https://highereducationmarketing.co.uk). The conference will be held Tuesday 30th April at the Royal College of Physicians in Regent Park, London and will be chaired by Martyn Spence, Director of Marketing and Communication, Heriot-Watt University.

Keynote speaker

Gerard Farrell, Head of Product at Global Reviews, will be a keynote speaker on the day, unveiling recent UK higher learning research and bringing best practice examples to bear on how the UK higher learning industry can improve its digital acquisition, retention and communicate channels.

  • Revealing new Global Reviews research and insights detailing how UK universities can perform better in meeting the online marketing and sales needs of their prospective students.
  • Understanding trends across university websites and highlighting common pain points prospective students face when researching course and university options.
  • Delivering best practice examples of the online consumer journey from both the UK and Australia.

Bringing our celebrated Higher Learning research programme to the UK

With nearly 20 years of experience in measuring and benchmarking customer journeys through multiple online channels and having worked with 15 universities in Australia, Global Reviews is bringing its higher learning benchmark to the UK.

Utilising real world scientific methodologies, Global Reviews not only provides the most sophisticated online journey benchmarking programme in the world but also provides the ability to respond to competitive market dynamics through a whole market view. Our insights consistently drive higher conversion rates and reduce abandonment.

Our methodologies consist of a unique blend of active and passive methodologies, subjective onsite behavior and objective best practice feature and function audits. Across the end to end online buying journey, segmented into two phases and six buying stages, our products benchmark and forensically analyse the elements of the online experience which are causing the greatest loss in sales. Our expert client advisory team deep dives into the thousands of behavioural data points generated in one study alone and provide evidence led insights to turn lost opportunities into conversions.

Five ways we can help your digital team:

  1. Prioritisation of customer experience development based on proportional market conversion increases
  2. Reduce reliance on site centric single data sources and provide whole market visibility. (The 80% you don’t currently see)
  3. Access to a leading team of digital conversion specialists and best practice intelligence
  4. Benchmark the performance of your online customer journey against local competitors and worldwide leaders.
  5. Reduce subjective debate within your team and gain independent validation on the decisions and choices you are making for your online sales and marketing strategy.

For more information about Global Reviews or to register your interest in a demo at the conference, contact Suzy Sliwczynski (suzy.sliwczynski@globalreviews.com).

 

Additional Conference Information:

 

About Global Reviews

The Global Reviews story began in 2000 out of a passion to present companies with the most accurate and actionable measure of website customer experience.

Our research approach is rooted in the knowledge that a more successful research solution will be achieved through the collaboration of three distinct groups:

  • Your team
  • Your customers
  • Our experts

Through this collaborative process we follow a design pattern which starts broadly, considering your requirements and then refines this to a single evidence led approach to achieving the project goals.

When choosing participants for our studies we choose carefully and work only with the highest quality panel partners. The majority of our studies include only in-market consumers, those who are currently looking to purchase a product or service like yours. When choosing samples, we cut out the noise and focus only on those customers who will improve your commercial performance. Once chosen our respondents complete tasks on their own devices in their own homes and we record and observe their natural behaviour. In this manner we bridge the gap between claimed behaviour and actual behaviour. With access to millions of customers worldwide and leveraging many diverse research solutions, there is no door into the digital world we have not been able to open to complete research.

For more information, visit www.globalreviews.com. You can also follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media Contact:
Suzy Sliwczynski
Marketing Manager
suzy.sliwczynski@globalreviews.com

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The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

When rating the current accounts landing page on mobile banking sites, Tesco Bank is comprehensively outscored and their product pages are not performing much better. Navigation, appealing visual design and information are all considered by consumers to be lacking from the Tesco Bank site compared to what competitor sites are delivering. These key areas are all contributing to a low average score for Tesco Bank for landing page impressions.Tesco bank scores 7.14 in customer audit

 

A recent study with 170 consumers looking at user experience across UK current account mobile banking sites revealed that Tesco’s unchanging site is falling further and further behind competitors who are continually evolving their site in order to match consumer needs.

Our webinar looked at where Tesco has stalled and how competitors are advancing their sites. These insights will not only help you to avoid making these same mistakes, but also show you what the top performing brands from around the world are doing to ensure they aren’t also falling behind.

Presented by: Rebecca Jennings – Principal Client Advisor

If you enjoyed this webinar you might also be interested in our previous webinar: Why are Santander losing so many potential customers and how can you learn from their mistakes

Let is know what you thought about the webinar and have your say as to what we deliver next!

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UK Banking Webinar Series: Learn from competitors’ mistakes

learn from santander mistakes

Over the past 12 months, Santander has been steadily losing prospective mortgage customers. They have gone from having a 12% preference rate amongst consumers, down to just 6%. Meanwhile, HSBC have recently increased to 16% and Nationwide is maintaining a strong lead with 23%.

Why are Santander losing so many potential customers and how can you learn from their mistakes?

A recent study with 150 consumers looking at website user experience across UK mortgage sites revealed that one of the reasons Santander is rating poorly is because their website is not working as strongly as other brands.

Our recent webinar looked at where along the online customer journey consumers are struggling to connect with Santander’s website. These insights will not only help you to avoid making these same mistakes, but also show you what the top performing brands from around the world are doing to ensure they aren’t losing prospective customers.

Presented by: Rebecca Jennings – Principal Client Advisor

If you enjoyed this webinar you might also be interested in our following webinar: The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

Let is know what you thought about the webinar and have your say as to what we deliver next!

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Motor Insurance: who excels at SEO and what are the most used Search Terms

When potential customers are looking for information on motor insurance, search engines are influencing their shortlisting of providers.

While the use of search engines is more dominant on mobile, it is also highly used on desktop: 93% of mobile users use search, while 69% of desktop users start researching Irish Motor Insurance brands this way, shows our recent study on 250 desktop and 200 mobile in-market consumers.

As part of their discover journey, 97% of desktop users and 72% of mobile users will visit a brand website.

The use of the broker is more likely on desktop than it is on mobile.

Participants were asked to make a shortlist after some initial research, and when asked why they shortlisted a brand, 37% of mobile users and 22% of desktop users stated: “I saw them when I used a search engine.”

Favourite search engines
Google is the top search engine used when researching motor insurance overall.

Of desktop users, 72% use search, of whom:
96% use Google
5% use Yahoo
1% use Ecosia
1% use Bing
1% use Ask

On mobile, 63% use search, of whom:
99% use Google
1 % use Duck Duck Go

popular search terms motor insurance

Best performing brands in search engine ranking
All brands provide paid ads to ensure they feature within the top results.

Aviva, Allianz, The AA and 123.ie are consistently chosen within the top four results for initial preference, shortlisting and final preference. This further validates the findings that these four brands are investing heavily in paid advertising. As a result, their presence in the search results might be impacting this.

Aviva and AA show up at the top as paid ads when searching for ‘car insurance Ireland.’

Liberty are currently coming up as the first result when searching ‘car insurance’ on a mobile device, displaying a paid ad.

Search engine optimisation is key
As we can see, search engine optimisation is key to get consumers to visit your website, as it considerately impacts shortlisting and their final choice of brand. Our key findings:

  • 93% of mobile users and 69% of desktop consumers use search while researching Irish motor insurance brands
  • Google is the most popular search engine
  • 37% of mobile users and 22% of desktop users shortlisted a brand because: “I saw them when I used a search engine.”
  • The most popular search terms are ‘car insurance ireland’, ‘car insurance’ and ‘motor insurance’
  • Paid ads on Google seem to help Aviva, Allianz, The AA and 123.ie consistently being chosen within the top four favourites.

 

Fieldwork for both studies was completed between April 13th and June 7th  2017.
Aligns to national averages for gender, age, stage and income.
200 desktop participants and  200 mobile participants.
All sample was recruited from the Research Now panel and Empathy Research.

Desktop competitors benchmarked: Allianz, Zurich, AXA and FBD, 123.ie, AIG and Aviva
Mobile competitors benchmarked: Allianz, AIG, Aviva and Chill Insurance,123.ie, AA and FBD

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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Providing a quick quote tool is essential for Irish Motor Insurance sites

62% of consumers who want to check out motor insurance options online, go straight to the quote tool, before even choosing what cover they want.

This is one of the main conclusions we drew from our Fruition study, that we conducted between April and June 2017. We studied 200 desktop and 200 mobile consumers, looking for new motor insurance, to determine how they research and what their drivers are when deciding who to purchase motor insurance from.

How did users experience looking for motor insurance?

motor insurance experience

After consumers did their online research, what are the six main drivers for their final preferred brand?

Our main conclusions from our Fruition study of the Irish Motor Insurance industry are:
main conclusions motor insurance

Fieldwork for both studies was completed between April 13th and June 7th  2017.
Aligns to national averages for gender, age, stage and income.
200 desktop participants and  200 mobile participants.
All sample was recruited from the Research Now panel and Empathy Research.

Desktop competitors benchmarked: Allianz, Zurich, AXA and FBD, 123.ie, AIG and Aviva
Mobile competitors benchmarked: Allianz, AIG, Aviva and Chill Insurance,123.ie, AA and FBD.

 

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

 

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Aggregators: Helping or Hindering your Credit Card brand?

Desktop users looking for a new credit card increasingly make use of aggregator websites, we noticed while following each step of their discover phase during our study on 201 in-market UK consumers in the second quarter of 2017.

Being able to compare products and offers of several brands on a third-party website, is visibly impacting the decisions of your potential customers when choosing a credit card.

However, mobile users are visiting aggregators a lot less and aggregators don’t hold as much power on their final preferences.

Our research shows that some brands benefit from aggregators and some are actually hindered by them. Have a look at our findings and see why these comparison websites should not be ignored.

On desktop, aggregator visits help Sainsbury’s and Barclays significantly – perhaps as much in awareness as anything else – but hinder American Express in shortlisting. As the graphic shows, around 38% of those who visited aggregators shortlisted Sainbury’s, compared to 19% of those who did not visit them.

Credit Card Aggregators1As for the final preference, aggregators continue to help Sainsbury’s but hinder Halifax and American Express.

Credit Card Aggregators2Even though aggregator visits help Sainsbury’s on mobile too, their lost opportunity is much higher than on desktop, because aggregators have less influence and – perhaps more importantly – Sainsbury’s mobile site doesn’t perform as well as their desktop site.

Marks & Spencer didn’t benefit from aggregators in the shortlisting phase on either mobile or desktop.

Credit Card Aggregators3In the end, aggregators are most beneficial to Sainsbury’s and Santander, while American Express and Tesco lose the most mobile users who visited an aggregator.

Credit Card Aggregators4What can we learn from this?
Having a website – both on desktop and mobile – that carries on the same messaging from the aggregators is vital. When users click, they expect to see the same offer on your site as on the aggregators. Aggregators are less popular on mobile at present, but as ease of use increases, expect their popularity (and power) to grow.

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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How good are Irish Energy Providers at Online Conversion?

Energy Ireland

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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How to improve conversion on Motor Insurance websites (webinar 14 July)

Motor Insurance infographicGlobal Reviews is delighted to announce a webinar on Friday 14 Julyth at 10am BST utilising data from our recent Fruition study of the Irish Motor Insurance industry.

Join our webinar and find out:

– If you’re one of the brands losing over 75% of potential clients
– How your competitors are scoring
– What you can do to win clients
– How you can convince users that you have good online member services

Motor Insurance headerGlobal Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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