Is neglecting the importance of 3rd party websites hurting your market share?

In two different research studies conducted by Global Reviews for the energy and superannuation industries (in Q1 2018 and Q3 2018 respectively), it was found that:

Even though consumers had an initial brand preference in mind, they often ended up going with a completely different brand when making a purchase decision:

So what is it that happens between these two preference stages that has consumers changing their mind?

Our research studies found that:

Consumers within both industries tend to search for brands on comparison and research sites just as much as on the brand’s website itself.

Energy

 Superannuation

The major reasons for consumers turning to third party websites are:

  1. The ease of comparing different brand options on one platform.
  2. The comprehensive visibility of various options by each brand.
  3. The ability to get the best possible benefit from what is being offered.

By using aggregator and research sites, consumers are being exposed to more brands and offers on one platform that makes the use search and aggregator sites far more lucrative.

Another factor that is impacting the change of brand preference is how well brands are meeting the wants and needs of consumers.

Within the energy industry it was found that:

  • Discounts and incentives, were a major driver for final brand preference within the Energy industry.

This revelation can easily be linked to the result from our research study which revealed AGL was voted as the #1 preferred energy brand. At the time of conducting the research study, AGL was found to have significantly increased their advertising spend and refocused on promoting discounts and offers​ on every platform.

Many of their campaigns highlighted discounts and also offered bonuses such as cashback, Flybuys and Amazon Echo.

Similarly, our research study found that when it came to superannuation brands:

  • Reputation, trust and familiarity are most important to consumers when they shortlist brands as their initial preference.
  • However, investment results and low fees gain importance later in the journey – potentially as they learn more during their research.

This could be a major reason for Australian Super’s increasingly high performance.

According to consumers, Australian Super’s product looked the most attractive to them when using Canstar, owing to their low cost.

          Most use the comparison tool at Canstar where Australian Super shows a significantly lower “Annual Cost”

Since majority of consumers tend to research on brands through aggregator websites, it becomes important for brands within industries like superannuation and energy, to understand :

  • How their brand can be perceived to be more appealing on research and aggregator sites?
  • Which factors are responsible for making their brands lose out in the final brand preference race among its consumers?
  • How are aggregator sites using search to attract people to visit them instead of brand sites?

Through our research studies within these different industries, it is clear that focusing on tiny details can help brands unlock big results. Once brands know that there exists an opportunity to leverage a platform, they need to dig deep to understand the factors that can contribute to their brand’s success.

In this case it would be realising the pull that third party websites have on a consumers’ final preference and leveraging that to their brand’s advantage.

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The importance of brand relationship and trust in the Motor Insurance Industry

A recently conducted research study by Global Reviews in Q3 2018, pointed out that the biggest motivating factor for a consumer to choose a particular motor insurance brand in their initial stages of search is ‘trust’.

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Leveraging your University Website Experience for Better Results

Leveraging a great website experience could be the key to universities achieving a higher ROI on their marketing efforts.

In this blog post, we bring to the fore aspects from our Research study that highlights areas universities need to leverage and the reasons they should do so.

When it comes to deciding on a course, prospective students prefer websites that (Figure 1):

  • Can be navigated through easily.
  • Display course information prominently and facilitate simple comparisons.
  • Have full information about the university itself and go above and beyond what their prospective students want.

(1)

After understanding what prospects looking for on a university website, let’s see how closely these needs are being met by different universities (Figure 2) :

Our research study reveals that there is still quite a bit of work to be done. A few prominent issues that have been identified by prospects on university websites such as UTS, Monash and Wollongong are: (Figure 3):

  1. Excess information on university websites leads to confusion among students when they are looking for specific information (10% of prospects concluded so).
  2. Difficulty in navigating through the excess information on the website. This often elongates the process of locating the information required by prospects (15%-25% prospects concluded so).

 

(3)

3. “Cluttered” information on university websites. When looking at the course page of CQU, several prospects pointed out that the information displayed tends to be “Cluttered” (Figure 4).

(4)

So, how can you change things around?

  1. Provide a seamless and smooth search path on your course Journey.
  • Example: UniSA –Figure 5 (i) and Figure (ii).

5 (i)

 

5 (ii)

2. Give your prospects ‘Takeaways’ and ‘Next Steps’ during the Journey to Courses navigation path (Figure 6).

(6)

3. Offer Tools to Help the Evaluation and Shortlisting Process (Figure 7).

(7)

4. Offer specific search ability by assessing your website hierarchy:

  • Help users navigate your site and search by providing helpful filters and a guided choice.

– Example: La Trobe University- Figure 8 (i) and Figure 8 (ii).

8 (i)

8 (ii)

  • Use search headers to help users get where they need to get quickly

– Example: London School of Economics- Figure 8 (iii)

8 (iii)

  • Offer a needs matching tool to help potential students narrow their research choices.

– Example: University of Melbourne – Figure 8 (iv)

8 (iv)

The key to achieving success lies in tailoring your website to match what your prospective students are looking for. For a more detailed explanation on this, you can watch the recording of our Higher Learning Webinar.

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 our research, please contact: 

Darren Watson – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        + 61 413 017 959
E:         darren.watson@globalreviews.com

Tony Carveth- Senior Commercial Director

T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        +61 438 081 496
E:         tony.carveth@globalreviews.com

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What prospects look for on a Super Fund website?

Over the years, superfunds have understood that their priority has and will always be safekeeping the retirement savings of their members. But in today’s digital frenzy where customer service and feedback are one click away and where customer demands are met at the speed of lightening, can a super fund strive to deliver more?

Following on from our previous blog post, we continue to delve into the superannuation industry and look at how closely super funds are meeting the needs of their members.

In Q3 2018, Global Reviews ran its latest Superannuation Industry research study and were able to compare the performance of the companies within this study between Q3 2017 and Q1 2018, assess the changes and understand how these changes impacted consumer behaviour. The results from the study revealed that AustralianSuper and ING Direct achieved a significant increase in their benchmark score based on the experience they offered to prospects visiting their sites.

But what is it that prospects deem to be the most important when shortlisting the super fund brands of their choice? Is enunciating Fund performance the only important aspect according to customers or are there more values they look for when choosing a super fund?

According to our study, most prospects rate the below attributes (in order of preference)

  • Reputation
  • Trust
  • Existing relation with the brand
  • Fees and investment options
  • Fund performance.

Clearly, even though fund performance might be an important factor for your prospects, it is not the only important factor affecting their final decision.

Our research study also revealed that users are often unable to identify top performing funds when searching on brand websites as prospects often find:

  • Presentation of the fund performance information on websites to be confusing.
  • The lack of availability of match to need tools on superannuation websites

As a super fund, it therefore becomes important that you:

  • Make the information easily accessible and help your prospects understand performance jargon.
  • Provide tools to help users decide the type of fund they should invest in.

 

Overall, the superannuation industry continues to rank very low when it comes to presenting products to customers based on their requirements. This observation was made when comparing it to industries such as Health Insurance, Higher Learning and Fintech, who often get it right. These industries are able to identify what their customer needs are and present the information about complex products to match those needs.

Taking cue from these industries, here are a few recommendations for super funds to ensure that they accurately match customer needs:

  • Users want to see fund performance upfront- consider having a summary on the homepage with a link to more information or publish the performance on the homepage itself.
  • Consider providing information about how one can select the right investment strategy.
  • Since financial investments are complex, users seek help. It is important to provide them with tools to help them with investment choices.
  • Present information with FAQs or help for users to better understand performance jargon.

 

Speak to one of our experts to see how the data we have can increase conversion rates, leads and traffic on your website:

Darren Watson – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        + 61 413 017 959
E:         darren.watson@globalreviews.com

Tony Carveth- Senior Commercial Director

T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        +61 438 081 496
E:         tony.carveth@globalreviews.com

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The Changing Percepetion of the Superannuation Industry

“Young people have changed, but their super hasn’t!”

Is this a generic statement or do your prospective members actually feel this way? Are you, as a super fund doing enough?

Until recently, superannuation funds have operated more as a B2B model dealing primarily with employers rather than with the employees who actually sign up with a super fund. Typically, as an industry, superannuation tends to be front-of-mind only when someone is about to retire or switch jobs.

But according to an article by Forbes “Ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years. That means they would have 15 – 20 jobs over the course of their working lives!”.

In today’s age where job hopping is the new norm, could a super fund strive to offer more than just a delayed gratification?

Global Reviews conducted a research study in Q1 2018 to better understand the online journey of super fund prospect, what they are searching for and how they end up with their final choice?

We involved 261 participants to analyse which brand messages resonate with them and which out of the 10 super fund brands included in the study compels them to choose one over another.

Our study found that when your prospects begin their search:

  • 66% have an initial brand preference in mind.
  • 77% use a search engine when looking for Super funds.
  • 56% ultimately stick with their initially preferred brand after careful evaluation.


Further to this, when searching for a super fund:

  • 21% of prospects search for brand names which further leads them to brand websites (66%) or aggregator websites (34%).
  • 34% of prospects search for comparison terms on an aggregators website.
  • 42% of prospects search for Generic terms.

 

Figure 1: Examples of each search term category:

Third party comparison websites have been found to play a crucial role, with majority of super fund prospects researching brands on aggregator websites. In fact 31% of super fund prospects research brands on Canstar, according to our research study.

 

Having said that, creating a strong brand presence doesn’t go unnoticed. As mentioned earlier since most of your prospects begin their search with an initial preference in mind, having a strong brand name helps to cash in on a larger market share.

The initial preference and recall value of a super fund brand name may or may not have an impact on the final purchase behavior of its prospects but it is a very strong indication.

Our research revealed that AustralianSuper has an extremely high brand recall. It affects the search behavior of its prospects with 21% searching directly for Australian Super on their website.

However, understanding how your prospects make their final choice and the factors leading them to make that decision is equally crucial.

  • Brand, Reputation and Trust are the top 3 reasons why people choose a fund as their final choice.
  • Fees and investment options come in a close 4
  • Fund performance falls into 5th place, contrary to popular belief that it is the number one criteria compelling prospects to make a final choice.

Having an overall view of what a prospect looks for in a super fund is just the beginning. Matching those needs and giving your customers exactly what they want (either by enunciating a solution that caters to their specific need, via your communication channel or changing the way you communicate) could help you achieve your goal of attaining a larger market share.

Alternatively, if you do have another goal in mind, we can work with you to give you targeted data to meet the exact needs of your business. Give us a call and find out how we can help your business grow.

In our next blog post we will reflect on how super funds are matching member needs and whether they are meeting those needs at all. We will also go over industry best practices and a few recommendations by experts within Global Reviews to see how you can create maximum impact as a brand.

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University Series: Understanding how prospective students search on university websites

In this week’s 2 series blog post, we unravel insights from our recent study in the Higher Learning space. The main purpose of carrying out this research, was to find out answers to the way prospective students search for a course on a university website.

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Home Loan Digital Tactics- What your competitors don’t want you to know.

Working on optimising your website and digital strategy to get more visitors can sometimes feel futile. But what if the reason your rankings are not improving is actually your myopic view. Have you ever thought or analysed what goes on in the minds of your prospective customers when they look for a Home Insurance provider?

Have you ever wondered what your customer journey when searching for a home loans provider actually entails? What is your competitor getting right and where are you falling short? It could really be a question of identifying information that your customers need and laying it out in a certain way on your website.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

We recently conducted a our webinar on this topic, where we touched upon what works for leading Home Loan providers and why. Our products are pioneers in measuring benchmarking and optimising customer journeys. We show you the larger picture. We tell you where you sit in the eyes of your potential customer. We tell you how your customer chooses you and why a potential customer doesn’t, which competitor they choose, what leads them to their final choice and what influencers play a pivotal role along the way.

In 2017 we spoke to 1,200 home loan seekers and had them complete tasks on up to 24 brands internationally. We analysed the funnel from start to finish, prioritising performance at key stages such as- Recall, Initial Preference, Visited websites of brands, Shortlisted, Final Preference.

According to the research conducted and the funnel created, some of the results found indicated that:

  1. Service functionality was rated to be of higher importance for Home Insurance seekers in the Australian market as compared to the UK market.
  2. Websites being user friendly is another aspect that veers customers towards choosing a Home Insurance provider.
  3. For prospective customers, after brand relationship and beyond utilitarian product features like fees and rates, presenting options which are easy to understand and suitable to specific needs is key.
  4. For existing customers, service delivery and customer experience is the battleground.
  5. Home insurance providers that have easy to use input fields and easy to use terminology on their websites are ranked higher according to potential customers.
  6. Mobile version of the websites of home insurance providers showing key features in larger text and more details in a slide over which enables users to easily and quickly get back to the range list, is preferred by customers.

A few key points to keep in mind if you are a Home Loans provider, seeking to attract a larger market share:

1.Understanding where prospective and current customers go to meet their needs and being there with the most compelling option.

2.Customers want to know what you have to offer them but you need to tailor that to their needs. Interactive comparison, dynamic filtering and strong breadcrumb strategies are key.

3. Understanding touch points used (research, social media, aggregator, search engine etc.) and most important attributes is key.

4.Having a clear map of the home loan customer experience journey and their differing needs along that journey. Meet them on that journey with solutions that  solves problems.

5.Knowing why you are losing opportunities and ensure you are maximising your share of the customers wallet by pre-empting what they need.

6.When personalising online journeys, maintain strong anchor navigation which clear signposting.

To get a full synopsis of what we covered in the webinar, click here or reach out to Maddy- madhur.advani@globalreviews.com.

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Are we amazed enough by AI?

With the world already waking up to what AI has in store for technology moving forward, the citizenship of Sophia along with her gracing the Jimmy Fallon show has only made our eyes open slightly wider in amazement. Is there anything that technology can’t do?

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Motor Insurance: Significance of connecting with customers over Phone

Ever wondered what your potential customers place value on when it comes down to choosing their Motor Insurance provider? In this mass marketing and nitpicking world, it could be a matter of crossing your ‘t’s and dotting your ‘i’s.

In terms of motor insurance it is all about the communication channels that an insurance provider has. Our research for Motor Insurance providers in Australia, has revealed a fact that not many providers pay attention to- the significance of phone calls.

Though the popularity of Live Chat is significant, there is no denying the rebound phone calls have made in recent times. Research has shown that when customers choose their final Motor Insurance Provider, they prefer to speak to a real person than to someone on a Live chat.

“Self -serve channels are likely to assist consumers who are researching motor insurance products, but as these consumers get closer to purchase, their desire to speak to a real person increases”

The below two graphs are a representation of the importance consumers place on different channels, at different stages of their decision making process, when purchasing a motor insurance.

Image 1- Vol 2

Graph- Joe

**The above data has been collected in-house by Global Reviews. All our data is curated to meet our clients needs and help their business gain momentum.

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: 

Darren Watson – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        + 61 413 017 959
E:         darren.watson@globalreviews.com

Tony Carveth- Senior Commercial Director

T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        +61 438 081 496
E:         tony.carveth@globalreviews.com

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