There are many reasons why a consumers put a brand on their consideration shortlist, but they generally fall into three categories:
Previous experience/impressions of the brand
The range of products/deals
How easy the website made the research experience
Looking at the reasons why consumers shortlisted various brands for current accounts, mortgages and savings – these categories certainly come into play. However, we start to see some distinct variances in how important each area is depending on the product they are researching.
The following graph highlights some of the differences in the top reasons why consumers consider a brand depending on the product they are looking to apply for.
*Source: Global Reviews Fruition UK Q4 2018 Research. Current Accounts n=151. Mortgages n=166. Savings Accounts n=151
Previous experience/impressions of the brand seems to be more important amongst those looking for a mortgage.
The range of products/deals is important across the board, but more so for those seeking a new savings account.
How easy the website made the research experience is always important, but consumers specifically think so when looking for a current account.
By understanding the primary drivers behind consumer decision making in relation to various products, brands can tailor their SEO/SEM and landing pages accordingly in order to speak directly to the mindset of the consumer.
For example: the SEO/SEM and landing pages for savings accounts should be centered around product offers and the ability to compare options. Meanwhile for mortgages, the focus should be on brand reputation, instilling a sense of trust and meeting consumer needs. For current accounts the focus should be around making the offerings easy to locate and understand.
It’s not enough to know the differences in how consumers research according to industry, it’s also important to be able to break it down by product – but at the same time ensure a sense of consistency across the site. It can be a challenge to find the right balance, but with thorough research and a broad understanding of consumer drivers, this balance can be met.
Consumers shouldn’t need to be told that your company is the “world’s best”. If it’s true, and you are the biggest or the best, wouldn’t the know that already? Shouldn’t you be showing them something a bit more compelling rather than wasting an opportunity by telling consumers something they already know?
Should a punter search for a sports betting provider in a search engine, the first place they are going to see any offers is in the copy detail of the initial search results. This key step in grabbing attention of any prospective punter places competing brands side by side. With 34% stating that they considered a brand because they saw them in search, there should be no doubt in the importance on getting your brand’s SEO and SEM right!
In a recent study Ladbrokes, who in SEO and SEM claim to be the best, were outperformed by 888 in terms of consideration and preference.
We are here to tell you why.
In looking at the brand rankings from recall through to initial preference, shortlist and then final preference, Ladbrokes takes a dive going from being the second most recalled brand and most likely to be shortlisted, dropping down to being in fifth position for final preference. Meanwhile, smaller brand 888 is going in the opposite direction. 888 starts quite low but then moves up to be the seventh most preferred brand. Ultimately what this means is that the digital marketing strategy for 888 is working in that despite having a low initial recall rate, it is getting discovered and chosen during the research phase.
This data tells us that punters are willing to change their minds during their research. Just because they had a particular brand in mind when they started their research, it doesn’t necessarily mean that will be the brand they will ultimately place a bet with.
Percentage of punters each brand lost to someone else between initial and final preference:
Bet365 – 44%
William Hill – 41%
PaddyPower – 33%
SkyBet – 29%
Ladbrokes – 12%
Ladbrokes fans seems to be very loyal. But what this also means is that Ladbrokes isn’t achieving as well as others when it comes to acquisition in the actual digital marketplace leading to a reliance more on the loyalty of current customers.
What are the reasons for punters to consider a brand?
Brands like Ladbrokes, William Hill, Paddy Power and Bet365 are initially considered because punters are familiar with their name and they are reputable brands. Ladbrokes in particular appear to have a loyal base and those who are loyal are not changing their mind. Yet they’re not attracting new punters.
How can brands attract new punters during research and what is influencing which brands consumers are considering once they begin their research?
Outside of brand familiarity, the most common reason for shortlisting a brand is because they have good odds/offers (37%).
This brings us back to brand’s proclaiming that they are the “best”. Every business should believe that they are the best at what they do. However, the key is not to tell everyone that you are the best, but rather show everyone WHY you’re the best.
Getting the most out of SEM/SEO
In doing a search for some of the top-rated sports betting brands, the results showed multiple brands stating that they were:
“The world’s leading sports betting company”
“The world’s favourite online sports betting company”
“One of the world’s leading online gambling companies”
“The world’s biggest bookmaker”
Whilst these brands may well be the world’s leading/favourite/biggest, it’s ultimately subjective and difficult for consumers to differentiate brands based on these descriptions. Consumers are typically already aware of these brands, so they would generally already be aware of the standing of the brand. Search results only allow for a small area in terms of real estate so is reiterating something that people should already know about you and your brand the most valuable use of that space? What consumers are really looking for are service or proposition-based differentiators as they seek out the best odds/offers.
By instead highlighting what your brand offers in terms of odds, free bets and cash back, you can go from telling consumers that you are the best, to showing them WHY you are the best. This in turn gives consumers a reason to consider you as the best brand to place a bet through.
The effective use of SEM and SEO are vital in getting punters to your website initially, but what they see once they click through is of equal importance. If your SEM is promoting a special offer, but when punters click through to your site there’s no obvious sign of that deal, then you’re starting to create more work for the punter and potentially increasing the chance of them going elsewhere.
888 sport not only promotes their new customer offer three times within the search results, one of the first things punters see when they go to the site is the same offer. This follow-through of messaging makes the transition from the search engine to the website far smoother and shows that the brand is ready to deliver on their offer.
While 888 sport may not have the legacy that Ladbrokes, William Hill, Paddy Power and Bet365 have, but they are committed to showing that they have good offers which is ultimately what punters want.
View our recent webinar for more insights into how sports betting providers are performing online and why punters are choosing one brand over another:
In the most recent consumer survey published by the Irish Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), it was revealed that the number of electricity customers who have switched suppliers has increased 5% each year since 2014. The rise in switching suppliers is a key indicator of increased retail competition and is potentially making way for a new kind of marketing in the energy sector focused on consumers’ desire to hunt down the best deals rather than relying on previous experience or trust in a brand.
Recent Global Reviews studies have seen evidence of this across the Irish energy market with an increased use of aggregator sites coupled with a drop in choosing a provider based on trust. In Q4 2017, 47% of consumers were using aggregator sites as part of their research process, and this has since jumped up to 61% in the Q2 2018 study. Benefiting the most from this rise is Switcher.ie which went from 30% of consumers visiting them in Q4 2017 up to 49% in Q2 2018.
After consumers conducted their research online, we asked them what they thought about the experience. Overall most consumers found the process good/easy. More specifically, 32% called out their use of an aggregator and how easy it made comparing providers with some suggesting that they had not previously considered changing providers or what other deals/offers are available and through the process of researching and discovering sites such as Switcher.ie and Bonkers.ie will consider switching in the future.
The use of aggregators is impacting which brands consumers prefer
Irrespective of whether consumers use an aggregator or not, Energia and Bord Gais hold their place as #1 and #2 preferred brands at both the shortlist and final preference stages. However, Energia enjoys quite an increase in consumer preferences amongst those who used an aggregator. Overall they were finally preferred by 25% of consumers, but were preferred by 33% by those who used an aggregator.
It is not just the bigger players who are benefiting from an increase in aggregator activity. Newcomer, Just Energy, was shortlisted by 19% of all consumers, but was considered by an impressive 29% of aggregator users bringing them in line with Electric Ireland who was preferred by 39% of all consumers only to see that number drop to 30% amongst those who used an aggregator.
Brands shortlistedFinal brand preference
To better understand why there is a shift in brand preferences amongst those who used aggregator sites, we looked at the reasons why consumers prefer one brand over another.
Having the best energy plan and being a reputable brand were both selected by 30% of all consumers as reasons for selecting a brand, however, it is a different story for those who used an aggregator. Having the best energy plan was selected by 36% while being a reputable brand dropped down to 26%. Being a current customer, previous use and trust in the company were also selected by fewer people when an aggregator site was used.
Reason for selecting a brand
Has the increased use of aggregators when researching energy providers caused the drop in trust or has the drop in trust prompted the uplift in aggregator use? Either way, energy providers obviously need to be turning their attention to aggregators if they want to be considered by consumers.
Check out our recent webinar covering the dwindling perception of the energy sector in Australia:
Global Reviews is currently running researching into the digital maturity of brands across the energy sector to better understand what the future holds for the industry as well as what consumers really want from their provider. Contact us to learn more about how energy providers are performing locally and internationally.
The most common issue faced by consumers when applying online for motor insurance revolves around the length of the quote form and how long it took to complete it with 31% reporting it as being a problem.
Two key questions asked by insurance providers are:
How should I set the quote tool?
What is the impact that the layout has on the actual and perceived length of the form?
Essentially, should it be one question per page with a longer click journey or should the form be presented on one long page in an accordion format?
In reviewing the presentation of the quote form including how many questions are asked and how many pages of questions there are – we gained some insight as to what is making consumers more satisfied and likely to complete the form and go on to purchase a policy.
Churchill and Direct Line both use the same quote tool which contains all questions within the one page. Additionally, there are fewer questions within the quote form than any other site assessed with just 32 questions on a single page required to get a quote compared to LV= and Admiral who have 40 and 48 questions respectively presented across three pages.
Based on the quote experience, consumers were asked their likelihood to buy from a particular brand. Direct Line and Churchill had the highest proportion of consumers stating that they felt the website met their needs and they would choose the brand as their provider at 14% and 10% respectively.
Despite having the shortest quote forms, consumers on Churchill’s and Direct Line’s websites still held concerns over the length of time the quote took.
View our webinar – Optimising the quote process & improving customer expectations
Covering all aspects of the quote form including the impact different question formats (radio button, drop down, text entry) have on the physical and cognitive effort to complete the form.
Finding the right home loan is as confusing and overwhelming as picking the right roof tiles to match the bricks. It is, therefore, imperative that home loan providers make the online research process as straightforward and satisfying as possible in order to minimise confusion and ensure strong conversions.
In November 2017, Global Reviews tracked 350 consumers as they searched online for a home loan provider. Consumers were split across desktop (n=200) and mobile (n=150). After conducting their own searches, they were directed to one of eight provider websites to complete further research.
Once consumers had looked around the homepage, we asked them to find all the available mortgage rate options for first time buyers (new customers). In doing this, it was found that those who completed the task quicker typically had a higher satisfaction rate with the process of completing the task. As can be seen in the chart below, NatWest visitors are the fastest and most satisfied when looking for mortgage rates for first time buyers. Potential customers are getting hugely different experiences across different sites with a 1:28 difference between Lloyds Bank and NatWest.
NatWest had the fastest average task completion time with 2:14 minutes and a satisfaction rating of 81%. On the other end of the scale was Lloyds Bank with an average time of 3:24 minutes and a satisfaction rating of 73%.
Whilst a shorter task completion time generally means higher satisfaction, a longer task completion time isn’t necessarily driving dissatisfaction but rather an inability to find the right answer. This indicates underlying usability issues supported by 20% claiming starting where to look was not easy.
The following chart highlights some of the most common issues consumers faced when trying to locate the product range. From a navigation point of view, the harder it is to find where to start looking as well as the inability to find what they’re looking for is bringing down satisfaction levels amongst customers. There is a strong negative correlation of -0.93 between problems encountered and satisfaction.
By comparing key landing pages for home loans we can see that allowing visitors to easily find what they are looking for with minimal effort and scrolling is key. Successful sites focus on key calls to action within the hero images and top navigation. Having a clearly laid out site with multiple entry points allows for the different preferences consumers have. Some consumers will naturally gravitate to the top navigation, others will look to the hero image and some will look down the page to find where they want to go next.
NatWest directs traffic through a comprehensive menu catering to both new and existing NatWest customers as well as delivering multiple entry points depending on customer research preferences. The menu is split into product, customer type and application stage, as well as grouping in relevant tools such as calculators to help in the research process.
Like NatWest, Lloyds Bank also uses the main header menu to direct consumers. However, they also provide additional entry points throughout the homepage. Within the hero image there are quick links to popular pages. Sitting just below the hero image are more links to key product pages. Having three navigation areas caters for different types of browsers and therefore aids in creating a user-friendly site.
By giving consumers clear options and starting points can mean a huge difference between keeping them on site or losing them to a competitor.
In October 2016, Global Reviews conducted online behavioral research using 650 prospective students, measuring and analysing 20 university sites via our Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme.
Each brand has unique areas where it performs better or worse than others specifically regarding a student’s ability to locate and understand entry requirements in order to find the best course to meet their needs. Each of the following elements can influence just how effective your website is at helping prospective students find the right course for them:
Signposting and headings
The data collected from our desktop Digital Sales Effectiveness studies can reveal which areas throughout the consideration and application stages of selecting a course to study, are helping or hindering online conversions.For best practice examples and more information, watch our webinar recording now:
68% of consumers have a preferred brand in mind before they begin their research into mobile phone providers. However, top mobile providers, EE, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone are losing an average of 29% of those consumers who had initially preferred them.
Where did this 29% go and why were they unable to retain them?
Recent research from Global Reviews looks at just how much these initial preferences influence which brand consumers eventually go on to select as their preferred provider to purchase though.
Although Vodafone were only able to retain 63% of those who initially preferred them, they were able to convert an impressive 17% of consumers who had no initial brand in mind prior to research. To make up for the loss of those who had initially preferred them, they were also able to steal 11% of those who had initially preferred someone else prior to research.
Firstly, we will look at why Vodafone are losing 37% of consumers between initial and final preference.
When researching mobile phone providers, 41% of consumers are using aggregator sites. Whilst this works in the favour of smaller brands such as GiffGaff and iD Mobile in that more consumers shortlist them if they’ve visited an aggregator, it seems that aggregator sites are having a negative effect on Vodafone to the point where far fewer people are shortlisting Vodafone if they went to an aggregator than if they just used search and brand websites.
So why are Vodafone losing consumers through aggregators and what is helping them convert the consumers they were able to get?
The #1 reason consumers finally preferred a brand was because they had the best deal/offer(s) to meet their needs. However, this was not the case for those who selected Vodafone. Vodafone may not be able to match the deals offered by other brands, but they still need to be able to clearly communicate what they have to offer and why they should be chosen over another brand. Instead, previous use was the top reason why consumers finally preferred Vodafone over another brand. So whilst they may not have the best deal/offer, they are strong in the area of brand loyalty.
Meanwhile, Tesco retained 73% of those who initially preferred them, but was only able to pick up 7% from other initially preferred brands and 9% from those who had no initial preference.
As can be seen in the following chart, Tesco has a lot going for it. They’re chosen for their deals, easy to understand products/offers and boosted along with their loyalty programme. The question then is why are they unable to convert more customers?
The reason is site visits.
Compared to the other big brands, Tesco are getting very few customers visiting their site during the initial research phase. They’re managing just a 14% visit rate compared to the 30% of EE and O2. If Tesco are not able to drive people to their website, of course consumers won’t choose them unless they’re already aware of all that they have to offer. Therefore, getting people on site should be a key priority for Tesco.
These are just two examples highlighting the ways in which consumers research and select a brand to purchase a mobile phone plan through. Each brand has its own unique story and Global Reviews is the only place that can tell you how each of these stories go. If you would like to know your brand’s story and see how it compares to your competitors, contact us today.
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:
Recent research conducted by Global Reviews shows that the Australian health insurance industry is failing to provide consumers with a reason to apply for a policy with them online.
The majority of people who are researching health insurance online, also wish to purchase the policy online, however, there are 3 key elements missing from most websites that encourage consumers to purchase online whilst providing them with security and privacy. These elements are:
Poor new/existing customer handling
No promotion of the benefits of purchasing online
Security and privacy features and functions being neglected
There are numerous opportunities within the application form stage that many health insurance providers are missing out on. By enhancing the process, brands can come to deliver an optimal online experience that not only helps the consumer feel secure, but also gives them a reason to recommend the brand and site to others.
During the most recent research, AHM was the only brand actively promoting the online channel for application by providing an incentive. At the time of writing this piece, AHM was offering savings up to $200 for taking out a policy online. This simple offer gives consumers a strong incentive to purchase a policy online prior to the offer expiring.
Whilst incentives are one good way to encourage online application, they are not necessary. Other methods can be used to encourage consumers to begin the application form online such as highlighting key benefits and conveniences including:
Ability to apply any day, any time
Complete the form in your own time
Faster applying than other ways – no wait time
Another key element in this phase is in managing expectations by addressing the following common questions:
How long will it take to complete the form?
What information will I need to provide?
Will the company respond to my application and how?
Are there any terms or conditions I should be aware of?
Will my information be kept secure?
Surprisingly, most health insurance websites are failing to answer these questions prior to consumers beginning the application. It’s not until they’ve already begun the process that some of these questions start to get answered.
Although there are still a few questions that go unanswered, GMHBA is currently one of the few who answers any of these questions at the quote stage. Prior to clicking through from the quote to the application form, consumers are told how long the process will take and what details they’ll be required to supply. If the consumer doesn’t have 5 minutes or their Medicare and bank cards on hand, they’re given the option to email the quote to themselves so that they can complete the application form at a later stage. This lessens the risk of losing the consumer to someone else if they’re not able to apply right away.
Meanwhile, within the application form itself, it is more common to see brands addressing these questions. BUPA is a good example of a brand that helps set some expectations within the form as well as providing support options and demonstrating a sense of security.
At the top of the form is the Norton security symbol to give consumers a sense that their information will be kept secure and it is safe to complete the form.
Alongside the symbol is an outline of the stages of the form. Whilst an estimated time for completion is not provided, consumers can still easily see how far along the process they are.
Below the cost is a box which outlines what information is required to complete the form.
Finally, contact details are provided in case the consumer requires further assistance. This includes call centre operation times to advise consumers when they can call.
By answering some of the key questions listed above both prior and during the online application process, it will help to give consumers a reason to not only trust the brand, but also confidently complete the application online. Both of these reasons can go a long way when it comes to building a relationship with the consumer. Once a consumer is happy and confident with a brand, they will be less likely to go elsewhere and more likely to recommend that brand to others.
To find out more about this research or to ensure your brand is included in our next round of research, contact us today:
Senior Commercial Director firstname.lastname@example.org
+61 3 9982 3400
In November 2016, we tracked and surveyed 200 consumers to better understand their processes when it comes to finding an online casino site to play on.
Before gamers conduct any research into the best site for them, as many as 75% have a preferred brand in mind. This is typically driven by having used them before in some capacity as reported by 68% of those with an initial preference. This is followed by 54% who said that they are a current customer and 49% who have trust in the brand. Brand loyalty and the comfort of using what you know are key influences in who a gamer is considering.
However, there are factors along the research journey that can impact this initial decision.
The first step for 91% of gamers when finding a site to play on is a search engine. For many consumers, search engines such as Google are a natural starting point for most, if not all, online activities. It is within the search results, gamers are then exposed to a range of brands and any specials/deals on offer. Whether they are driven by the brand name, the games available or available deals, gamers then move on to a brand’s website where the online experience begins to influence the decision-making process.
They say that first impressions last. This rule applies to websites as much as anything else. In fact, 38% of gamers stated that the visual appeal of a brand’s website played a part in the final decision making process. If a website is not aesthetically pleasing and does not provide a layout and navigational path that is easy to follow, then gamers are going to find it too difficult to use and go elsewhere.
Throughout the research and decision making journey, the online casino industry has many ups and downs as the balance of product, price and experience plays its part on the decision-making process. Each brand has its own strengths and weaknesses throughout the journey whether that be in revealing and detailing games on offer, explaining game play options or registering for an account online.
So, how can casino game providers improve the customer journey and ultimately increase conversions? Here are our top tips:
Each of these tips not only applies to online casino sites, but across all product and service websites. These are universal requirements to ensure a strong online customer experience and aid in online conversions. By implementing these elements, a brand can go from sitting in the middle of the pack, to creating an online experience that sets an example for the rest of the industry.
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 Casino brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact:
In June 2016 Global Reviews observed and measured 400 consumers as they sought after a new mortgage provider online and found that 28% of consumers are unable to find the product range on mortgage websites.
The ability to quickly and easily locate and compare product options is an obvious top need for consumers when researching products online. This is no exception for those looking for a new mortgage provider so it’s a concern when so many consumers are struggling to complete what should be a simple task.
Consumers on the ING Direct website had the highest effectiveness rate with 81% for navigating from the homepage to an area dedicated to showing the product range. They were closely followed by CBA with 80% and Heritage Bank with 78%.
Given their high success rate, it is not surprising that consumers on the ING Direct website had a much higher level of satisfaction in completing the task with a score of 86%, against the industry average of 75%.
Whilst having a direct and clear navigational path from the homepage to the product page is vital, it is equally important to deliver on content once consumers arrive on the page. This includes adequately detailed information, product comparisons and tools to assist the consumer in finding the best product to suit their needs.
Comparing product options
On average, consumers rated the comparison capabilities of mortgage providers at 75%. The ease of comparison was rated at 71% whilst the interactive elements within the comparison tools only averaged a best practice score of 40%.
NAB was the worst performer with a score of just 44% for how easy it is to compare options. Meanwhile, St George and CBA lead the industry with scores of 81% and 80% respectively ahead of an industry average of 71%.
Some of the key features the top performers include on their comparison page that help to boost their scores are:
Detailed information including whether or not an offset account is available for the product.
Information as to whether redraw facilities are available.
Displays definitions of industry specific jargon or displays a link to a glossary
Ability to compare all accounts in a single location
Displays interest rate information for each account
Ability to print the comparison table
Minimal tools for matching products to needs
To find the product that best suits their needs, consumers could read about each product individually or look at a comparison table, however, these methods do tend to rely on a certain level of understanding of how the product works. Something that especially those new to the market would have difficulties in doing successfully.
The solution? A needs matching tool.
Five of the eight brands assessed in this study do not offer such a tool and therefore rely on a certain level of knowledge and understanding from the consumer. A risky move given 17% of consumers said they would leave the site and go elsewhere if they faced difficulties on a site.
The three companies within the industry that do use a tool to assist consumers in deciding which mortgage account is right for them are CUA, ING Direct and NAB. By including a tool to assist in needs matching, these brands scored well ahead of the industry average of 36%. CUA scored 67%, ING Direct scored 62% and NAB scored 50%.
A needs matching tool doesn’t have to be extravagant. The use of guiding questions is a simple way of leading consumers towards a product most relevant to their needs. Obviously the more interactive elements and detail the tool includes, the more confident consumers will be in knowing that they have selected the right product to meet their needs. Given how few brands are offering such a tool, even the basics will deliver a better online experience than having no tool at all.
Taking out a mortgage can be a daunting enough task without the added stress of trying to navigate and understand details on a brand’s website. By providing the right information in an easily digestible format, brands can help consumers feel more confident in their decision and therefore instill a stronger sense of trust in the brand.