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

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Saving energy clients: 7 Tips for conversion optimisation

Saving energy has been promoted by government campaigns, environmental organisations and energy providers alike. Saving energy and saving expenses make sense to consumers. With more and more energy companies to choose from, consumers are now shopping around for what deals and offers fit their needs best – which is currently the main reason for Irish and British consumers for selecting a provider, our study shows. However, energy sites in Ireland and Britain are losing 69% customers on average by failing to offer a product that suits users’ needs and communicate quickly and easily that they are trustworthy.

In a study of 190 in-market consumers that are looking for a new energy provider, we discovered that there’s a lot of room for improvement for energy websites to win customers. In Ireland, the most popular companies (Electric Ireland and Energia) still lose 51% of consumers, who had them shortlisted as their initial preference (before comparing websites and offers), but chose another brand as their final preference. In Britain, E.ON Energy is most popular, with a loss of 56%. PrePay Power is losing the most prospect clients in Ireland: 74%, while in Britain, SSE has the most lost opportunities at 86%.

The question is: why do prospects who initially preferred one brand, end up choosing another?

Energy lost opp

To understand consumer’s choices, we used our conversion optimisation study Fruition. Firstly, we learned about the journey that those who are looking for a new energy provider undertake:

  • 95% start their journey with a search engine
  • 44% move direct from search engine to a brand website. 71% use aggregators (comparison websites)
  • 75% have an initial preference before researching
  • 44% picked “best offer/price for my needs” as influence on final decision.

We can see a shift from initial preference to final preference when it comes to the importance of price, however loyalty (or laziness?) remains important, indicating that retention opportunities need to be capitalised. Trust, reputation and familiarity still play an important role in final decision making (as per initial preference). Brands need to communicate that they can be trusted, demonstrate that they are reputable and facilitate returning customers.

The top 10 motivators for final preference of a particular energy brand:

  • They have the best deals/offers for my needs (37%)
  • I am a current customer (37%)
  • I trust this company (29%)
  • I have used them before (27%)
  • They are a reputable brand (26%)
  • Their plans were easy to understand (23%)
  • They offer the greatest discount off the unit rate (22%)
  • They had the best household energy plan for my needs (21%)
  • The website is easy to understand and use (16%)
  • The website made it easy to find information about rates and charges (16%)

Top tips to drive conversions on energy websites
We have gathered 7 best practice examples for you from various studies we’ve conducted internationally, that all showcase the most important website features to drive conversions according to our latest study of Irish and British Energy consumers.

1. Cater to existing customers from the start
Speak to needs & cater to different audiences. Electric Ireland has top scores for “Looks like a site that caters for me”
2. Offer clear pathways to various tasks and information
Electric Ireland has top scores for “Offering a clear starting point for information I would expect to find about energy plans available” & “Website displays all the information I expect to see.”

3. Offer a direct link to view energy rates & compare plans
Needs based content helps prospects identify where to find information they are looking for (Compare rates, energy saving, help & support etc.)

4. Focus on customer support
Show customers that you have a helpful support system. List the most popular FAQs & links to more, so that visitors can ‘self-serve’ – right from the home page in one click, like Energia does.


5. Use easy to scan icons
6. Help users understand the differences
“May suit you” helps to give users a guide to what might appeal to them. ANZ, an Australian bank, gives prospects practical bullet points, offering a quick overview of the product, making it quick and easy to see the differences between the products they offer.

May Suit

7. Show off your awards
Awards are a great trust builder. Eon, Britain’s top performer in our study, won Large Supplier of the Year 2017 in the uSwitch Energy Awards and mentions on their homepage that they were voted best of the large suppliers for customer satisfaction for the fifth year running.


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 – Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043

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Why Energy providers in the UK and Ireland are losing an average of 69% of in-market consumers (webinar)

Global Reviews has discovered that energy providers in the UK and Ireland are losing an average of 69% of in-market consumers who are looking for a new supplier. 41% of users says this is because another brand offers better value.

Our recent Fruition study also shows that UK and Irish energy providers consistently fail to help users understand the differences between their products, and why a specific tariff suits their needs. This is a critical omission, given the influence of value and price on final decisions.

Furthermore, 56% of Irish consumers go into the research process with a preferred brand, often because they’re a current customer, but almost two thirds of them (64%) change their mind during the research process.

So how can energy brands showcase their value more clearly for users and meet the requirements that drive prospects to choose their product? We found out.

Energy sanky chartThrough extensive research, we were able to reveal what the main reasons are for consumers for choosing an Energy supplier:

  • They have the best deals/offers
  • I am a current customer
  • I trust this company
  • I have used them before
  • They are a reputable brand

Our upcoming Fruition Energy webinar will focus on how to promote the above to your prospects and existing customers, to further optimise your conversions. We will do so by focusing on the best energy sites internationally as well as showcasing best practice examples from within the industry.

Join our webinar on April 20th at 10am BST and find out how Fruition finds answers to:

  • WHY are our target online customers, who are in-market to buy our products, who are doing in-depth online research across multiple providers, who have potentially got a quote that matches their needs and then shortlist us as their chosen provider, then choosing one of our competitors and not us?
  • WHAT actions can we take (based on learnings from companies around the world) that will enable us to win more of the customers that we are currently losing?
  • HOW can we independently validate the decisions we are making as regards our online sales and marketing strategy?

Energy 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

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Drivers of brand preference in the Irish energy market


In our most recent Digital Marketing Effectiveness study on the energy market in Ireland from July 2016, participants were asked to recall providers in the marketplace, unprompted.

It is no surprise that the top brands that Irish consumers recalled are household names, the top 5 being Electric Ireland, Bord Gais, SSE Airtricity, Energia and Pinergy.

Brand Recall

Consumer Journey Online 

When looking online for a new energy provider, 98% of consumers begin by using a search engine while 59% went directly to a brand’s website and 56% used an aggregator site.

Consumer Journey

Of the 98% of consumers who used a search engine:

  • 28% searched for a brand
  • 27% searched for an aggergator site
  • 13% went from search engine > brand website > aggregator
  • 8% went from search engine > aggregator > brand website

Moving through the funnel 

Electric Ireland featured heavily as consumers’ initial preference with 41% of consumers, followed by SSE Airtricity (25%) Bord Gais (18%) and Energia (11%). Reasons for initial preference are very much focused on being a current or past customer and trusting the brand.

initial preference

Moving to the shortlisted brands, Electric Ireland still hold the top spot in consumers’ minds with 60% of consumers placing them on their shortlist, followed by Energia who at 58% have moved to second position from fourth. As consumers move to shortlist their preferred brands, being a current or past customer becomes less important and good prices and offers as well as familiarity with the brand name more so.

Reasons for shortlist

Which brand claimed the top spot as final preference for Irish energy consumers? 

Energia claim the top spot for final preference. with 34% of consumers choosing them as their final preferred choice.

Final Preference

The key drivers of final preference are focused on meeting consumer needs in terms of having the best deals and offers, cheapest price and having the best plans to suit needs. Having plans that are easy to understand as well as having an easy to use website are also at the forefront of consumers’ minds. As consumers move to choose their preferred energy provider, trust and loyalty become less important.

Reasons for final preference


Global Reviews is a recognised world leader at providing leading companies with unique intelligence that helps increase their online customer acquisition ratios.

To find out more about our research programmes and how we can help you convert more of your ideal customers online, please contact:

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director

T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260

M:        +353 (87) 1263043


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The influential role of aggregators in converting online energy customers


In our latest wave of research into the energy market, we have seen some interesting trends in how ‘in-market’ customers are researching and choosing their energy supplier. To begin with, let’s look at what is driving final preference. When UK consumers are choosing a preferred energy brand, what exactly are they driven by?

Drivers of final preference

Figure 1: Drivers of final preference Nov ’15 – Jan ’16 

Energy consumers in the UK, similar to those in Ireland, are primarily driven by price with 41% of UK consumers looking for the best value. In the Irish market, a higher majority of consumers choose the energy provider that has the ‘best plan to suit my needs’ at 42% versus 20% in the UK, demonstrating the gap between the two markets. Consumers are looking for the right deals and prices however energy provider websites need to communicate and demonstrate their value proposition clearly. Perhaps a brand that offers more in terms of rewarding loyalty will be best placed in the market? A ‘non-price’ value proposition could indeed offer something new and different. Energy providers will stay ahead by ‘adding value’ beyond just offering the cheapest energy in the market, through rewards schemes and loyalty incentives. Aside from price, other elements such as ‘trust’ (30%) and plans that are easy to understand (23%) are also drivers of final preference for UK consumers.

The role of aggregator websites

Relevant price messaging is important as consumers who are looking for a new energy provider actively research and use a number of means in order to weed out the best deal online and aggregators play a key role here.

Consumers are using aggregators to filter and create a shortlist but then go to the brand website to purchase. The implication here is that if your brand does not feature on an aggregator, it will not be considered. Aggregator websites capture consumer interest through key messaging at the search phase of the online journey, more so than the brands! A stark reminder then to established brands and even new entrants, that the role of aggregators in the online journey should not be underestimated. These lesser known brands are actively increasing market share due to search engine results pushing consumers toward the aggregator site where they are able to easily compare prices across a variety of brands but ultimately consumers will opt to purchase through the brand website as they believe it is more trustworthy.

What terms are energy consumers searching for in the UK?

Over 95% of consumers start their journey on a search engine when looking for the best energy deal or a new energy provider. Aggregator websites such as uSwitch, Compare the Market and Money Supermarket dominate visits from search engines, primarily Google.

Search terms

Figure 2: Search terms – UK consumers Nov ’15 – Jan ’16 

If we look at the most used search terms in the UK, the top 4 are brands, namely, British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy and nPower, followed closely by comparison site uSwitch. In fact, the most visited domain from a search engine is uSwitch at 37% of visits; this is worth noting given that only 6% of consumers searched for uSwitch as an actual search term. Clearly at some point on the online journey there is a diversion to aggregators even though consumers set out in search of a brand name.

Just over a third of UK consumers only visit aggregators

Search to Aggregators

Figure 3: The role of search Nov ’15 – Jan ’16 

A third of consumers in this research only visited aggregator websites when considering what brands to put on their shortlist. A fifth only go to a brand’s website and make a decision from there.

Our research shows that consumers go back and forth between

Search –> aggregator –> brand

Search –> brand –> aggregator

Aggregator sites are used to find the best deal but application forms are normally completed on the brand’s website due to a higher perceived trust with the brands website.

Global Reviews excels at solving the critical problems digital leaders face in customer acquisition.

  • WHY are we losing potential online customers who are actively considering buying from us (taking out a quote and shortlisting us) but then buy from another company?
  • WHAT can we learn from other companies around the world that will enable us to stop losing customers that we should and could be winning?
  • HOW do we independently validate, in such a fast-moving and disruptive digital environment, that the development decisions we are making are the right ones?

To find out how we can help you, please contact: 

Hannah Rose Farrington – Commercial Director

T: +44 (0) 203725 8263

M: +353 871263043



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Energy Retail: Comparing provider preferences across Australia, Ireland and the UK.

Throughout November and December we asked Australian, Irish and English consumers who were in the market for a new energy provider to conduct their initial research online and tell us which brand(s) they initially preferred vs. which brand they are currently with and which brand they would finally prefer after initial research.

The following infographic shows some of the key differences between the three markets and what elements are driving brand preference.

Energy AU IE UKIn addition to studying the research habits and processes of consumers, Global Reviews also assesses the usability of the individual brand websites, focusing specifically on how well the website aids the consumer when researching and opening an account online.

Contact us to find out how consumers are researching your brand and whether or not your website is helping or hindering them in the process.

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Website experience influencing which energy brand consumers prefer

Australia’s energy retail industry is made up of a mix of big brands and mid-small brands. AGL and Origin hold a long history and therefore find themselves to be better known than the likes of Energex and Momentum.

In a digital marketing effectiveness study conducted by Global Reviews in March 2015, consumers were asked to recall up to five energy providers. AGL and Origin were on equal placement both with 66%, nearly double the recall rate of EnergyAustralia who was on 34%. Red Energy and Lumo Energy rounded off the top five with 21% and 19% respectively. It should be noted that even through TRUenergy has not been branded as such since 8th October 2012, it still equals Integral Energy and Momentum in terms of brand recall, all on 5%.

In spite of the gap between AGL and Origin, and EnergyAustralia, when it came to initial brand preferences, EnergyAustralia was able to match Origin, both on 10% – just three points behind AGL.

recall and initial preference energy

Being a current or former customer and having trust in a brand are key drivers when consumers first have a brand in mind. It’s not until consumers begin their research that they become influenced by other factors in making a decision. With 91% of consumers who are searching for a new provider stating that they would research online, the internet suddenly becomes a prime influencer.

Typically a mix of search engines, aggregators and brand websites are used when researching an energy provider online. Whilst brands may not have absolute control over the role search engines and aggregators play in influencing the consumer, they do control their own website experience.

In a real life situation, 65% said that they would only spend between 1-4 hours researching an energy provider and 55% would only get prices from 1-3 providers. In addition to that, 18% said that they would leave a website if they encountered a problem. With all of this in mind, brands do not get a lot of time or leeway to get on the consideration list. If their website is not up to standard, they are a risk of losing out.

In order to ascertain just how well the websites of energy providers perform, a digital sales effectiveness customer experience assessment was completed on the websites of nine energy providers. This benchmark assessment was made up of a best practice features and functions audit, consumer usability testing and a customer audit. Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL topped the benchmark at 55%, 52% and 49% respectively. ActewAGL and Red Energy sat one point below the industry average with 44%, whilst Powershop, Lumo, Simply Energy and Momentum all fell further below the line.

Since the previous sales effectiveness benchmark in September 2014, Lumo and AGL have shown the greatest improvement, rising by 11 points and 8 points respectively.

Overall Energy DSE score

With Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL providing the best online experiences, the question then was whether this influenced how consumers selected a preferred provider.

In terms of shortlisting providers Origin was considered by 51%, ahead of AGL on 46% and EnergyAustralia on 35%. Origin retained this lead in the final preferences with 28%, while EnergyAustralia moved up to take second place with 18%, two points ahead of AGL who moved down to third. These three brands kept well ahead of the rest of the market at every stage of the research journey.

Shortlist final preference energy

Here is where we see the influence websites have on considering a preferred provider. Between July 2014 and March 2015, website usability has become a far more prominent reason for considering a brand. The appearance of being easy to use doubled in importance when considering a brand, with the ability to compare options, ease of finding products and a visually appealing site all also increasing between study periods. With Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia offering the top websites across the industry, it’s no surprise that the experience they’re providing is feeding into why consumers are considering them.

shortlisting energyThe same goes for the final preference. Having a website that made it easy to locate the right plan was an influencing factor for 17% – up from 14% in 2014. The ability to find plans quickly also rose from 9% up to 14%.

final preference energy

Looking back at the benchmark assessment, it’s noted that EnergyAustralia performed particularly well in the stages of introducing product options and assisting the customer in the evaluation of the products. Leading in these stages coupled with website usability being a strong reason behind selecting a brand would have helped push EnergyAustralia ahead of AGL when it came to final preference.

While AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin continue to offer the best website experiences, they will remain on the top of the list for preferred brands. If the other brands in the industry want a greater share of final preferences, then they need to not only consider how their brand is perceived beyond the internet, but also how well their website is retaining prospective customers through ease of use and appearance.


Contact us to find out more about what is influencing consumers online.

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Origin and AGL dominate energy market – other players need to differentiate

Global Reviews followed the journey of Australian consumers looking to engage energy providers. Origin, AGL and Energy Australia were ranked 1, 2 and 3 for brand recall unprompted and maintained those positions all the way through to final preference . Origin and AGL dominated unprompted brand recall with both well over 50%.

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Energy Shortlist Insight #2 – 73% of Australians will spend up to 4 hours researching a new energy provider online

Global Review’s Energy Shortlist study (Q3-12) has identfied that 73% of Australians will spend up to 4 hours researching a new energy provider online.

In addition, 59% will conduct research on 1-3 energy providers, while 35% will undertake research on 4-6 energy providers.

Global Reviews’ Managing Client Advisor, Mark Nunan, said this is a clear indication that households by and large take changing energy providers seriously, and research with reasonable rigour.

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Energy Shortlist Insight #1: 65% of Australians do at least 76% of their energy provider research online!

Global Reviews’ latest Energy Shortlist study (Q3-12) for Australia, conducted in Q3/12, has highlighted that the majority of Australian adults conduct their research into energy providers online.

The study shows that 65% of Australians do at least 76% of their energy provider research online.

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