UK consumers embrace online comparison tools

Thursday, 9 April 2009 10:15am

New research on UK consumers shows they are rapidly embracing online finance price comparisons, with big implications for how firms market their products.

According to the Datamonitor research, online price comparison websites are now the most trusted source of information for consumers regarding wealth management products.

“Consumers have embraced online channels for advice and are increasingly depending on technology to compare products in their search for transparent and competitive policies,” noted Datamonitor.

Datamonitor said consumers becoming more self-directed means financial services firms need to enhance the way they interact with their clients.

“Providers should consider the implications of these changes that will increase the likelihood that existing clients will seek and find viable alternatives,” they said.

Part of this is to dramatically increase avenues for engagement and segmenting clients or prospects into those representing high long term value in contrast to those offering firms lower value.

“Providers need to put the most retention effort towards existing customers who have the highest lifetime value against the cost of servicing them,” said Mya Myat Moe, analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report.

Segmenting strategies however require firms to think differently regarding their marketing strategies, she said.

For example, life insurance and pension companies need to understand changing consumer attitudes towards long-term savings while also realising they are becoming more risk-averse, preferring products which offer safer or guaranteed returns over those which offer the highest