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How price comparison websites affect market performance in the UK

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How price comparison websites affect market performance in the UK

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How price comparison websites affect market performance in the UK

  1. 1. How Comparison Websites Affect Market Performance in the UK
  2. 2. ©XPotential 2015 2 What is a Price Comparison Website?  A vertical search engine that shoppers use to filter and compare products based on price, features, and other criteria.  Aggregates product listings from many different retailers but do not directly sell products themselves  Commonly used to compare insurance (car, home, travel) and financial products such as savings and current accounts  Rapidly increasing in popularity among consumers and are a key distribution channel for retail general insurance (GI) products, especially for private motor insurance. It is estimated that one third (1) of the 26.6m(2) motor policies written in 2013 were sold through PCWs Source: TR14/11: Price comparison websites in the general insurance sector www.wikipeddia.com
  3. 3. ©XPotential 2015 3 How Price Comparison Websites Work  Price comparison websites work best in commodity markets such as car and home insurance.  These markets are defined by relatively high product comparability and low consumer involvement and loyalty. Consumers assume little difference between products and are considered low risk by most.
  4. 4. ©XPotential 2015 4 How Price Comparison Websites Work  They collect data through a data feed file. Merchants prepare these data files and make them available to the shopping search engines. This data is then imported by the comparison website.  Consumers select which service they require e.g Car Insurance, Credit Card etc and then enter in some personal details before a list of quotes are shown from a range of suppliers.  Products for individuals such as insurance will be priced in accordance with the individuals' circumstances and personal information.
  5. 5. ©XPotential 2015 5 How Price Comparison Websites Make Money  Advertising on the website  Sponsored listings, whereby companies pay to have their products appear at the top of search results.  Commission – Consumers pay around £650 million a year in commission (www.moneywise.co.uk) Source: www.ehow.com
  6. 6. ©XPotential 2015 6 Why Consumers use Price Comparison Websites There are 3 main reasons why consumers use Price Comparison Websites: Consumers see little or no difference in product, service or benefits between companies To locate the lowest possible price on a specific item from a merchant with a good reputation (cost-driven) To compare prices for a specific product or service, accessing information and reviews in order to make a selection Source: www.ehow.com
  7. 7. ©XPotential 2015 7 What do Consumers use Price Comparison Websites for?
  8. 8. ©XPotential 2015 8 Price Comparison Website Usage  With price sensitivity now an important part of how the market is assessed by consumers, the roles available to marketers have changed.  Over the last decade, companies have had to become more sophisticated in how they generate their prices in response to the popularity of aggregator sites.  Some 56% of buyers had used an aggregator in the last two years, while 52% switched or purchased directly through one of these platforms, according to a report from Consumer Futures.
  9. 9. ©XPotential 2015 9 Who are the Key Players? The four price comparison websites (PCW) with the greatest market presence: www.gocompare.com www.moneysupermarket.com www.comparethemarket.com www.confused.com 85% of PCW users have used one or more of the big four websites Generating awareness for these sites is hugely important and to do this many of them have created some very noticeable and annoying TV adverts Source:www.marketingmagazine.co.uk Consumer Futures Article Price comparison websites: consumer perceptions and experiences Article A report by RS Consulting for Consumer Futures
  10. 10. ©XPotential 2015 10 Key Player: Gocompare.com  Gocompare was the first comparison site to focus on displaying product features rather than just listing prices  It provides a comparison service for vehicle, home, travel and pet insurance, breakdown cover, gas and electricity, broadband, loans, credit cards, mortgages and other financial products through preferred providers such as Energylinx and Experian  Based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence 01/09/14 to 30/09/14, www.gocompare.com was rated as the no.1 price comparison site in the UK
  11. 11. ©XPotential 2015 11 Key Player: Gocompare.com  2010  2014
  12. 12. ©XPotential 2015 12 Key Player: Moneysupermarket.com  A British based Price Comparison Website specialising in financial services  The website enables consumers to compare prices on a range of products, including mortgages, credit cards and loans  In 2013, MoneySuperMarket achieved revenues of £225.6 million for the full year
  13. 13. ©XPotential 2015 13 Key Player: Moneysupermarket.com  2011  2014
  14. 14. ©XPotential 2015 14 Key Player: Comparethemarket.com  A UK Price Comparison Website that is part of the BGL Group  Comparethemarket.com launched in 2006 as a car and van insurance comparison site offering customers the chance to compare quotes from a range of providers. Over the years they have grown and developed, introducing new products including home insurance, bike insurance, and money products such as credit cards, mortgages and loans.  In 2013 comparethemarket.com was voted Best Website in the Comparison Sector by websiteoftheyear.co.uk
  15. 15. ©XPotential 2015 15 Key Player: Comparethemarket.com  2009  2014
  16. 16. ©XPotential 2015 16 Key Player: Confused.com  Confused.com was the first price comparison website in the UK and is a part of the Admiral Group, a motor insurance company.  They started as a car insurance price comparison website and since then has developed to specialize in general insurance and financial services.  Confused.com now offers their customers to compare prices of trusted household names for car insurance, home insurance, gas, electricity, holidays, travel insurance, pet insurance and money products such as credit cards, savings and life insurance.
  17. 17. ©XPotential 2015 17 Key Player: Confused.com  2012  2014
  18. 18. ©XPotential 2015 18 Consumer Perception and Experience  77% of consumers used a PCW to switch car insurance  37% used a PCW to switch their energy supplier and home insurance.  Usually, most Price Comparison Sites users would check 2 or 3 websites before making a decision  They are concerned of their privacy by giving away too much information. “Around 10 million people use Price Comparison Websites each year in the UK. They're quick, convenient and save us a lot of time shopping around. But not many of us realise that we're paying around £650 million a year in commission for the privilege.” www.moneywise.co.uk
  19. 19. ©XPotential 2015 19 How Price Comparison Websites have Changed the UK Market for Consumers Comparison Websites have delivered a positive change to the UK insurance market They have: Increased choice of products Weakened the brands of suppliers Made products and services transparent for consumers Encouraged customers to shop around for their insurance policy’s Reinforce that many products offer exactly the same benefits Source: The ABI’s (association of British Insurers) response to the FCA’s review of Price Comparison Websites, March 2014 https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Consultation%20papers/2014/03/FCA%20Thematic%20Review%20of%20Price%20Comparison %20Websites.pdf
  20. 20. ©XPotential 2015 20  PCWs are now the dominant distribution channel in some key insurance markets  They allow new insurers to enter the mass market very quickly and with a limited budget  The ‘big four’ PCWs have a strong position within the market, who have a large number of insurers on their panel. However they are not always as keen at maintaining their relations with insurers, as they are sometimes in a powerful negotiating position compared with insurers  Insurers have also found PCWs challenging when change is required in the market that directly benefits customers but not PCWs How Price Comparison Websites have Changed the UK Market for Insurers Source: The ABI (association of British Insurers)
  21. 21. ©XPotential 2015 21 How Price Comparison Websites Affect Market Performance in the UK  According to The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), many price comparison websites are failing consumers' expectations, while a number are breaking the rules. Plus, it shows that consumers were not being given the right information to help them make decisions.  Some sites are owned by insurance companies or insurance brokers, and are failing to flag up a potential conflict of interest. Gocompare.com is 50% owned by Esure, an insurance company and Confused.com, is owned by Admiral Insurance. However, the site providers claim that they are in completely separated business.  According to www.dailymail.co.uk, it shows that Price Comparison websites 'collude with insurers and push prices up‘. Industry watchdogs claim some comparison websites make deals with insurers to get an exclusive price, making their website the cheapest for a certain product. Watchdogs even found evidence that some websites threaten to blacklist insurance companies if they do not agree to exclusive deals - resulting in huge loss of business for the firms. Both moneysupermarket.com and confused.com said they do not believe that the deals 'are necessary for their business model' Source: www.bbc.com, www.dailymail.co.uk, www.sky.com, www.moneywise.co.uk
  22. 22. ©XPotential 2015 22 How Price Comparison Websites Affect Market Performance in the UK "There is a lot of money spent through the comparison websites - because they charge companies likes us and the Big Six and independents a rate of commission. "If that rate was a lot lower, or non- existent, the bills to customers would be lower, because our costs would be lower.“ Ramsay Dunning Group General Manager of Co-operative Energy
  23. 23. ©XPotential 2015 23 Price comparison websites continue to squeeze out big insurance brands according to Stickyeyes latest online financial services report Price comparison websites, alongside editorial website MoneySavingExpert.com, continue to dominate the online financial search market, at the expense of traditional brands such as HSBC, Barclays and Natwest HSBC suffered a 77% loss of market share for current account products, compared to Q1 2013 Five comparison services combine to hold 67% of the overall click share in the highly competitive car insurance market and 78% in the home insurance market. How Price Comparison Websites Affect Market Performance in the UK Source: Stickyeyes Intelligence Report
  24. 24. ©XPotential 2015 24  According to Skynews, it has been revealed that customers may not be shown cheaper tariffs on comparison websites from suppliers who weren't paying a commission.  An Ofgem Confidence Code is a regulator for price comparison websites. Under this, sites do not have to declare how much commission they earned but are meant to display an easily accessible list of who their commercial partners are and display tariffs in a "fair and unbiased way".  Out of the major price comparison sites, there are only two signed up including uSwitch and MoneySuperMarket. And to sign up, it is still voluntary not mandatory.  Ofgem says that they like the sites to be more transparent about their commission arrangements with suppliers and make sure that consumers understand the impact these have on the results they will see. Consumers should be informed that they are paying commission for the site. How Price Comparison Websites Affect Market Performance in the UK
  25. 25. ©XPotential 2015 25 Key Learnings  Consumers use PCW’s because they want transparency. Many Insurance companies are complicated and can be confusing to consumers. If Insurance companies don’t change then they will loose even more market share to PCW’s  Traditional companies need to be clear on the benefits they are offering customers as more than often they are competing with PCW’s based on price and not the service or benefits  There is an opportunity for Insurance companies outside of the UK in certain countries to be the first to create a PCW as many are owned by Insurance companies
  26. 26. XPotential (UK) 4/5 Market Square Marlow Buckinghamshire SL7 3HH Tel: +44 1628 485847 Fax: +44 1628 478065 info@xpotential.co.uk www.xpotential.co.uk XPotential (Thailand) Co. Ltd Q House Lumpini Level 27, 1 South Sathorn Road Tungmahamek, Bangkok, Thailand 10120 Tel: +66 (0) 2610 3706 Fax: +66 (0) 2610 3601 info@xpotential.co.th “We align individuals, functions and organisations, throughout the world, to create and deliver brand equity” ©XPotential 2015 26 XPotential (Brasil) Av. Divino Salvador, 716 Moema – São Paulo- SP CEP – 04078-012 Tel: + 55 11 5051 9194 Fax: +55 11 5054 0421 contato@xpotential.com.br XPotential ANZ P.O Box 237, Hampton Melbourne Victoria 3188 Australia Tel:+61 0404 098 892 enquiries@xpotentialanz.com

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