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Why should businesses be interested in online comparison shopping?

Online Business EducationIt is always interesting when you are using Google these days when shopping for a specific product at the number of AdWords campaigns that are specifically targeted to help you save money by using a comparison website.  It is also important to remember that a number of these search queries are language specific so a search using “compare” or “comparison” will delivery significantly different results.

Why should business be interested in comparison shopping?

The first point is that there are a lot of consumers out there shopping for a better deal and your competitors are increasing the savings for those who take the time to compare broadband plans online (for example) to find a better deal.

What can business do to reduce churn rates?

One of the more effective products to be rolled out in the last few years has come from the telecommunications sector who offer both businesses and consumers phone internet bundles to reduce operating costs or household expenses. It is still an issue with some products such as banking products for consumers to move but most other verticals don’t have as much control of consumers once a service contract expires.

What are the top compare search terms?

There are a number of places that you can see what your consumers or clients are searching for online such as “insurance” on Google Insights for Search. A bulk of the search queries seem to be around lower price point products or those with a much shorter buying cycle such as one off events such as travel products like insurance or flights.

Top Compare Search Terms

  • Compare Insurance
  • Compare Prices
  • Car Compare

Rising Compare Search Terms

  • Compare Electricity prices
  • Travel Insurance
  • Compare iPhone Plans

Travel insurance comparison search queries have been a fairly consistently growing over the past 6 years as more people try and reduce costs by buying their insurance online.  Based on the media coverage around rising electricity prices it is expected to see this search term present but again the interest is unique to Victoria and New South Wales.  The very interesting rising search term is the lone product specific phrase “compare iphone plans” which does not appear to feature that prominently in any of the other Google insights results I examined and the interest is specific to New South Wales.

[Next: What are the top comparison search terms?]

What are the top comparison search terms?

A number of these search terms relate to higher end products or those with a buying cycle such as health or home loan insurance where dozens of plans and suppliers maybe compared.

Top Comparison Shopping Terms

  • Insurance Comparison
  • Car Comparison
  • Price Comparison

Rising Comparison Shopping Terms

  • Car Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Loan Comparison

Why the rise in interest?

The interest in health related search queries strongly relates to a 5.2% increase in CPI within the weighted average of the health group from September Quarter 2009 to September Quarter 2010.  The rising interest in comparison websites is a combination of improved technologies that can provide much better results and much more refined search queries but also helps consumers and small business combat the average annual inflation rate of 3% since 2005.

Should you ever swap?

One of the ugly issues raised last year was the Vodafone issues around phone or data reception issues, and the outcome was that a number of customers were able to walk from their contracts.  Unlike mobile phones users which have to trust information provided by carriers, every internet user can easily use free speed test products to ensure they are receiving the expected bandwidth and can use that information to shop based on quality service not just price.

Business needs to be made aware that consumers are ready and willing to swap and they need to examine how they can benefit from this transition by focusing on these transient users or putting up walls to make it as difficult as possible for consumers/clients to move.

What do you think?

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David Iwanow

David Iwanow

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