The competition between Price Comparison Websites is fierce. Along with prime-time advertising campaigns, offers and incentives have long been a way of enticing customers to choose one PCW over another.
And so the launch of Go Compare’s new incentive is of high market interest. The Free Excess Protection Cover promises to refund up to £250 of excess payments for drivers who buy car insurance through GoCompare and end up having to make a claim.
Its marketing material promises: “We hope the worst doesn’t happen. But if it does, we’re here for you when you need to claim - we don’t want you left out of pocket.”
So how well does this resonate with consumers? And does it give Go Compare a strong platform to battle against giveaway meerkats, restaurant deals, and cashback sites?
A poll of Consumer Intelligence’s Viewsbank panel suggests it could.
We asked 648 people who have previously bought car insurance through a PCW what influenced the site they chose.
Actually delivering a price comparison service was the largest element. More than half said a big influence in their choice was that they used more than one site and chose the PCW that offered them the best price for the cover they wanted. Some 88% said this influenced their choice to some extent. For 69% a star rating to compare products was also an influence.
Just over a third said cashback offers had a large influence on their choice. One in five cited discounts at high street shops as having a big influence. 2-for-1 offers on cinema tickets and restaurants were a big influence on 15% of consumers and toys such as meerkats and robots were a big influence for only 9%.
Viewsbank survey of 648 drivers who bought car insurance through a PCW. Online interview conducted 16-18 August 2019
We then asked drivers if they would be persuaded to buy from a PCW that offered free excess cover.
31% said they would be more likely to buy car insurance from a PCW with this incentive, with a further 61% answering ‘maybe’. Only 8% said it wouldn’t influence their decision.
Of those who said they would be swayed by the offer, the top reasons were that it could save them money if they need to make a claim and that it is of genuine value.
Of those who said they definitely wouldn’t, the initial outlay of paying their excess in the first place was the main factor that put them off.
Sample: 244 drivers who would be more likely to buy based on this incentive
Sample: 65 drivers who said it wouldn’t make a difference
The biggest reason for selecting maybe was wanting to find out more information and it depends on whether the site could also offer suitable price and cover.
Overall, the research indicates that this sort of offer is well received by consumers. It could become more interesting than toys and cheap date nights, but could struggle to overtake cold hard cash incentives.
The larger challenge is for the marketing department. Only 10% of the drivers we polled said they had heard of a PCW offering this incentive. And of those, a fair chunk wrongly attributed the offer to one of GoCompare’s rival.
Consumers are also consistent in that they primarily want a price comparison website to deliver on its promise of helping them to navigate between brands and choose the right product for them.
Download our guide to learn how research allows you to hear first-hand from those customers what they think, need and do. Beyond the ‘what’, we can help you uncover the ‘why’ and the ‘what next’. Research opens a dialogue with consumers enabling you to continue to delight those who buy from you, and those who don’t but will in the future – which ultimately determines success, resilience and growth.