It isn’t like that in other sectors. Supermarket pricing heads can see instantly when a rival runs a promotion or changes its price. They often follow suit immediately, especially for essentials. When one supermarket lowers the price of bananas or milk, the rest usually follow. If one quietly puts up a price, the others will evaluate whether they want to follow too. Decisions will be weighed up against many factors, of course, but at least they have full visibility of their rivals when they’re making them.
The difference for insurance pricing managers it that they don’t. They know how much they quoted for each risk, and they will know if they won or lost. If they quoted through a PCW they may know how close they were to the winner but not who the winner actually was.
This partial view is of course a function of sophisticated pricing. Insurance quotes are informed by multiple data sources and information about the customer. They are personal and they are private.
But retailers don’t have it as easy as their insurance counterparts might think. Large supermarkets stock an average of 35,000 items, and products between retailers don’t all neatly compare. Getting the prices is just the first step. Working them into something comparable and insightful is the more important part. It’s the data equivalent of changing crude oil into refined petroleum.
Every business wants to know how they’re doing, how they compare to others, and how to improve. Having actionable insight, based on refined data lets businesses answer all of these with more than a hunch. It lets you frame a question, test a theory and record what happens.
Refined pricing data has been at the core of Consumer Intelligence’s business since the beginning. This year we are evolving to help our insurance clients trade as fast as retailers with the launch of daily pricing insight.
January ushers in the regulatory change of a generation with GIPP’s dual pricing ban. Early side-by-side comparisons of quotes from before and after 1 January indicate major shifts for new business prices.
Some insurance providers change their pricing strategies more than once a day, others on a weekly basis. Having the ability to be make an informed decision and react in context will be key to pricing strategies through an unprecedented period of volatility and change. Seeing those changes as trends over time will help further.
Of course, it’s not all about price. Retailers built their brands so strongly that they could sell anything, even financial services, because their brand was trusted. That isn’t about marketing. It’s about consistent delivery of high customer experience – in the case of supermarkets range, cleanliness and convenience.
Financial services are behind the supermarkets on trust. But customer experience, something we measure too, is a factor which we predict will become a bigger part of consumers’ decision-making process in the medium term.
Some supermarket shoppers will pay more for higher quality or superior service, others will drive further for the best deals. They’re the same people that buy insurance. It’s time for insurance brands to delve deeper and see themselves through the different eyes of their very many customers every day.
Our insurance price benchmarking service will help you understand the daily movements of your competitors and help you to quickly identify pricing changes you need to make.
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