UK - November 2008
19 million Brits come on down to price comparison sites
Price comparison sites, such as moneysupermarket.com, confused.com and gocompare.com, have really taken off, as consumers increasingly look for the best deal on their financial products. A new report from Mintel shows that no less than 19 million Brits or two in every five (39%) have used a price comparison site to search for, compare or buy a finance product. And while women often get a bad rap when it comes to finances, 36% have used a price-comparison site, compared to 41% amongst their male counterparts.
When it comes to web aggregator websites, canny Brits are most likely to search for insurance products. Indeed, no less than two-thirds (65%) of price comparison site users have looked for motor insurance, while one in four has searched for home (26%) and travel insurance (24%).
"Although price comparison sites have not actually been around for that long, they have now become an essential part of the buying process for many people looking to renew their insurance," comments Toby Clark, head of financial research at Mintel. "Extensive advertising campaigns have undoubtedly played a huge part in growing public interest in these sites. And in the coming months they are only likely to see their popularity grow as people tighten their belts and become ever more price-conscious."
But it would seem that price isn't everything. Indeed, people are becoming more aware of the need to compare like for like and look at the benefits as well as the price. Indeed, while 67% of those using these sites look for the cheapest price, 61% look for comprehensive cover. And in actual fact, one in five (22%) already say that they prefer to compare product specifics, as opposed to just price.
"There is clearly a growing belief with these sites that you get what you pay for as far as financial products are concerned. The problem is that people are still often unsure about exactly what is included in their insurance cover, and so any tools that will highlight the differences between the various products available will help ease the problem of consumer confusion," explains Toby Clark.
Today, there are over 40 price comparison sites available on the market.
According to Mintel's exclusive consumer research, the top three most used sites are moneysupermarket.com (55%), confused.com (53%) and gocompare.com (29%). Amongst those who use these sites, as many as three in five (59%) have used more than one price comparison site, meaning that those who give exclusive loyalty to just one brand are in the minority. Indeed, only a very small proportion of these users (9%) have a favourite price comparison site, which they use again and again.
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