Consumers in control with comparison sites

10th November 2010  

Using credit card comparison and other personal finance comparison websites puts consumers firmly in control of their finances according to YouGov statistics.

ComparisonCheck, YouGov’s quarterly survey of comparison site users concluded that nearly half (47%) of those surveyed say that they’re more confident using comparison sites than they were last year, with a similar proportion (46%) stating that they are now making more financial decisions on their own i.e. without further human financial advice.

Clearly this shows that consumers are feeling comfortable managing more of their financial decisions, but some other surprising statistics emerged from the survey. Respondents say the greatest perceived benefits of comparison sites are the range of information about products and companies on offer (69%) and the resulting choice this gave them (58%).

As a result however, 67% indicated that they are now more demanding of their financial products than they were this time last year. Most interestingly though, it appears consumers are scoring value, price and product features ahead of the brand name of the product provider. This kind of statistic has brand managers quaking in their boots because they’re told at university that that won’t happen in the real world.

The vast array of credit card offers available in the UK makes it hard to imagine anybody wanting to compare credit cards without web based comparison tools.

Traditionally the public have been slow to warm to some financial comparison sites, but it appears the quality and quantity of information that’s now on offer has started to change public opinion.

Todd Davis, Director of Financial Services Consulting for YouGov said

“This confidence and control appears to have produced an increasingly demanding consumer. The financial services sector is one which consumers historically have been hesitant to embrace.

“However, thanks to the rise of comparison sites, consumers now have access to a wide array of information and are thus becoming both increasingly knowledgeable and increasingly demanding of their financial products.”

An overwhelming majority of those questioned (87%) agree that comparison sites have made it easier to research financial products, and over half (55%) agree that they spend more time researching financial products before buying them than they did a year ago.

79% of those questioned used more than one comparison site when searching for financial services products, and 61% contact companies which aren’t listed on comparison sites as part of their research process.

Interestingly however, instead of feeling that this added to their choice and options, 62% believe these other companies are missing out on an opportunity to sell them something and 59% would prefer them to be on the comparison sites!

With the vast amount of information and choice now available to consumers, companies need to utilise the opportunities comparison sites offer them in getting their offerings in front of the public, satisfying the demands of their now more savvy and demanding customers.

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