What is the fuss about making sure your website is optimised for mobiles (don’t like the use of ‘smartphones’…who has a phone without internet connection?)
Last night I decided to look at life insurance mobile sites to get some sort of gauge as to how important it is commercially to some of the major players. At a later stage I will look at other international markets to measure how they see it as being important. For now though, let’s stick to our little Australian market.
So do consumers actually buy life insurance on a mobile site? I’m not convinced however I would live to know what you think if you’d care to read on.
I’m fully aware that consumers buy life insurance on-line; but on a mobile? Are you sure? Really? Seriously?
Of course there is a minority of consumers that feel comfortable buying stuff on their ‘handy’ (as the Germans say) but surely not life insurance?
There is the old school Financial Adviser who will argue to the death that their valuable client has to be sold such an amazingly technical product. They are probably spot on for some clients; however the share of the market that is growing year-on-year has a different view. That is that the new consumer is one whom is happy to never speak to a salesperson, preferring to sort out their stuff on their terms. They will buy their insurance when they want, how they want.
I know when I’m buying online, I tend to have a quick search using my phone first. Why do I do this? Well simply it is in reach the fastest. If something pops into my head I can have a quick nose. Once my curiosity has been satisfied I can park the idea and come back to it on a tablet or desktop where I can view in more detail.
To help me understand if this consumer is being taken seriously in Australia I decided to check out the online players who are doing it hard at the pointy end of SERPS (search engine results pages).
If you care to read on you will see that included a synopsis, having tested each site for useability, as well as my opinion of the look at feel. I have also given a really basic score out of 10. Please feel free to challenge the score that I have assigned to each mobile site.
My investigations include the following 8 sites:
- Real Insurance
- Rate Detective
- Compare Insurance
- Insurance Line
Real Insurance – Mobile site score 9/10
What a great place to start! Real Insurance’s mobile experience is really nice. It is clear and easy to navigate. They ask the bare minimum to get a quote. Once the quote is displayed on page 2, the consumer can see the next call to action being ‘Apply Now’ without having to move down the page. I really like this site (for what it’s worth).
Rate Detective – Mobile site score 8/10
The mobile site is actually quite good in terms of the structure; however it is not very memorable as a brand. I think that this down to the colours that are used. What I really like about the sales funnel is that it is short and sweet in comparison to other sites mentioned in the list. On selecting to get the quote the next confirmation page just states that you will be contacted by an agent. For me this is pretty week and loses all urgency.
Choosi – Mobile site score 6/10
This site is one that I have been watching for some time and I really expected more from a mobile perspective. The main page is clean and simple; however once you select ‘life’ the next page is a bit of a let down in that it could be removed altogether to increase the conversion. Clearly Choosi (part of the Hollard Group) want you to compare their direct products. The final ‘get quote page’ is really quite a nice experience and I particularly like the way in which their iconography comes alive once selected.
Lifebroker – Mobile site score 8/10
This is the first time that I’ve seen the new version on their m.lifebroker site and must say it is a smooth customer experience. I particularly like the iconography used as well as the option to chat or call them. One touch of their phone icon and the number is ready to call. The negatives that I have to add to this from a user experience perspective is that for me the data fields could be much bigger making it even easier to complete. The fact that there is not any mention of security is a little concerning as consumers live to know that their data is secure.
Compare Insurance – Mobile site score 8.5/10
Compare Insurance is a great site that I have worked with during my time with Lifebroker. It is a dynamic little site with a great look and feel. I love the crisp design; however what is their mobile site like? On entering the site, instantly you can navigate clearly to life insurance (or any other vertical that you care to select). On selecting life you are then taken to a page that shows the consumer the next steps being ‘Compare’, ‘Review’ and ‘Save’. This offers a clear journey to the consumer however I feel that this is an additional page in the sales funnel that could be removed to increase conversion. The third page, goes on to display to actual quotes; however way in which the quotes is displayed is too large and you really need to move down the page. On mobile sites I prefer to not display quotes and just offer the consumer to chance to leave their contact information – that is just my personal taste.
iSelect – Mobile site score 7.5/10
Having worked at Lifebroker for over a decade I have been able to watch other companies enter the online market. Some of them have gone and others have done really well. iSelect is one of those competitors that has done really well. I have always liked their branding, and their latest Aussie version of David Brent from the Office (UK version) is really effective. In terms of their site I must say that I really like it. I envisage that they have arranged their verticals in order of commercial importance (life insurance being 4th) which make sense. Once ‘life’ is selected the next page is simple. Problem is that there are too many pages for a mobile site, too many small buttons to press, too much small print to read. In addition to this the date of birth fields do not populate correctly and there is also the issue of asking for the users income (even though a life insurance quote was selected).
Insuranceline – Mobile site score 9.5/10
The masters of direct life insurance. These guys really have fine tuned the art of online conversion. Wether you like direct insurance or not, there is no doubt that Insuranceline have produced a clean, fuss free form that no doubt converts very well on a mobile. Once the consumer has completed the form, the confirmation page is displayed and you are alerted to the fact that one of their insurance people will contact you shortly. Two small things that could be employed are making sure that the consumer knows that their data is secure, and also the mobile version does not offer the consumers a phone number to call them on. I think that with the second point that this is intentional as the call centre is all about outbound calls. Well done Insuranceline!
Comparethemarket – Mobile site score 9/10
The gods of comparing. Life insurance is clearly not a priority for comparethemarket as it is way down on their mobile site. On selecting the option for life insurance the next screen builds trust by showing the consumer that range of insurance companies that they can compare via their insurance partner – Lifebroker (see above). Comparethemarket have only been in the Australian market for approximately 24 months and they are a serious player. They have the best head term rankings for pretty much any financial services product you care the mention. Their strategy is to not convert the consumer themselves as they prefer to either sell your lead to a specialist of split the commission on conversion. In this instance all leads that are generated via the comparethemarket website for life insurance are sent to Lifebroker. I must admit that considering their strength and experience in the market that their mobile user experience is not better. The form is tiny and in order for me to make it work I had to expand the screen over and over again to ensure that I could read the questions being asked, as well as making sure that I could complete the form correctly. The form appears to be the same as the full site in that the sections are split and they concertina once they are completed to ensure that the form is tidy and appears smaller.
If you are able to get through the form then the magic begins. Comparethemarket have used Lifebroker’s API and they really have done a great job in the presentation of the quotes. It is a better job that Lifebroker themselves. It is fast, clear and smooth – so smooth that you want to refresh the quotes just to watch the magic again (okay I’m getting a little carried away here). One of the features that this site does that not other has even thought about is being able to compare products side-by-side.
So, there you have it – my winner is Insuranceline. This is something that I will come back to in 6 months’ time to reflect and compare.
From looking at these sites it is clear that having a decent mobile site is really important. One thing that I have noticed is that the companies that offer traditional direct insurance via TV advertising – they have scored the highest. For these guys it is imperative that they gather as many leads from direct response as possible as they are spending the big bucks.
The trick is to keep the sales funnel “simples” (sorry).
Please let me know what you think.