Differentiation in the competitive credit card market is becoming increasingly difficult. Issuers are competing not just on primary offers such as purchase rates, but also on secondary offers such as rewards and benefits.
We’ve observed consumers in a variety of sectors using comparison websites in their shopping journey but it’s rarely the place where they make their final decision.
How users shop for credit cards using comparison websites
To make a shortlist: Instead of comparing the information users are provided with, they use tables to create a short list of providers they were willing to consider. This is then manually filtered offline or on the providers website based on a range of factors from product features to the look of the credit card.
To find the best deal: Shoppers plan to visit at least two comparison website, believing that no one site has all the best deals. The reality for most shoppers is that one site provides more choice than they are able to process in a rational and systematic way.
What does this mean for providers?
It strikes me that many card providers aren’t making the most of comparison websites as they don’t have a clear idea of how the shopping process unfolds. Providers need to spend a bit more time understanding how their users shop and focus on:
- Make comparison websites part of your strategy: Aggregators/affiliates play a vital role in the shopping process and should be considered when planning how to spend your marketing budget, as it’s here that you will get onto that short list.
- Optimise your presence: However, equal, if not more attention should be given to landing pages, offline call to actions and the current credit pages on providers’ websites. It’s here that you can influence their decision.
- Speak your customers’ language: Don’t assume that your customers will understand your industry jargon and internal acronyms. Your customers aren’t as savvy as you think they are. Use simple language, provide definitions and don’t overwhelm them.