price comparison

Price comparison and the great energy debate

Last week Co-Op energy boss Ramsey Dunning made a very public attack on price comparison sites, citing them as misleading and pushing up energy bills. 

Dunning stated that price comparison sites such as uSwitch, Moneysupermarket and Energy Helpline should disclose how much they make in commission from the energy partners.

While I of course advocate a continued development of greater transparency to consumers, I find it difficult to understand exactly what it is that Dunning is hoping such a move will achieve. 

How seven ecommerce sites present price comparison details

One of the benefits of ecommerce is that it’s very easy to present a range of products side-by-side so that shoppers can compare the various features.

This makes greatly helps the decision-making process as customers can select a product based on which has the most relevant features as well as being the best value for money.

Retailers can also present additional details such as special offers and product reviews in order to increase the chances of a conversion.

Marketing vs. inertia: how to make sure marketing wins

In September 2012 the UK Payments Council released a report stating that in the year prior to May 2012, only 2.5% of consumers surveyed had switched bank.

Not just that, but 88% hadn’t even considered switching. 

Not necessarily a surprising statistic, banking is a system with a lot of inertia on behalf of the customer and a lot of friction on behalf of the banks. 

Google’s visibility for car insurance searches improves overnight

Google’s search visibility for car insurance comparison has leapt from 0% to 75% in the space of two days since it launched its own rival to the likes of Confused.com. 

According to stats from Greenlight, Google’s car insurance comparison service is now visible for at least 500,000 relevant UK searches per month from this point onwards.

This will obviously have competitors in what is a fiercely competitive market worried… 

Is Google abusing its position with credit card comparison?

Google has announced that it is launching a price comparison service offering information on credit cards and bank accounts ahead of the natural search listings.

While Google’s price comparison service comes below the paid links, it includes images that make it more eye-catching than normal PPC ads.

This puts it in direct competition with high-spending advertisers such as moneysupermarket.com and comparethemarket.com.

This is not the first time Google has gone up against its advertisers. In December it began promoting its own hotel finder above paid links.

Can showing competitors’ prices online ever work?

I’ve seen a couple of surveys recently which suggest that showing the prices for a competing e-commerce site is something that consumers want, and that can be beneficial for etailers. 

It seems counter-intuitive, as it may lead customers straight to competing websites, but can this be a good idea for etailers, or is it just madness? 

Price comparison sites need to work on usability

Some of the UK’s leading financial comparison sites need to work hard at improving the user experience on their websites, according to a new study.

According to Webcredible’s Future Comparisons white paper (pdf), presentation of search results, and the ability to manipulate and sort was one major area for improvement, while customer trust issues were often not addressed adequately.

The report looks at the five main financial comparison sites in the UK: Moneysupermarket.com, Gocompare.com, Comparethemarket.com, Confused.com, and uSwitch.com.

Q&A: Moneysupermarket.com founder Simon Nixon

Simon Nixon was one of the co-founders of
Moneysupermarket.com, and recently stepped down as CEO of the company.
He launched Simonseeks, a travel review site, last week.

I have been talking to Simon about the idea behind his latest online
startup, as well as the price comparison market, and his tips for other
entrepreneurs…

Site review: Bill Monitor

Developed by mathematicians from Oxford University, Bill Monitor allows consumers to compare phones and tariffs and find the best price plan from the five network operators.

It has also received accreditation from Ofcom, meaning the site can place a nice logo on the homepage which should help reassure customers using the website to select their next mobile phone contract. I’ve been tying it out…

Kelkoo’s view on the product search market in 2008 + 2009

2008 was the year of the voucher code, however 2009 is starting to look like the year of looking after yourself and your property.

Kelkoo has seen a large increase in searches for home related items such as consumer electronics, household appliances, and garden products.