The missing pieces of the puzzle on financial price comparison sites: Finder.com.au
Price comparison websites have grown in popularity across a wide range of industries, thanks to their ability to provide a singular snapshot of the marketplace.
Customers particularly rely on comparison sites when researching and purchasing financial products, from home loans to credit cards. The battle for customers is beginning to be won or lost on aggregates.
However, financial institutions have little visibility over their performance, especially in relation to their competitors. Having access to such information could drastically change how financial institutions market their products on comparison sites.
Online aggregator growth spurred by Finder
Firstly, let’s quantify the rise of financial aggregators.
Zooming in on the top five players, online visits grew by a significant 40% in 2017 compared to the previous year. This was driven by a number of aggregators, such as Mozo and Compare the Market, seeing double-digit growth.
Although aggregators are still growing, visits in 2018 have since slowed down, rising by only 7% over January to September YoY. Bucking the trend is $1 billion tech-success story, Finder, which has continued to accelerate and rise by 39% YoY.
Looking under the hood of Finder – Credit Cards
With the rising popularity of price comparison sites, particularly Finder, financial institutions are left with a growing blind spot. Many are unable to determine whether increases or decreases from aggregator traffic to their site are part of a larger trend or due to something specific about their products.
Let’s look at how data insights within a site can help uncover these blind spots, focusing on one of the highest searched-for products, credit cards, on Finder.
In both July and August, Finder drove the most traffic for credit cards to Westpac. In July alone, Westpac’s share was almost 40%, well-above the competition. This was likely thanks to their credit cards featuring prominently on Finder’s ‘Best Credit Cards’ rankings.
Westpac maintained this highest-ranked position in August but saw a large portion of its share taken by St George bank, which saw an incredible 188% increase in August.
Westpac vs. St George – Credit Card movement on Finder
These significant month-on-month changes were driven by oscillations in interest around specific credit card offerings.
The Westpac Low Rate credit card was consistently most popular among Finder’s audience, but lost share in August, decreasing by 28%. Other cards, Platinum Bundle and Platinum Bundle Qantas, also saw substantial drops in August.
St George’s most popular credit cards, the Vertigo Platinum and Amplify Signature, grew by 296% and 170%, respectively. This change is possibly due to St George Amplify Signature Qantas card being ranked as one of the best cards for earning Qantas Points, offering the most points on eligible purchases.
How can financial institutions utilise this insight?
By having a competitive benchmark on aggregators, by provider and card type, a financial institution could take several actions.
Westpac, for instance, seeing St George’s like-for-like products growing, could feature a sponsored ad on Finder’s site around their Platinum offering. Westpac could also benchmark their card features against other risers, Virgin and ANZ, understanding what drove their smaller increases to inform their own product strategy.
By identifying the catalyst of these changes, financial institutions are better equipped to respond to increases and decreases in aggregator traffic.
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