2021
9
UK Price Comparison Sites in Financial Services Market Report 2021
2021-10-06T04:11:26+01:00
OX1050057
2195
143165
[{"name":"Financial Services","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/finance\/financial-services"}]
Report
en_GB
“Looming regulation will fundamentally change pricing practices in core car and home insurance sectors, lowering incentives to switch in the medium to long term. Although the role of PCWs in…

UK Price Comparison Sites in Financial Services Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Price Comparison Sites in Financial Services market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many consumers to turn to price comparison websites (PCW’s), especially with the economic impact of the outbreak. 69% of consumers have used a price comparison site to research financial services over the last 12 months, with 52% of users saying that the pandemic has made them more likely to use PCWs, a figure that is higher among those most exposed to disruption.

The impact of the pandemic has been very different across demographics, with higher interest in premium products to ways of cutting down on discretionary spending. 76% of consumers say that PCWs empower them to make financial decisions on their own, highlighting how using PCWs is an ingrained habit when it comes to arranging products and making financial decisions.

Impending legislation is fundamentally changing pricing practices in the core markets of home and car insurance, which will result in reduced incentives to switch. Although their role in product research is unlikely to change, lower purchasing activity in these sectors poses a threat to PCWs’ main revenue stream.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Finance market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on price comparison sites and consumers’ approach to researching financial services products.
  • Use of price comparison sites for financial services products, and conversion rates from research to sales.
  • Provider use and consumer perception of brands operating in the sector.
  • Trust in different aspects of price comparison sites.
  • Most important factors when choosing a price comparison site.
  • Consumer attitudes, behaviours and preferences with regard to price comparison sites and researching financial services products.
  • Price comparison website statistics.
  • Price comparison sites market share.

Covered in this report

Brands: ComparetheMarket, MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare, Confused.com, uSwitch, Money.co.uk, Mustard.co.uk, TravelSuperMarket, Admiral Group, Zoopla Property Group, MoneySavingExpert.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Irene Salazar, a leading analyst in the Financial sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Looming regulation will fundamentally change pricing practices in core car and home insurance sectors, lowering incentives to switch in the medium to long term. Although the role of PCWs in the research process is ingrained, consumers could limit the time spent and number of sites visited, which means becoming the first choice will be crucial. Aggregators will look to promotions and rewards to maintain relationships, while innovation in order to incorporate features such as T&Cs and add-ons will be even more important as focus moves away from price towards more personalised and value-based propositions.
Irene Salazar - Financial Research AnalystIrene Salazar
Senior Financial Services Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on price comparison sites
      • Figure 1: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on price comparison sites, 2021
    • The market
    • FCA rules tackle the ‘loyalty penalty’…
    • …lowering incentives for constant switching…
    • …and making it easier for consumers to opt out of automatic renewal
    • Short window to capitalise on positive impact of the pandemic
    • Use of smartphones for managing finances continues to increase
      • Figure 2: Smartphone activities, 2019 and 2021
    • Companies and brands
    • The PCW market is dominated by the big four, leaving limited room for competition
      • Figure 3: Price comparison sites used to research financial services products in the last 12 months, 2021
    • TravelSuperMarket and Icelolly.com become the Ice Travel Group
    • Confused.com joins the uSwitch family
    • MoneySavingExpert is the most trusted and differentiated brand
      • Figure 4: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands operating in the PCW sector, 2021
    • General insurance is the main focus of PCW advertising
      • Figure 5: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison sites in financial services, 2020/21
    • The consumer
    • Majority more likely to use PCWs after COVID-19
      • Figure 6: Impact of COVID-19 on likelihood to use PCWs, by age and parental status, 2021
    • High dependency on general insurance as anchor sector
      • Figure 7: Financial services products researched using a price comparison site in the last 12 months, 2021
    • Conversion rates remain broadly unchanged for some products…
      • Figure 8: Products purchased after researching using a price comparison site in the last 12 months, 2021
    • …while impact of COVID-19 is strong on others
      • Figure 9: Financial services products researched using a price comparison site in the last 12 months, 2020 and 2021
    • Trust in PCWs falls beyond basic expectations
      • Figure 10: Trust in price comparison websites, 2021
    • Many opportunities to differentiate and attract customers
      • Figure 11: Most important factors in price comparison sites in financial services, 2021
    • Role of incentives and promotions in building long-term relationship…
      • Figure 12: Most important factors in price comparison sites in financial services – TURF Analysis, 2021
    • …will be key in order to become the PCW of choice
      • Figure 13: Attitudes towards price comparison sites in financial services, 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • New regulation will shift focus away from cheapest price
    • Becoming the first choice is ever-more important
    • Product development and innovation set to boom post-pandemic
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Prepare for looming regulation that shakes core home and car markets
    • Short window to capitalise on positive impacts of the pandemic
    • Tap into the growing mobile trend
  5. Regulatory Environment

    • FCA rules tackle the ‘loyalty penalty’…
    • …lowering incentives for constant switching…
    • …and making it easier for consumers to opt out of automatic renewal
    • ComparetheMarket fined £17.9 million by the CMA
  6. Market Drivers

    • Use of smartphones for managing finances continues to increase
      • Figure 14: Smartphone activities, 2019 and 2021
    • Demand for traditional consumer credit plunges…
    • …while alternatives like BNPL explode in popularity
    • Savings reach record highs during lockdown…
    • …and opportunities remain to incentivise product research and purchase
    • Travel markets still face severe disruption
    • Opportunity to expand PCWs’ role in life insurance and protection
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Concentrated market offers limited room for new entrants
    • M&A activity hints at synergies between complementary sectors
    • Partnerships with insurtech open the door to flexible, innovative policies
    • Widen the focus of advertising beyond car and home insurance
    • Develop PCWs’ role in financial education
  8. Market Share

    • ComparetheMarket is by far the most widely used PCW
    • The PCW market is dominated by the big four…
    • …with limited room for more competition
      • Figure 15: Price comparison sites used to research financial services products in the last 12 months, 2021
    • 41% of consumers use only one site
      • Figure 16: Number of price comparison sites used to research financial services products in the last 12 months, by age, 2021
  9. Competitive Strategies

    • M&A activity hints at synergies between complementary sectors
    • TravelSuperMarket and Icelolly.com become the Ice Travel Group
    • Confused.com joins the uSwitch family
    • Providers responding to wider market context
    • MoneySuperMarket’s timely mortgage payment holiday calculator
    • GoCompare’s £10 MOT gets timing and tone right
    • Partnerships with insurtech open the door to flexible, innovative policies
    • Credit monitoring services expanding their reach
  10. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Adspend recovers after first lockdown
      • Figure 17: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison sites in financial services, 2016/17-2020/21
    • General insurance is the main single focus of advertising
      • Figure 18: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison sites in financial services, 2020/21
    • ComparetheMarket is by far the largest advertiser
    • MoneySuperMarket goes beyond car and home insurance
    • Confused.com tweaks its famous slogan
    • GoCompare celebrates the man behind its brand
      • Figure 19: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by price comparison sites in financial services, by advertiser, 2018/19-2020/21
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  11. Brand Research

    • Brand map
      • Figure 20: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands operating in the sector, 2021
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 21: Key metrics for selected brands, 2021
    • Brand attitudes: ComparetheMarket is associated with rewarding loyalty
      • Figure 22: Attitudes, by brand, 2021
    • Brand personality: ComparetheMarket is seen as fun
      • Figure 23: Brand personality – macro image, 2021
    • MoneySavingExpert is perceived as honest, reassuring and an authority
      • Figure 24: Brand personality – micro image, 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • ComparetheMarket enjoys the highest levels of awareness and usage
    • MoneySavingExpert is trusted as honest and ethical
    • MoneySuperMarket is associated with mostly positive attributes
    • GoCompare is seen as a middle-of-the-road PCW
    • Confused.com lacks differentiation
    • uSwitch stands apart from the ‘big’ four’
  12. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Prepare for increased usage and differing needs
    • Beware high dependency on anchor products
    • Impact of COVID-19 on conversion rates highlights opportunities
    • Be strategic to improve trust, with data security and fraud being key
    • Act now to become the PCW of choice in the long term…
    • …by using product development or incentives
  13. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Majority more likely to use PCWs after COVID-19…
    • …particularly parents
      • Figure 25: Impact of COVID-19 on likelihood to use PCWs, by age and parental status, 2021
    • Impact has not been the same across different demographics
      • Figure 26: Trends in current financial situation compared a year ago, 2021
  14. Product Research

    • General insurance remains the anchor sector
      • Figure 27: Financial services products researched using a price comparison site in the last 12 months, 2021
    • Effect of pandemic is clear on product research
      • Figure 28: Financial services products researched using a price comparison site in the last 12 months, 2020 and 2021
    • Majority research one or two products
      • Figure 29: Number of financial services products researched using a price comparison site in the last 12 months, by age, 2021
  15. Product Purchasing

    • Conversion rates are highest for general insurance
      • Figure 30: Products purchased after researching using a price comparison site in the last 12 months, 2021
    • Conversion rates remain broadly unchanged for some products…
    • …while impact of COVID-19 is strong on others
      • Figure 31: Financial services products researched using a price comparison site in the last 12 months, 2020 and 2021
  16. Trust in Price Comparison Websites

    • PCWs generally trusted to do ‘what it says on the tin’…
    • …but trust falls beyond basic expectations
    • From price to product comparison
      • Figure 32: Trust in price comparison websites, 2021
    • Fraud prevention and personal data protection could be a differentiator
    • People have low, realistic expectations in terms of customer service
  17. Most Important Factors in PCWs

    • Many opportunities for differentiation
    • Product development and innovation will be key
      • Figure 33: Most important factors in price comparison sites in financial services, 2021
    • Role of incentives and promotions in building long-term relationship
    • A combination of features can reach the majority of target customers
      • Figure 34: Most important factors in price comparison sites in financial services – TURF Analysis, 2021
  18. Attitudes towards Price Comparison Sites

    • Time to become the research and recommendation partner of choice…
    • …with competition likely to come from alternative sources
      • Figure 35: Attitudes towards price comparison sites in financial services, 2021
    • Post-COVID world offers opportunities to improve role in guidance and education…
    • …with data sharing being a key area to explore
      • Figure 36: Attitudes towards price comparison sites in financial services – CHAID – Tree output, 2021
  19. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
    • CHAID analysis methodology
      • Figure 37: Price Comparison Websites in Financial Services – CHAID – Table output, June 2021
    • TURF analysis methodology
      • Figure 38: Most important factors in price comparison sites in financial services – TURF analysis table output, 2021

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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