Most people reading this can still recall shopping by catalog and ordering items by phone. As brick and mortars extended their reach online, consumers quickly acclimated to shopping whenever they wanted, with instant access to unlimited vendors. Today, online shopping has become a multibillion dollar revenue stream—changing the path to purchase and consumer engagement forever. But shopping behavior tends to be different depending on what the consumer is shopping for.
There has been a lot of hype about Millennials driving the trend toward more online shopping, creating an urgency to target this cohort appropriately. According to a study by The Intelligence Group, conducted through online polling of 1,300 consumers, ages 18-34 years old, 72% of Millennials research and shop their options online before going to a store or the mall
In the online auto insurance comparison market however, the Millennial demographic is no more progressive than other generations. In fact, the comScore 2015 Online Auto Insurance Shopping Report shows that of consumers who shopped for insurance in the past year, 71% of them did so online. Of those shoppers, the numbers are fairly split among demographics across 18-54 year olds—with the 55+ age category as the only outlier with the smallest piece of the puzzle.1 (Incidentally, that group purchased insurance from an agent in person or over the phone the majority of time.)
Online insurance shopping is not limited to younger demographics
It’s clear that your target audience is likely shopping online, or maybe even has a member of the family comparison shopping online for auto insurance. The good news is you know where to find your audience, but the bad news is online acquisition has traditionally been expensive with a lot of waste—ironically mirroring traditional media forms.
Collectively insurers spent $7B per year on insurance marketing, most of which went to TV spend.1 To some extent that spend is paying off since the statistics show that 86% of consumers go directly to a carrier’s website, but at a high cost. The ability to measure the ROI of online media spend is much more accurate than offline, while allowing for more precise targeting and optimization.
So out of 37.3 million online auto insurance quotes, why are only 3.7 million purchased online? Online acquisition can become more lucrative if it is used the right way. With new online capabilities, carriers can focus on the right people—shoppers who are in-market, while they are active, targeted holistically—using verified and combined data assets.
Consumers who shop for auto insurance online receive an average of 2.7 quotes in their search for the right carrier.2 As the online marketplace for insurance comparison shopping evolves, the differentiator will be using precise segmentation and decisioning to target the right customers for your business. With consumers increasingly focusing on quality of life and value of purchase, they will appreciate the direct connection to the brand that fits them best.
Interested in speaking with an expert about online auto insurance comparison shopping and TransUnion Quote Exchange?
Emily Lebowitz helps carriers identify and market to their key audiences, with a focus on digital marketing solutions. She has been in the online and digital marketing space for over 15 years working across in-house, agency and data provider roles, including digital marketing for financial services and insurance clients.
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1. comScore 2015 Online Auto Insurance Shopping Report
2. comScore Custom Survey, U.S., Age 18+, September 2015