New Delhi: Indian consumers are using the Internet for not just researching financial products but also purchasing them. A recent study indicates that while 18% of all financial products are sold online in India, 68% use the Internet to research for the same.
The study was conducted by Google and implemented by the strategic market research firm, Media Screen, to gain a deeper understanding of the Indian consumer’s behaviour in the online space.
* Online sources, personal sources and traditional media are used equally to research financial service products
* 68% users go online to research products that interest them
* Search engines (60%) and financial company websites (57%) are the online sources used most frequently for financial research
* Among offline sources, 57% turn to friends or family and 52% use financial agents/ representatives for advice
* Brochures/catalogues/ prospectuses are a consistent source of financial information, outperforming magazines, TV and direct mail
* Google ranks number one in helpfulness when it comes to undertaking research for financial service products
* 67% say search engines are very important for financial product research
* 96% financial researchers use Google
* Comparing costs and product details emerge as the two most common financial research activities. Indian consumers researching financial products online use search engines to help compare costs and compare product details and specifications
* 30% use search engines to become aware of special rates/ promotions and access expert advice
* Indian consumers exhibit specific behaviour before making a purchase decision for financial products
* Overall, 18% financial products, 32% investments and credit 26% card applications are purchased online
* Banking services researchers use TV more (41%) and are heavier users of search engines (69%) and portal sites (47%)
* Credit card shoppers are more likely to use comparison shopping sites and to check their account balance when gathering information
According to Sridhar Seshadri, business head, financial services, Google India, “The dependency of financial services on online marketing will grow dramatically over the next few years, with initiatives such as simple customer acquisitions, up-selling, cross-selling and major cost cutting initiatives from advertisers”.
The study found that advertisers work in a tripartite arrangement with online advertising agencies and Google. Travel websites and jobsites dominate internet ad spends followed by financial services, media, entertainment and FMCG sector advertisers.