The traditional decision making models of 'needs awareness', 'information search', through to the 'purchase decision' is fast becoming outdated in the new era of digital consumption. Online companies such as Alibaba, Amazon, Airbnb, and Kogan have created a major shift in purchase behaviour. The process is no longer linear and can be accelerated.
Traditional sources of advice have been supplemented by online resources, and our research shows that people are more prepared than ever to make online purchases without the benefit of personal financial advice, instead using comparison sites, and multiple information sources for all stages of the purchase funnel.
The new digital decision making process is much more fluid, involving information and advice sources beyond the traditional channels. These include community forums, chat rooms, websites, social media, wikis and blogs.
An insurance company cannot simply rely on its sales team, website and brochures to convert a prospect into a sale. All channels play a role, and increasingly, online and mobile is where the sale may be won or lost.
According to the Forrester Research, 'buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying journey before they even reach out to a vendor. The customer goes through the buying journey and engages with the vendor during the consideration and selection processes'.
Mobile is the new frontier for all industries, including life insurance, where there has been a shift to the use of mobile for both search and purchase.