Reputation Survey: Public demands price and familiarity

Judged on overall opinion, the cheapest insurance quotes and ease of website navigation, MoneySupermarket.com is streets ahead of its rivals.

Hard-hitting: MoneySupermaket.com features former Labour deputy PM John Prescott
Hard-hitting: MoneySupermaket.com features former Labour deputy PM John Prescott

Despite huge marketing investment in creating characters for price comparison websites, the main factor for consumers when choosing a site is whether they have used it before, says new research.

MoneySupermarket.com is the public's favourite price comparison website.

Forty per cent of those who took part in PRWeek/OnePoll's research said they had the best overall opinion of the site, followed by 22 per cent for Comparethemarket.com and 12 per cent for GoCompare. com. Thirty per cent of respondents also chose MoneySupermarket.com as providing the cheapest insurance quotes and being the easiest website to use.

Thirty-eight per cent said the most important factor in choosing a price comparison website was that they had used it previously, while 20 per cent simply chose the first one that sprang to mind.

Nearly half of respondents said they would use more than one price comparison website to research the options and 64 per cent said once they had a recommended quote, they would buy directly from the individual provider.

Word of mouth emerged as by far the most influential factor in choosing a site, with 59 per cent saying they would trust a site more if it had been recommended by a friend. In contrast, 31 per cent said they would trust a website more if it had been recommended by the media, while 22 per cent said they would trust it more if they had seen an ad on TV.

Survey of 2,850 members of the public, who had visited a price comparison website at least once, conducted by global research agency OnePoll

HOW I SEE IT - KATIE BAILEY, HEAD OF AGENCY OPERATIONS, LAUNCH GROUP

So, there is justice in the world. The majority of people are aware of GoCompare.com thanks to its teeth-grindingly awful ads, but only 12 per cent rate it as the best price comparison website.

Similarly, consumers have opened their hearts to faux-Russian aristo-meerkat Aleksandr Orlov to such an extent that one in four either owns, or intends to own, his autobiography. Does that mean they flock to Comparethemarket.com? Nope.

So what do consumers really want from a price comparator?

The answer is laid out neatly by this research: price, usability and familiarity.

MoneySupermarket.com appears to have trounced the competition by convincing the public that it does the first two better than rivals.

In a market filled with disloyal consumers, MoneySupermarket.com has realised what people actually want - cheap deals on an easy-to-use interface - and has geared its marcoms towards showing it does precisely that.

DIRECT PURCHASE - 64% of respondents said if a product was recommended by a price comparison website they would buy it directly from the individual provider

BEST OFFERS - 57% said they trusted price comparison websites to give them the best deals

VARIOUS OPTIONS - 49% said they would normally use more than one website to research options

WHICH PRICE COMPARISON WEBSITE ...
do you have the best opinion of overall?
Comparethemarket.com - 22.5
GoCompare.com - 12
MoneySupermarket.com - 40
Confused.com - 10
Other (incl BeatThat Quote, USwitch - 11.5
I go directly to individual providers - 4

WHICH PRICE COMPARISON WEBSITE ...
gives the cheapest insurance quotes?
Comparethemarket.com - 21
GoCompare.com - 14
MoneySupermarket.com - 30.5
Confused.com 13
Other (incl BeatThat Quote, USwitch - 8.5
I go directly to individual providers - 13

WHICH PRICE COMPARISON WEBSITE ...
is the easiest to use?
Comparethemarket.com - 18
GoCompare.com - 11
MoneySupermarket.com - 31
Confused.com - 11
Other (incl BeatThat Quote, USwitch - 25
I go directly to individual providers - 4

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