LONDON – WUA ran a comprehensive market customer experience benchmark study to understand how UK consumers research and take out a personal loan. Respondents in our survey of 600 consumers searched using their own smartphone and desktop devices (300 on each device). Starting on a blank web page, each respondent was asked to “go online and search for different unsecured personal loans to find options that best suit your needs” as they normally would. With this benchmark study, WUA is able to determine customer experience and preference, and how real consumers experience the online research process for a personal loan.
During and after discovering at least 4 websites that offer personal loans, WUA asked the 600 respondents:
- Which providers did you encounter? Which websites did you find?
- Why did you continue on this website? Or, why did you give up?
- Which website is your final choice? Why? Which is your second choice? What could they do to improve?
- Did you use a comparison site? If so, which lender did you end up choosing?
- What did you like and dislike about the application process?
- And many more customer experience related questions.
The online customers have spoken! MoneySuperMarket.com rose above the competition. For the task “find a personal loan that suits your needs” consumers said MoneySuperMarket.com provided the best overall customer experience. Below the complete Digital Sales Score rankings you will find additional insights. These are only some of the quantitative findings of our study.
Digital Sales Score
Name study: Personal LoanMeasurement: December 2017Country: United Kingdom
- Total Desktop Mobile
- 1 MoneySuperMarket.com 62 62 63
- 2 Santander.co.uk 58 57 59
- 3 Tescobank.com 58 58 57
- 4 MoneySavingExpert.com 56 56 56
- 5 Barclays.co.uk 56 54 57
- 6 SainsburysBank.co.uk 55 56 55
- 7 CompareTheMarket.com 55 56 55
- 8 HALIFAX.co.uk 55 54 56
- 9 Nationwide.co.uk 54 53 56
- 10 LloydsBank.com 54 53 55
- 11 HSBC.co.uk 53 53 54
- 12 Zopa.com 53 54 51
- 13 NatWest.com 52 54 50
- 14 Gocompare.com 50 50 49
- At the base of each Digital Sales Scan® lies the Digital Sales Model. With this model, the details of the orientation process are mapped. Eventually the performance of a website is reflected in a single, overall score: the Digital Sales Score.
- Highest total score
- Highest score on device
Some of the quantitative findings of our study
The December 2017 Digital Sales Scan provides a snapshot of digital excellence in the UK personal loan market. With a Digital Sales Score of 62, MoneySuperMarket.com is ahead of the competition when it comes to findability and preference. This provider convinced 12% of study participants to make them their final choice: MoneySuperMarket.com was visited by 32% of participants, showing a conversion rate of 37%.
When it comes to overall findability, MoneySuperMarket.com scores 32%, slightly ahead of Santander.co.uk (29%) and Tescobank.com (27%). Then SainsburysBank.co.uk (21%) and Barclays.co.uk (20%) follow. Barclays.co.uk has a much higher findability on smartphone (23%) than on desktop (17%), whereas Zopa.com is better found on desktop (19%) than on smartphone (15%).
MoneySuperMarket.com has the highest Continue rate on desktop (30%) and smartphone (29%).
When consumers look at a website, they usually form a first impression based on what we call the customer experience themes of Look & Feel, Product Offer, and Brand. They then decide to either continue on the website to take a further look, or give up and visit another website.
- On desktop, CompareTheMarket.com gets the highest scores on Product Offer in both the First Impression phase and the Further Look phase (here together with Gocompare.com). In the First Impression phase, CompareTheMarket.com has the highest Look & Feel score as well. In the Further Look phase, the highest Look & Feel score goes to Nationwide.co.uk. The highest score on Brand is also for Nationwide.co.uk in both phases, in the First Impression this score is shared with LloydsBank.com. MoneySuperMarket.com scores 2-3 points above average on Look & Feel and Product Offer, and average on Brand.
- On smartphone, Nationwide.co.uk and MoneySavingExpert.com battle for the highest scores. Nationwide.co.uk has the highest Look & Feel score in both phases, in the Further Look phase this score is shared with MoneySavingExpert.com. Nationwide.co.uk and MoneySavingExpert.com also share the highest Product Offer score in the First Impression phase, and in the Further Look phase the highest Product Offer score is for MoneySavingExpert.com. The highest Brand score is for MoneySavingExpert.com in the First Impression phase, and for Nationwide.co.uk in the Further Look phase. MoneySuperMarket.com scores 1-2 points above average on Look & Feel and Product Offer, and around average on Brand.
- LloydsBank.com has the highest Overall Opinion score on desktop, 5 points above average. On smartphone, MoneySavingExpert.com has the highest Overall Opinion score, 7 points above average.
These are only some of the quantitative findings of our study. In each Digital Sales Scan WUA discovers the why behind the analytics. In this Digital Sales Scan, we answer the following questions and more:
- Why did MoneySuperMarket.com rank as #1?
- What are the best practices in the market?
- Why did consumers choose to continue on particular sites? Why not?
- How do consumers experience certain websites copmpared to others?
- Which website improvements will drive the most conversion, and ultimately sales?
Market performance over time and multi-country studies
WUA also carries out repeat measurements that offer valuable market insights over time. This enables you to track how your position within your market is changing, and the impact of any changes you have implemented since the previous measurement.
Digital Excellence: Who gets the highest preference?
Overall, MoneySuperMarket.com is the number 1 choice for 12% of respondents, whilst the next best preference score is 7%, for both Santander.co.uk and Tescobank.com. The top 3 providers in this study are second choice for 8% of respondents, and third choice for 7%. Relatively little effort is required to get preference from these groups of consumers as well.
Aim of this study
The aim of the study is to precisely identify the digital experience of consumers when they search for a personal loan. Who do they choose to buy from, and mainly: Why? Using a proven model WUA has worked on over the past eight years, we map out what it is exactly that consumers want, what the best practices are, and what the areas for improvement are. The following websites were assessed by consumers in the study:
All websites listed have analytics and insights in the update report. Not all websites were assessed by a statistically significant proportion of the respondents and thus could not be included in the ranking. For those interested, WUA can ask additional consumers to evaluate your website to be included in the benchmark. If interested, please contact us.
To beat the competition, you have to offer an excellent digital experience
This study shows once again that Digital Excellence is an absolute necessity. To beat the competition, you have to offer an excellent digital experience in the entire customer journey, and take the number 1 position when it comes to preference. Being found and scoring high in Google isn’t enough. Here’s an example.
WUA can give you insights to increase your conversion and beat the competition
In the study, WUA’s online experts reveal problem areas and areas for improvement for all customer experience themes, based on the Digital Sales Model.
We offer conclusions and concrete recommendations to a limited number of providers in a tailored report. Who can benefit from this study?
- Everyone who is commercially responsible: The winner takes it all.
- Management: For the right direction and mindset.
- Online marketing professionals: Get started immediately with the recommendations for higher conversion.
- Research: Thorough research with validated model is the foundation for digital success.
- Proposition/marketing: In addition to Look & Feel, the themes of Product Offer and Brand are key factors in the purchasing process.
Would you like more insights into the personal loan market? We have a crystal-clear image of your position and results.