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Dear insurer, your customers compare you with Amazon, not other insurers

By

Jan 01, 1970

‘Buying insurance is joyful’ – said no consumer ever. Specifically, the millennials who now represent a major part of the consumer sector. However, scores of them worldwide, and certainly in the US, derive joy in shopping on Amazon, eBay, iTunes and several other online outlets. Even if the concept of finding joy in shopping is farfetched for some of us, at a minimum these outlets offer a convenient and intuitive shopping experience.

There are many reasons why consumers expect you to be toe-to-toe with online shopping experience. Here are a few hygiene elements insurance needs to incorporate to come close to e-commerce.

Mobile comes first

With consumers making the most of their downtime with mobile devices, not being on mobile is a non-negotiable for them. Online retailers have a mobile experience that provides access on the go, location-targeted marketing offers and easy payment methods.

As an insurer you should consider selling policies online, spanning across all devices, but make mobile the topmost priority. The experience on mobile and tablet devices should be adapted to the desktop version, not the other way round.

Take away the pain of filling forms

Form-filling has long been the nemesis of insurance. Not so for online sellers. 1-click ordering, a legendary feature on Amazon allows you to sync your credit card details to your account one time and make all future purchases with just one click. This creates an extra level of convenience for the customer.

If there’s only one thing you can take up this year, let it be the task of making the ACORD form simple. Let your customers never ever have to tell you the same thing twice. Ensure that there is no duplication in fields, and bring in auto-fill features, dynamic flows and easy-to-follow next steps.

Get to know your customers (even better than they know themselves)

If you ask (within reason), there’s a good chance that consumers might tell you what they like and what they want. Online shops are quite clued in on this account. Based on a customer’s location, weather, known habits and past purchases, they offer products and services that often appear serendipitous to the consumer.

Tailored experience, specialized offers and promotions are reasons for which consumers are known to trade with certain amount of personal data. With growing number of wearables and other smart devices, insurance can benefit a great deal from what data has to offer. The precedent for collecting information in a non-invasive way has been set by retail industry among others, insurance should follow suit.

Information is not always intimidating

In our attention-deficit society, it’s no wonder that consumers want to avoid blobs of texts and fine-print. Online retailers classify products into neat categories and break up the product descriptions into digestible chunks. This equips the users with all the necessary knowledge. Amazon has a solid review system of products which further helps consumers learn about the actual way in which the product works. And arguably, this review system is perceived to be unbiased.

Give consumers as much information as there can be to aid their research process. Categorize information on products according to coverage, who it is useful for and supplement it with a quick quote tool.

Upsell and cross-sell need not be hard sell

When a customer buys a pair of Nike shoes, they are highly likely to get other running gear, maybe even a Nike FuelBand. The retailer knows this and bundles products together. Shoppers not only have the convenience of getting everything in one place, but also a slight encouragement to check out other products.

In insurance, a small business owner who just bought a life product maybe be scouting for a good deal to cover other aspects of their business. Product recommendations and targeted marketing that are relevant to the customer are perceived as help instead of annoyance.

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