1 in 4 consumers rely on comparison websites to make decisions

Elizabeth Barry 1 February 2017

using a comparison website

New research from personal loan lender NOW FINANCE has revealed consumers' increasing reliance on comparison websites.

A customer survey from personal loan lender NOW FINANCE has shown Australian consumers' online preferences when making a decision. When asked how they undertake research for personal finance, 26.02% cited comparison websites as their go-to online resource. This was only second to online search engines such as Google, which almost half (47.74%) said was their first choice.

The survey, which included responses from 1,278 of NOW FINANCE's customers, shows the changing nature of decision-making online.

"Customers are becoming more discerning and there is a growing realisation that there are credible and often better alternatives to the banks when looking for a personal loan to meet a specific need," said Richard Blumberg, managing director of NOW FINANCE. "With this in mind, we are not surprised that consumers are seeking out tools to help make a more informed decision when taking out a loan."

The survey also found comparison websites as the top ranked choice for consumers making a high-value buying decision, with 63% of respondents citing this as their top choice. The next most relied upon resources were social media (26.42%) and online advertisements (11.69%).

"With the growth of competition and choice available to consumers, good comparison websites are an important tool for consumers trying to make the right choice," said Blumberg. However, he added that in addition to interest rates, consumers need to factor in other features in order to make the right decision.

"Interest rates have historically been the catalyst for buying decisions, however, in today’s environment customers are increasingly also looking for service and a good customer experience over the life of a loan," he said.

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