Most eBusiness executives wouldn't dream of putting comparisons of their products with those of their competitors on their own sites. But it's time to start dreaming. If the number of customers visiting comparison sites continues to grow, we will eventually reach the point where the majority of customers use them. It will make sense for some companies to offer comparisons long before that point is reached.
Since a couple of weeks, Dutch online insurer AllSecure — which is the online brand of Allianz — provides site visitors access to price comparison site premie.nl directly from its site. After filling in the license plate of the car that they want to insure, the site automatically pulls required car information like car brand, type, age, and price. Based on this information — and some personal data that the user needs to enter— he receives a personal quote that can be customized. Next to the quote, a box with a link to price comparison site premie.nl is presented.
Once the user clicks on the link, the personal data and car information is automatically used for a comparison query on premie.nl. A new browser window is opened that shows how AllSecur compares to four other providers.
AllSecure's initiative clearly makes sense: If online buyers use a comparison site as part of their research process anyway, why not offer them access to it directly on the provider’s site? By providing a “one-stop-shop” experience, the firm can limit the chance that the buyer will go to a comparison site directly and eventually buys somewhere else.
In mid-February, Augie Ray will be leaving Forrester to lead the social media efforts at a Fortune 500 company. I’m going to miss working directly with Augie. But at the same time, I understand why he’s taking this new role. The analyst job boils down to two amazing responsibilities: 1) Do courageous research; and 2) Apply your research to help a client. Every so often, while doing the latter, an analyst decides it’s time to move back to the practitioner world. I wish Augie the very best (i.e., thousands of positive customer reviews) as he creates and implements the social strategy for his new company.
My role at Forrester is to help Customer Intelligence professionals better understand the constantly shifting nature of social media and the ways it informs customer marketing and business strategies. With that in mind, I'm excited to announce that today we're bringing a little more social media to you, with our new Forrester Community For Customer Intelligence Professionals -- a place to discuss the business challenges CI professionals face every day.
The Forrester Community For Customer Intelligence Professionals will serve as a resource for connecting with peers and Forrester analysts, sharing stories, asking and answering questions, and discussing the topics most interesting to you. This online community is open to all CI professionals, so feel free to pass the link along to your colleagues. During the past year at Forrester, we've trialed other role communities with great success and look forward to helping The Forrester Community For Customer Intelligence Professionals grow in the coming months.
In The Forrester Community For Customer Intelligence Professionals, you will find:
A simple platform on which you can pose your questions and get advice from peers who face the same business challenges.
Insight from our analysts, who weigh in frequently on the issues.
Fresh perspectives from peers, who share their real-world success stories and best practices.
Content on the latest technologies and trends affecting your business -- from Forrester and other thought leaders.