From research to purchase: an empirical analysis of research-shopping behaviour in the insurance sector
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Though almost every insurer provides an integrated solution for online product research and purchase for existing and potentially new customers, there is still a significant percentage of customers turning into research-shoppers, a practice of using one channel for products search and another for purchase. This trend is visible from the channel usage statistics: according to various studies, while more than half of the customers worldwide use the insurers own website for product research, only a minor percentage of them stays there for purchase purposes. The preferred purchase channel often remains the one that enables personal contact to the sales person. This situation is mostly due to the high complexity of the insurance products. In addition, insurance products belong to the category of experience goods, where the evaluation of the product price and characteristics is difficult and can be based only upon previous experience, e.g. after experiencing a claim. While channel switch might lead to higher profit since multichannel customers were found to spend more, the change of the insurer is a serious threat. In this paper we address this issue and analyse the research-shopper phenomenon in the insurance industry. We investigate which customer and policy characteristics influence the research-shopping behaviour in terms of duration from research conducted via an online channel to purchase conducted using offline channels. Our empirical study is based on a sample of approximately 10 000 research-shopper customers of a large Swiss insurance company across the three insurance products: motor, household/liability and travel insurance. The obtained results show that there are several customer characteristics that have an effect over the duration to purchase and that these characteristics differ across different products. Our findings are relevant to academics and practitioners alike and are important for multichannel management and better understanding of the customer journey. Show more
Journal / seriesZeitschrift für die gesamte Versicherungswissenschaft
Pages / Article No.
SubjectNon-life insurance; Multichannel distribution; Research-shopping; Empirical analysis; Nichtlebenversicherung; Mehrkanalvertrieb; Research-Shopping; Empirische Analyse
Organisational unit03681 - Fleisch, Elgar / Fleisch, Elgar
NotesIt was possible to publish this article open access thanks to a Swiss National Licence with the publisher.
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