'Fin services need to adopt new approach for net-savvy users'
New Delhi: Over two-thirds of Internet users when researching for financial services change their mind about products and brands, a study by Google Thursday said.
During the online research phase, over 66 percent of the Internet users who were in the market to buy financial products changed their mind about the product and brand," a study commissioned by Google India and conducted by TNS Australia said.
This indicates that financial services need to adopt a new approach to engage and serve the needs of the digitally savvy customers, it added.
The study, comprising 1,006 respondents in the age group of 18 to 60 years across 19 cities, was conducted to determine the influence of Internet on the purchase decision of financial products by Indian Internet users.
According to the report, the influence of Internet research was the highest for loans (75 percent home loans, 73 percent personal loans), followed by insurance (motor insurance 70 percent, health insurance 70 percent and life insurance 69 percent).
The report said during the research process, Internet plays an important role at various stages of the buying process.
Over 42 percent respondents said they became aware of new products and brands. While 58 percent said Internet helped in their initial research, over 62 percent said they used Internet for intense research before deciding on their final purchase.
Though the final purchase of the product or service is still done offline, Internet research influenced 2 out of 3 applications, the study said.
"India Thursday has over 137 million Internet users, and a very high percentage of those users are urban users (99 million) with high disposable income.
"Given the reach of Internet to high value customers and its influence on the decision making for financial products, we believe that financial services can create significant value by innovating on the digital medium and adopting an 'online first' approach to serve the needs of the digitally savvy customers," Google India MD and VP Sales and Operations Rajan Anandan said.
The total search volume for finance-related queries are growing at over 43 percent year-on-year on Google.
There is also increased use of mobile phones to surf the Internet for finance-related information, with mobile queries on Google search growing three times faster than the searches coming from desktop. Also, one out 10 finance-related queries in India comes from mobile, the report said.
According to the report, most searched banking brands included HDFC Bank, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank.
Most searched insurance brands included LIC, ICICI Prudential and Bajaj Allianz, while investment brands included ICICI Direct, Sharekhan and HDFC Securities.