2021: The year insurers must prioritise their online user experience

Brand Identity, Digital Marketing

March 1, 2021

With the rapid digital evolution of previous years combined with the C word which has completely stripped the market, and the world, of physical networking, now is the time for insurers to up their game when it comes to the online experience they provide for their clients.

We’ve been helping our insurance clients to do this for years – but this really is the year to make it happen.

Now more than ever, insurers need to be dealing with their online experience

“Carriers need to evolve their digital capabilities and online user experiences to remain relevant and competitive,” says a recent McKinsey report.

In their recent article, entitled ‘Moving to a user-first, omnichannel approach’, McKinsey reported on the sheer increase in insurance policies and products now being sold digitally. According to McKinsey, roughly one in four motor insurance policies in Germany is sold online, while other property- and personal-insurance products are increasingly being purchased through digital channels. The pandemic has, of course, strengthened these trends, with customers now much more comfortable with – and reliant on – digital and remote interaction models and tools.

Out of more than 3,000 people across Europe surveyed in October 2019, 38% classed digital as their preferred sales channel for life insurance. After the first few weeks of the first lockdown in 2020, this rose to 54%.

We know established insurers are investing heavily in digitising their customer journeys, and we have seen several new digital insurers and insurtechs enter the market. This may all be ringing alarm bells for traditional insurers, who will be mindful of the impact new entrants such as PayPal and TransferWise had on their banking industry peers.

Three things for insurers to prioritise

Looking ahead to the ‘new normal’ when we are the other side of the pandemic, integration of an omnichannel, user-first approach will be key to success. These three core elements will need to be prioritised:

  • Availability of online purchasing capability
  • Ease of navigation for online customer journeys
  • Seamless integration of sales support and advice capabilities.

Effective implementation of this strategy will require a shift in focus towards the customer journey and application of selected technologies and organisational capabilities.

UX marks the spot

The design and functionality of websites is more important than ever. Insurers’ websites must be able to pre-empt what a user is looking for and cater to it in an easy, instant, and engaging manner.

In a blog we published last year comparing the user-experience (UX) of B2B websites to B2C websites, we said the following – which is more relevant now than ever:

Customers are fickle creatures with short attention spans who need every website experience to be as easy and fun as possible, or they’ll bounce. B2B sites need to be set up in a way that makes the steps your users need to go through to convert, whether making a purchase or simply signing up for more information, as straightforward as possible.

Generally, you’ll have two types of visitor to your site; those who want to browse and those who know exactly what they want. You can use website design to craft a UX that will work seamlessly for every visitor. 

The need for speed, design, and journeys

McKinsey’s article places great focus on three dimensions: speed of websites, quality and performance of landing pages, and quality of UX across product journeys. These all echo our recommendations to clients during website projects.

McKinsey says the following about each dimension:

  • Speed of site
    “There is a strong correlation between site speed and bounce and conversion rates, and this is true in every area of finance. If the loading time takes longer than three seconds, 53% of users leave a mobile site. Even a loading time extended by just one second reduces the conversion rate on mobile devices drastically, while a delay of two seconds can increase bounce rates by almost 100 percent.”
  • Performance of landing page
    “Many landing pages are still packed with small-font text on insurance products, so they not only overload users but also fail to guide their attention to relevant subjourneys.”
  • Quality of product journeys
    “Netflix, Revolut, and Zalando have set the benchmark for easy, intuitive onboarding and purchasing journeys. Amazon famously cut the purchasing journey to one click for preregistered users. In recent years, aggregators have started to radically rebuild and simplify insurance purchasing journeys, and new direct players have entered the market. Many traditional players have now partially caught up and offer online product journeys of a similarly high quality—but only for less-complex products, such as motor, household, and personal liability insurance.”

The issue for many organisations is that tackling poor online performance can feel overwhelming. The trick is to understand not everything needs to be tackled at once but have a plan to tackle everything over time! Our own web division has never been busier then now, which is unsurprising – but I would urge you to reflect that yours should be too.

Can we help? 

If you need help streamlining your user-first omnichannel approach, you can: