MoneySupermarket : Distracting policy hunters
Badly sited click-through options take users away from the task in hand.
MoneySupermarket.com is a UK-based comparison site for a range of financial services including mortgages, insurance, pensions and bank accounts. It aggregates quotation information from providers’ sites and allows users to create a search profile to locate prices and details of matching products. Some products can be bought off the site, others require contacting the provider.
Each page of a profiling and product viewing journey is headed by a banner ad from a product provider. The content of the ad is not always directly related to the search topic. For example, an Eagle Star home insurance prompt (“click here for”) was running this morning on the travel insurance pages. Other recent examples include an invitation to “face the Daredevil Challenge”, a link through to a Tesco-branded interactive game involving stunt-jumping supermarket trolleys.
MoneySupermarket is making a mighty effort to undermine its key proposition: helping people to select and buy a specified product.
This happens in two ways. Either users are prompted by click-through ads to leave their current search/order to look at an unrelated product (home insurance rather than travel insurance) or no product at all (the Daredevil game – a complete distraction from the selling journey). Or the site is presenting click-throughs to a specific provider in the course of a process that is supposed to give users the chance to find and compare the products most suitable to their individual needs.
The result is increased opportunities to lose customers in the middle of a sale (MoneySupermarket gets a commission for every deal it initiates), reduced consumer confidence in the neutrality of the comparison service (the ads are obviously partisan) and a poor deal for advertisers (people selecting apples are going to be less interested just then in your offer of pears).http://www.moneysupermarket.com
First published on 07 August, 2003