Today, Google India put together a report on the financial service industry by combining the Google search trends in India, and an independent research report conducted by TNS Australia discussing the influence of the Internet on the purchase decision of financial products by Indian Internet users.
The report revealed that the online medium has emerged as the most preferred source of information for Internet users, since over 2/3rd of all Internet users were found using online sources when researching for financial products. The report reveals that in the online research process, more than 66 percent of the Internet users, who were in the market to buy financial products, changed their mind about the product and brand. The report found that the influence of the Internet research was the highest for Loans (75 percent home loans, 73 percent personal loans), Insurance came in a close second (motor insurance 70 percent, health insurance 70 percent and life insurance 69 percent).
Internet research influenced Loans the most
The report projected that with over 99 million urban active Internet users in India, financial services need to adopt a new approach to engage, and serve the needs of the digitally savvy customers.
In the research process, the Internet played an important role at various stages of the buying process. More than 42 percent users stated that they became aware of new products and brands, while another 58 percent said that Internet helped in their initial research and over 62 percent confirmed that they used Internet for intense research before turning back on their final purchase. Though the product was finally purchased offline, Internet research influenced two out of three applications, with 24 percent of the users buying or applying online, 70 percent applying offline, and 38 percent buying offline influenced by online.
Speaking on the occasion of the release of the report, Rajan Anandan, Managing Director and VP, Sales and Operations, Google India, said, “India today 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”.
Further, the report found that the total search volume for queries pertaining to finance is rising at over 43 percent YoY on Google. On searches coming from desktops, banking-related queries account for more than 73 percent of the total queries, and are witnessing a growth of over 45 percent YoY. There has been an increase in use of mobile phones to surf the Internet for finance-related information. It added that mobile queries on Google search grew three times faster than the searches coming from desktop; one out 10 finance-related queries in India came from mobile devices.