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Most Financial Consumers Change Mind After Online Research

Most of the people who look into financial products and services change their minds after doing research on the internet, according to a recent finance survey.

Report methods

The report

Most of the people who look into financial products and services change their minds after doing research on the internet, according to a recent finance survey.

Report methods

The report was created when Google India combined data garnered from search trends of the nation's consumers and a research report conducted by TNS Australia investigating the impact that online research has on the buying decisions of Indian internet users, Business Standard reports.

Indian consumers

Data provided by a iCube-IMRB survey conducted in July 2012 indicated that the Asian nation has around 137 million people who use the internet, and 99 million users in urban India are active, according to the news source. Since consumers are using new buying behavior related to their use of the internet, financial services firms need to use new methods to engage these customers and serve their needs.

According to the research, at least 25 million internet users have purchased one or more products online, the media outlet reports. Of this total, 15 million engage in online banking. The number of banking queries has surged 345 percent since 2008. Since that time, investing has risen 268 percent and insurance has increased 265 percent. These staggering growth figures provide a sense of urgency for anyone who wants to sell financial products or services to consumers in this market.

PTI reports that the total number of finance related queries that Indian consumers are making on Google has surged more than 43 percent per year. Of these total search queries, 73 percent are related to banking activities. The report also indicated that more consumers are performing these searches using mobile devices. The brands that came up the most in searches include Union Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank. 

Report results

The data provided by the report indicates that more than two-thirds of of all online users rely on the internet to do research on financial products, according to PTI. The document also stated that while doing this online research, more than 66 percent of these users changed their mind about different products and brands.

Buying offline

The report stated that "while the final purchase of the product or service is still done offline - internet research influenced 2 out of 3 applications - with 24 per cent users buying/applying online, 70 per cent applying offline and 38 per cent buying offline influenced by online," according to the media outlet.

"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," stated Rajan Anandan, managing director and VP sales and operations at Google India, Business Standard reports.

Mobile devices

The survey results indicated that for every 10 finance-related queries, one is done on a mobile device. The number of search queries coming from mobile phones has been rising at a rate of 85 percent year-over-year, searches related to investments surged at a rate of 105 percent year-over-year and insurance queries spiked 75 percent per year.

Conclusions

As a developing economy that has been experiencing robust economic growth while many more developed countries suffer tepid recoveries, India is developing a middle class with increased buying power. The Google India survey provides strong insight into their growing use of the internet, and this information can be harnessed by corporations large and small that want to sell to the country's consumers.