KOLKATA: Indian consumers are using internet for not just research into financial products but even purchasing them. A latest study indicated that about 18% of all financial products are sold online in India. However, using internet for research on products still takes centrestage. Nearly 68% of consumers go online to research on products that interest them.
The study was conducted by Google and implemented by the strategic market research firm Media Screen LLC to gain deeper understanding of the Indian consumer behaviour in the online space. The encouraging trend is that such activities are not just limited to the urban pockets.
“Using internet for such transactions is more skewed towards metros due to the greater penetration of internet. But, there is an equally optimistic demand arising from smaller towns. As regulations on selling financial products become more relaxed in India, the number of online transactions will increase manifold,” Google India business head (financial services) Sridhar Seshadri told ET.
The study highlighted that comparing costs and product details are the two most common online financial research activities. Between the two, comparing costs have become more important than evaluating product details (48% vs 42%).
“The financial company websites are the most important online source when making the final decision,” said Mr Seshadri.
However, search engines play a major role in accessing other websites and nearly 67% of respondents use them for financial product research. Some 30% of consumers use search engines to become aware of special rates/promotions and to access expert advice. Around 55% see an online advertisement and click on them to learn more.
Coming to the specifics, consumers undertaking research for banking services, for instance, get such information from TV advertisements (41%), search engines (69%) and bank’s website (47%). Credit card shoppers, too, use comparison shopping sites for gathering information. Those seeking new loans rely as much on online sources as on advice from friends, family or colleagues, the Google study noted
6 months ago