For time-constrained South Africans, choosing between financial products and service providers can be a laborious and challenging task. Despite the increasing access to all sorts of information online, it remains a complex and daunting process to sift through various product offerings, pricing structures, terms and conditions.
“This complexity is especially problematic when trying to choose between products and providers in the mobile, banking and insurance spheres, where contracts are often filled with jargon and consumers are understandably wary of hidden fees,” explains Ryan Marx, CEO of CompareGuru, a site which draws on independent research to help consumers navigate this difficult landscape. “All too often, consumers are locked into unfavourable contracts and services, without being fully informed of what they’re really getting into – and the true value they are deriving.”
Having fulfilled this critical consumer watchdog role for the past several years under the brand Click ‘n Compare, the new identity of CompareGuru signifies the company’s shift to a more tailored and personalised experience for information hungry users on the site.
Click ‘n Compare currently attracts 50 000 users and 150 000 page views monthly, and the site generates an average of 10 000 leads a month. The majority of these leads are generated in the following categories: mobile (2 000); insurance (2 000) and loans (4 500). Current users will be automatically directed to the new CompareGuru site.
“This is a transparent, easy-to-use platform on which consumers can harness reams of independently sourced information, as well as the unfiltered feedback and reviews of thousands of like-minded users,” adds Marx. “Through the newly created ‘Ask the Guru’ feature, we are essentially putting the power back in the hands of consumers and giving them a voice in the marketplace.”
The Ask the Guru feature enables users to engage in a real-time Question & Answer session with an independent financial advisor. According to Marx, the financial providers listed on the site will each have an individual Guru grading, based on NPS scores and consumer ratings. In addition, users will have full view of product offerings and the current availability of services, allowing them to draw on the Guru expertise to make informed decisions.
“We are establishing an added layer of visibility for consumers, in addition to our standard offerings such as budget planning and financial assessments,” notes Marx. “Unlike other comparative tools, which aggregate their own products and providers, CompareGuru draws entirely on independently sourced data from live API engines. Naturally, this prevents us from randomly pushing any brand or provider over another, as everything is automatically – and objectively – rated according to consumer feedback and reviews.”
As consumers become increasingly wary of over-zealous product punts and crafty service providers in the financial realm, independent comparative tools – and particularly those that cross verticals – are set to become a critical part of the decision-making process.
“With instant access to qualified and independent advice, such tools can be used daily to unlock real value,” adds Marx.