At a time when most consumers are spending conservatively, with a hawkish eye on every last Rand, value for money has become paramount. Long gone are the days when people sign on to mobile contracts on a whim, or buy insurance products at the behest of a smiling salesman. With deep-seated economic and political uncertainty prevailing, consumers are looking to inform themselves as best they can before spending a cent.
“The good news for sceptical South Africans is that a host of new and sophisticated digital tools are coming online, giving people much-needed access to information,” says Ryan Marx, CEO of CompareGuru, a site which draws on independent research to help consumers choose between products in the mobile, broadband, banking and insurance spheres. “However, as more of these platforms become available, the key differentiator will be the credibility and transparency of the data, as well as the perceived authority and expertise behind any advice given.”
Having only launched two months ago, the CompareGuru site appears to be ticking these boxes for online information seekers, with over 100 000 unique visitors within the first month of the platform officially going live.
“We have also seen a remarkably high number of average daily new users to the site, which is sitting at well over 7 000,” adds Marx. “These numbers are reflective of the way in which consumers are now conducting lengthy and in-depth research into various product categories and options before buying.”
According to CompareGuru, the average site visitor is 40 years or older, with most visitors browsing on mobile devices. User interests range from movie and TV lovers to news and political junkies, celebrity followers, social media addicts and travel buffs.
“We also have a team of expert writers and reporters who engage with industry leaders and analyse key data in order to provide credible information,” explains Marx. “In essence, this team, and the site more broadly, fulfils an important watchdog role which has been sorely missing within certain industry verticals in South Africa for some time.”
Tellingly, CompareGuru’s industry articles which have attracted the most user interest in the past month have included:
In the coming months, CompareGuru will be adding to its tailored offering with several new features designed to address consumer pain points and provide much needed expert guidance in the financial realm.
“We are in the process of developing an advanced quote engine, as well as a feature called Guru Grade,” notes Marx. “Service providers will each have an individual Guru grading, based on NPS scores and consumer ratings. This feature speaks to our core mission of providing SA consumers with independent and verified information and advice…enabling smarter decision making and improved savings.”
Prior to the arrival of the Digital era, marketers and advertisers gained insight into consumer sentiment via door-to-door visits, lengthy paper surveys and tedious questionnaires.
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At a time when most consumers are spending conservatively, with a hawkish eye on every last Rand, value for money has become paramount. Long gone