At Affiliate Window we've been focusing on several niche sectors with the advertisers we work with.
The aim of these reports has been to shed greater light on the nuances seen within these specific advertisers, who quite often differ from the typical retail, travel and finance affiliate trends, and to provide sector-specific actions for programme managers.
This series looks at variety of sub sectors, taking into consideration online market reports in tandem with typical affiliate reporting metrics such as conversion, AOV, growth/decline curves and device sale splits. This report analyses the UK motor insurance sector.
The Associate of British Insurers (ABI) showed that in 2012 approximately 19.6 million households out of a total of 26.4 million had motor insurance. Online market competition is fierce, with the majority of consumers having an active insurance policy and over 120 insurers listed with comparison site Confused.com alone. Research conducted by The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) showed that over half of all new insurance business comes through price comparison websites, so the second stat is an important one.
The average price of motor insurance has fluctuated in recent years. Since 1996, insurance premiums have rose consistently until the middle of 2012, doubling from 2006 to 2011 following the rise of personal injury claims such as whiplash. The ABI estimates that around 1,500 of claims for whiplash alone occur each day, adding £90 to the average consumer’s annual premiums.
In Q2 2015, figures from the Confused.com index show the current average cost of a comprehensive motor insurance policy - obtained via its own comparison portal - sits at £627 for men and £566 for females. This is significantly higher than the overall sector average renewal recorded at £372 per year in 2014 by the ABI, which may be indicative to how different demographics purchase their motor insurance.
Policy sales via the affiliate channel (based on the current trajectory) are up nearly 25% in 2015 versus last year. With prices on the rise, we can expect AOVs to increase over the coming year as the wider industry continues to impact the sector.
We have also seen strong growth in mobile sales, with smartphone purchases increasing from 2.40% in 2014 to 4.19% in 2015 to date. As advertisers in the sector continue to optimise mobile customer journeys, we can expect this to rise even further.
Trends over time: The graph below indicates the monthly sales trend for Affiliate Window’s motor insurance advertisers:
Key performance indicators
Average order value (AOV)
Whilst sales have grown over the past two years, we have seen a drop in the AOV, reflecting a decrease in policy prices seen in the wider industry. The AOV in 2013 was £324.85 versus £288.14 this year.
Conversion rates in the motor insurance sector are high, with rates improving consistently from 2013, where the average was 10.77% compared to 11.73% this year.
Earnings per click (EPC) and commissions
Across the whole sector, EPC has remained fairly consistent, however there has been a slight increase in 2015 to £0.71 in line with an improved conversion rate, from £0.67 in 2013. The average commission has dropped from £13.94 in 2013, but remains healthy at £11.94 this year.
Mobile performance has seen consistent growth over the past two years, with tablet-derived sales increasing from 10.21% in 2013 to 17.63% this year. Smartphones have seen higher growth with 0.99% in 2013 compared to 4.19% this year.
Tools for affiliates
Typically, most motor insurance programmes will offer affiliates standard banner creative and text links. Some programmes also have various post purchase vouchers and deals.
In the chart below, we’ve broken out the percentage of affiliate’s transactions by publisher type. Results for each promotional type have remained fairly consistent across the past four years. We have seen an increase this year in discount code sales, rising up to 35.66% of the total. Whilst holding 11.35% last year, communities & UGC have decreased to 8.10% this year.
Cashback has maintained a similar share from 2014 to 2015 with 39.84% this year, but this is much lower than the 43.83% reported in 2012.
Finally, we've compiled some niche sites for advertisers to consider:
Liked this? Read more from the series here.