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From: Jared Hamilton
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Paul Rushing

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Website conversion rates for other industries suffer from a cumbersome process.  The auto insurance industry spends a tremendous amount of money on traditional media to draw people to their websites.  Let's face it you can't watch a football game or the news with out seeing the GEICO Gecko or seeing the rapid service claim truck for Progressive encouraging people to get auto insurance quotes from their websites.

A study from JD Powers and Associates showed companies were only signing up 2% of all shoppers.  For the most part, the companies lose perspective consumers before even offering them a quote, says Jeremy Bowler, senior director of insurance practice. Reuters

What struck me as amazing in this press release was what causes the low conversion rates.  It was blamed on the cumbersome process involved to get a quote.  The companies are bringing a traditional sales funnel into their online activities.  The companies are making it hard to get a quote.  The closing ratio for people who actually go through the quote process online is only 20% while consumers that visit an agent or call in close at a much higher ratio at 52%.

Insurance companies are leaving a lot of leads that are not followed up on, Bowler says.  "[Insurance companies] spend all this money advertising to get people to come to the door, and they only follow up if the customer has filled out an application," he says. "Insurance companies have no way to measure how many more prospects escaped earlier in the shopping process--whether they were driven away by a cumbersome quote process, a non-responsive agency or misconceptions about price or service quality."

What can the retail automobile industry learn from this?  Read this and make your on conclusions.

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