Digital technology has been a growing part of our daily lives since the first PC came out in the 1970s, but it is only in the past decade that there have been significant changes in consumer behaviour. In short, the rise of the digital age has changed consumer behaviour and it has transformed ecommerce. To put things into perspective, Hong Kong’s ecommerce revenue amounts to $4,742 million in 2019, while China’s ecommerce revenue totals $723,131 million, the highest among other global markets.
In other parts of Asia, Indonesia is predicted to become the next big ecommerce market, put behind China and India, with a projected growth of 50 percent annually and a market value of $130 billion by 2020. New-age consumers are constantly connected to the internet with their smartphones, and millennials are leading the way for shoppers who are willing to buy everything, from books to insurance policies using a device.
With increasing competition and range of services offered online, new expectations for online versus physical locations have emerged. Studies show that the average website has just 15 seconds to hook a viewer, meaning that consumers expect flawless web design, quick loading time and easy navigation. Product reviews and price comparisons are just a click away, putting pressure on businesses to ensure full consumer satisfaction. Choice and convenience of shopping from anywhere dominates consumer motivations, while affordability also plays a key role.
Transitioning from physical shops to online services has also transformed how consumers interact with businesses. Traditionally, the financial services industry, especially insurance often emphasises on face-to-face engagement. However, with having wealth of information at their fingertips, consumers depend on websites and social media channels to access product reviews and information, and even to make a purchase. Online engagements have become more important than one might think—with over 67 percent of consumers perceiving reviews to be an important element of online shopping.
As web browsing and mobile payment systems become more and more sophisticated, experts suggest that the majority of purchases will eventually be made from smartphones, using payment technology and digital fingerprint recognition. In turn, online retailers and services will need to offer more personalised options for customers to grab their attention away from competitors.
Physical shops, on the other hand, will need to invest in new strategies such as better delivery services, interactive stores and competitive pricing to compete with the online market. From news to KOL to video feeds to drone deliveries, it is clear that the way we use retailers and services will never be the same—and the time has come for businesses to accept the future and embrace digital evolution.
Embracing digital for sophisticated products
Against this background, Generali Hong Kong understands the importance of embracing the digital age. The insurer has launched a simple and hassle-free smart single-trip travel product, Bravo Travel Protector, to meet the specific needs of new-age consumers. It provides travellers with comprehensive global coverage in minutes, regardless of their travel destination, at competitive prices with a few simple clicks on Generali’s digital platform, Bravo Generali.
Along the ease of buying a new policy, Bravo Travel Protector attracts loyalty with its “buy again” function, bypassing the repeated motions of filling in personal details. This seamless experience continues across the customer journey, with simple claim procedures. Customers can submit a claim by uploading relevant photos and documents and overcome the tedious process form by moving into the digital age.
In this context, Bravo Travel Protector won the International Finance Awards for Best Travel Insurance Product 2020. Bravo Generali’s first B2B2C digital platform not only serves customers, but also brokers, distributors and business partners. The platform’s API capability is integrated into all retail GI products on shelf. “Starting to look at customer needs at a micro level. Actually other insurers also start to follow suit after our first move,” said Windian Lai, B2B2C Business Head of Generali Hong Kong. “We partner and develop innovative products that target customers’ needs particularly during this time. For example, in introducing a bill insurance, there are a lot of flexible, casual, or self-employed workers, whose income will cease when they stop working. Hence, this insurance provides a way for life to keep moving. We also introduced Covid-related campaigns, offering coverage for our brokers and customers. We also partnered with different companies to provide complimentary coverage, and embedded Covid-protection in Bravo Shield.”
There are customers who are now conscious of undiscovered diseases and seek protection against them, creating an overall awareness on the importance of health and insurance. “We see more adoption of our Bravo Generali platform by our brokers and business partners when ecommerce is becoming a more prominent trend,” said Windian. “We strive to create innovative and competitive products customised to the people in Hong Kong and [meet] their needs. We plan to dive further into the digital age and enhance our digital tools and offerings, build new strategic partnerships, increase brand awareness and Generali’s position in the market. Our ambition is to be a lifetime partner to our customers.”
In this article, references to “Generali” and “Generali Hong Kong” means Assicurazioni
Generali S.p.A. – Hong Kong Branch.