Understanding what drives the purchase decision in pension and investment products

Gough, O. and Nurallah, M. 2009. Understanding what drives the purchase decision in pension and investment products. Journal of Financial Services Marketing. 14 (2), pp. 152-172.

TitleUnderstanding what drives the purchase decision in pension and investment products
AuthorsGough, O. and Nurallah, M.
Abstract

The aims of this paper are to first seek an understanding of consumer decision-making when purchasing pension and investment products, and second to ascertain how this decision-making affects the consumer's choice of distribution route. The study employed both focus groups and postal questionnaire survey methods based on the framework of a classical decision-making model that investigated problem recognition, information search, evaluation tools used and post-purchase. The findings show that the decision-making process experience differed to a lesser or greater degree depending on the distribution route. The majority of respondents had recognised the need to make a purchase decision long before seeking information. Younger respondents on all incomes believed that they must make some pension provision for themselves as opposed to relying on the government's retirement provision. Many changed channels for information searches, but tended to settle with the Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The two main evaluation tools for pension and investment were found to be the ‘charges’ and ‘historic fund performance’. The vast majority of respondents reiterated their worry that the outcomes would not be known until retirement. In terms of analysis by the level of ‘financial literacy’, respondents who scored in the upper quartile were more inclined to be on a higher income, less inclined to evaluate on charges and more proactive in discussing the investment strategy of their pension fund. Respondents who scored in the lower quartile had opposite results. One of the implications of these findings is that the younger respondents’ recognition of pension savings favours the government's intention to reverse the existing balance of pension distribution. The other main implication is that the findings will be of help to managers in appreciating the dominance of the IFA channel by providing an explanation of why consumers choose this route, and, additionally, can assist direct marketing managers in identifying customers who will be more likely to use multichannel or single-channel shoppers. It can also help the marketing manager increase the usage of different channels by addressing the factors driving the purchase decision and distribution choice.

JournalJournal of Financial Services Marketing
Journal citation14 (2), pp. 152-172
ISSN1363-0539
YearSep 2009
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1057/fsm.2009.14
Publication dates
PublishedSep 2009

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