Fibre Compare (www.fibrecompare.com) is a fibre optic, broadband and TV price comparison website.
The idea for the website came about after spending many years (12 to be exact!) selling our own broadband products online via comparison sites (we all worked together for an Internet Service Provider). Promoting our broadband online was relatively straight forward, it allowed us to compete with the big providers on an equal footing, provided fantastic brand validation without the need for a huge accompanying marketing budget, and customers using the comparison sites appeared very happy with the end to end process (and user experience) and the price of the services they purchased.
Consumer Demand & UK Broadband Market
In recent years we noticed that fibre broadband was in growing demand as consumers changed their habits towards utilising their home broadband connection for streaming TV, movies, music, video calling, online gaming and working from home, all on their laptops, tablets and smartphones. All of this required higher speed broadband (fibre) and the market statistics highlighted that by mid 2017 the number of connected fibre customers had reached 35% of the UK market - leaving 55% of the market still to switch from a possible 90% total coverage.
Give the scale of the consumer demand and our own experiences in both broadband and comparison, we thought it would be a fantastic idea if we built our own fibre broadband comparison site, utilising our market knowledge and contacts in the industry, to help all the millions of customers looking to switch to newly available fibre broadband and TV services.
The Fibre Compare website was developed throughout 2017 and holds affiliate partnerships with all the major broadband, home phone and TV providers in the UK such as Sky, BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, SSE, Vodafone as well as smaller, emerging suppliers.
Our objective as a business is to challenge the established UK price comparison sites with a large focus on switching customers to fibre broadband, promoting fibre broadband wherever possible and taking a small slice of the enormous UK broadband and TV switching market.
What is unique about the site?
1. The home of fibre broadband: We focus on fibre broadband and encourage customers to switch to fibre throughout the UK.
2. Our team. A team of experienced telecommunications personnel who have actually worked throughout our careers within a Internet Service Providers and telecoms companies. This means we are well equipped to scrutinise package pricing and special offers before we put them live on our site. Some sites list promoted deals at the top of their calculator which aren't always in the better interests of the customer buying them - instead we list the fibre packages in true price ascending order, broken down in to easy to understand information.
How is the website promoted?
The site is advertised online and receives customer traffic from Google (paid search advertising), from Facebook Ads and also via organic site referrals. When a customer clicks on a Fibre Compare advert on Google, they are taken to the home page of our website and asked to enter their postcode in order to retrieve a personalised set of fibre, broadband and TV packages available at their home address.
Comparing fibre packages / switching
The customer postcode is used to interrogate our availability database (which holds hundreds of fibre, broadband and TV packages) and the customer is shown a clearly presented list of packages, arranged in price ascending order and the customer can flick between fibre + TV, fibre only and sports TV packages from each provider. Customers can then select the package the want to switch to and click on the 'Buy Now' button.
The customer is directed to the provider website to complete the signup process. A special tracking code within the product signup 'Buy Now' link helps us and the broadband providers track the customer order we have delivered for them and in return Fibre Compare receives a commission from the providers for sales when the orders mature (when the customers become active - such as when the broadband service is installed).
How does the site make money?
Fibre Compare makes its money by offsetting the advertising costs (mainly Google and Facebook) against the commissions we make from product sales. It takes 2-3 months from the date of the customer sale for us to receive our commission and the tracking software means we can see the progress of each sale and its outcome. We aim to make make 500 sales per month as a year one target and in order to do this we need to cover the cost of advertising and the staff costs.
What will you do with the money raised?
We are very proud to have developed the site to the current extent with a team of just four people, but we need a lot more help to keep the customer experience from 'advert to active' as good as it can possibly be.
We are using Crowdfunder to help us 'get the ball rolling' and to pay for our first few months of advertising and operating costs while we build out our campaign with Google and Facebook. We will then reinvest the earnings from the sales generated in these early months to pay for subsequent months of advertising and also to grow the team. It will be a slow building process in year one but we will be using proven routes to market and have market-leading sales and analytical tools at our disposal to help us compete with the established comparison sites.
We also plan to hire two digital marketing apprentices to work within our Newcastle office covering management of our promotional activity, partners and our social media customer engagement.
We hope that as the business grows we can provide UK jobs in customer service, sales, software development, and marketing in our office in Newcastle and mainly through sourcing from the nearby colleges at Newcastle and Gateshead.
The team behind Fibre Compare have all worked in the UK broadband market for many years (in most cases over 15 years) so there is a depth of knowledge and expertise behind the website. In addition to working in this market we have also previously sold over 150,000 broadband services via major comparison sites, so we have a good working knowledge on how to navigate our own comparison business through the challenges ahead. A number of our team are also Google Adwords experts, helping us make sure our advertising budget is spent as effectively as possible.
We hope you enjoy using the site as much as we have enjoyed building it and look forward to making it a success!
The Fibre Compare Team