MetLife Survey: Benefits Gain Traction As An Employee Retention Objective

Posted · Add Comment

According to, a recent MetLife survey outlines workers’ value for employer-sponsored benefits. The survey, issued in MetLife’s 13th Annual Employee Benefit Trends Survey, confirms the relationship between a company’s ability to offer strong employer-based benefits and that company’s ability to keep employees and tamp down on turnover. But in order for benefits to serve as an […]

New voluntary products address cash-flow issues

Posted · Add Comment

According to a recent Employee Benefit Adviser article by Mike Nesper, employers need to change if they want to attract new, young millennial employees. Promoting financial wellness is one important way to engage millennials in new ways. According to a recent survey, three-fourths of employees don’t have enough savings to cover six months of expenses. […]

Webinar: Optimizing Health Plan Ancillary Sales

Posted · Add Comment

In the age of the customer, companies are striving more than ever to increase knowledge of and engagement with their customers to improve both loyalty and revenues. However, not all companies are truly optimizing their ancillary sales to ensure that they are offering the right products to the right people at the right time. A recent Forrester […]

Customizing Online Sales in the Era of the Consumer

Posted · Add Comment

During 2015 online retailers can expect a growing demand for customized shopping experiences, especially from travelers, as well as consumers in general. Market trends indicate savvy shoppers are increasingly demanding that retailers tailor their offerings to best suit specific consumer needs and provide a unique and seamless shopping experience. In addition to consumer expectations, trends […]

Ancillary Revenue is Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Posted · Add Comment

In the travel industry, cheap prices can be viewed as a double-edge sword: it creates a competitive advantage if you can offer a lower price on fares, but it can come with a with a little bit of grumbling from the consumer who’s used to having everything included in their price. In a new study […]

Ancilyze to Present at AHIP Institute 2014

Posted · Add Comment

We’re looking forward to presenting at AHIP Institute 2014! The Direct Consumer Revolution: Innovative Product Strategies Health care is changing rapidly, along with the way that most American’s evaluate, select, purchase and pay for health insurance. Exchanges, defined contribution, value-based plan designs, and retail health care all present opportunities for health plans to work directly […]

User Experience and the Checkout

Posted · 17 Comments

The old saying goes, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk.” The same thought process applies to customers when they are finishing an online purchase. Whether they’re buying plane tickets, renting a car, or booking a hotel – there are more than likely other add-ons available to help improve […]

Healthcare Consumers and The Paradox of Choice

Posted · Add Comment

Barry Schwartz’s Ted Talk on the Paradox of Choice inspires us to consider how too much choice in the post healthcare reform market may unintentionally have adverse affects on consumers.  Case in point: Barry’s citation of a study regarding how consumers respond to choice in selecting retirement funds. The results potentially foreshadow the eventual buying behavior […]

Personalization: Key to Successful E-Commerce in 2014

Posted · Add Comment

Technologies are emerging that make targeting, understanding and engaging with your audience more manageable than ever.  As a result, it has become increasingly important for online retailers to start tailoring their offerings to the individual. Inviting customers to consider conveniently-placed content and products that speak directly to their interests and preferences will enable your business […]

Do Brokers See the Value of Vision Insurance?

Posted · Add Comment

Although millions of Americans use some form of corrective lenses to see, when employers break out their vision plans as an ancillary benefit, the rates at which employees sign up for and use the plans drops dramatically. For example, in 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 42 percent of employees at large employers took […]

Pet Insurance Growth Looks Positive for Next Five Years

Posted · Add Comment

The outlook for UK and North America pet insurers remains positive over the next five years. Despite the recessionary environment and the squeeze on household incomes, pet insurance has been the fastest growing category in insurance sales. Recent industry analysis suggests that from 2008 to 2012, the UK market has increased by 35 percent. Market penetration […]

PPACA Pushes Dental Further into Voluntary

Posted · Add Comment

Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits have given brokers and agents plenty to chew on during the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While they are intended to improve care covered under health plans across the nation, essential health benefits have been shown to drive up the cost of some plans — a […]

Profits from Voluntary Products set to Soar for Producers

Posted · Add Comment

According to Insurance Business America, two new reports add to growing evidence that voluntary benefits products are going to be hot commodities come 2014. According to an industry survey from Eastbridge Consulting Group and a study from MetLife and, producers offering voluntary benefits packages will see profits soar as health reform causes commercial clients to rethink […]

Voluntary Products Poised for Takeoff in 2014

Posted · Add Comment

A new article on identifies 2014 as a pivotal year for employee benefits. Most notable: as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continues to shake out, likely propelling the sale of voluntary benefits products even further, experts say. Citing MetLife’s 2013 Study of Employee Benefits Trends, 58 percent of employers say providing voluntary […] Carriers plan aggressive exchange strategy

Posted · Add Comment

A recent survey conducted by Array Health identifies 70% of carriers are expected to participate in both private and public exchanges over the next six months. Breaking down the numbers further, 9% said they’ll participate in only the private exchanges, 10.5% will participate only in the public ones and 10.5% said they won’t play at […]

Voluntary Sales ‘Logical Next Step’ for Healthcare Distributors

Posted · 18 Comments

A recent article on does a great job outlining the future opportunity for voluntary products and services in the post reform market place. When it comes down to it: with reform squeezing “core” healthcare margins, “ancillary” sales will be the future of benefit augmentation for consumers and bottom-line margins for distributors. Check out the […]

Finding Budget for Improved Mobile Optimization

Posted · Add Comment

Earlier this year and Forrester Research produced their annual report of e-commerce benchmarks based on a survey of retailers that sell online. The report noted that 29 percent of retailers believe that mobile traffic and sales negatively impact their overall conversion rates. As visits from smartphones and tablets increase, retailers are looking to improved […]

Brokers are Bullish on Voluntary Sales Prospects in 2014

Posted · 6 Comments

A new Eastbridge Consulting Group study identifies that industry experts expect voluntary sales will boom next year, with about 90 percent of respondents in the group’s mid-year 2013 Voluntary Industry Confidence Index survey saying they expect sales to increase in the next 12 months. For more information on the study, visit

Core Product Revenue vs. Ancillary Revenue

Posted · Add Comment

We’ve been talking a lot about ancillary revenue in previous posts. What is the difference between ancillary revenue and core product revenue? Here’s a quick overview. Core product margin is the operating profit percentage on the product most associated with the retailer. In the case of an airline, this would be the margin on a plane […]

The Three E’s – Enable, Ensure, Enhance

Posted · Add Comment

In my last post on 8/8/13 I pointed out that Amazon doesn’t optimize for percentage margin. That’s significant because it allows Amazon to lower prices as far as they want. But if we examine the bottom line of digital retailers, they appear to be healthy. How is it possible to remain profitable in a market where […]

If You Can’t Beat Them …

Posted · Add Comment

If your business depends on online sales and marketing, this statement from Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, given during an interview with the Harvard Business Review, should certainly catch your attention: “Percentage margins are not one of the things we are seeking to optimize.” Are you getting that? The largest online retailer in the world isn’t […]

The Importance of Personalization to Brands

Posted · Add Comment

Interest in online personalization is exploding as brands aim to connect with customers and allow customer experience to drive that relationship.  Ted Moffatt of Stratigent makes some great points in his recent post about the importance of online personalization. Ted covers a lot of ground here and I found myself nodding throughout. Bottom line: online […]

The Right Product = Better Customer Experience

Posted · 10 Comments

Creating a better customer experience can seem awfully complicated. And maybe it is. Source: After all, today’s customers interact with brands everywhere from Facebook to print ads to telephone calls.  But getting customers the right product at the right price is still an awfully effective piece of the strategy for keeping customers happy. And in an online environment, […]

Top PageLines