Healthcare.gov — along with the state health insurance exchanges — is pushing the landscape of the health insurance market in the direction of the online consumer economy.
Online consumer behavior is key. On January 17, 2014 in the Wall Street Journal, a story appeared about online consumer behavior oriented to shopping for products formerly purchased at the shopping mall. According to ShopperTrak (and the Wall Street Journal story), retailers got nearly half the holiday traffic in 2013 as they did three years earlier. Apparently, shoppers are skipping the mall and seeking online deals with best-price scenarios AND surfing until they find them. This Forbes piece” echoes the current trend; shoppers are unlikely to return to old mall-shopping habits.
Best Buy, a major consumer electronics retailer, just posted weak holiday results, and it’s not the only big-box retailer to have fallen short of end-of-the-year sales goals. Consumers are popping over to Best Buy to the sales “showroom” floor chock full of displays for cameras, tablets, e-readers, and phones, browsing, and then going online for better deals. Read the rest of this entry »