Finding the balance between website consistency and meeting the consumers’ needs

uk banking

There are many reasons why a consumers put a brand on their consideration shortlist, but they generally fall into three categories:

  • Previous experience/impressions of the brand
  • The range of products/deals
  • How easy the website made the research experience

Looking at the reasons why consumers shortlisted various brands for current accounts, mortgages and savings – these categories certainly come into play. However, we start to see some distinct variances in how important each area is depending on the product they are researching.

The following graph highlights some of the differences in the top reasons why consumers consider a brand depending on the product they are looking to apply for.

reasons for consumers shortlisting a brand banking uk*Source: Global Reviews Fruition UK Q4 2018 Research. Current Accounts n=151. Mortgages n=166. Savings Accounts n=151

Previous experience/impressions of the brand seems to be more important amongst those looking for a mortgage.

The range of products/deals is important across the board, but more so for those seeking a new savings account.

How easy the website made the research experience is always important, but consumers specifically think so when looking for a current account.

By understanding the primary drivers behind consumer decision making in relation to various products, brands can tailor their SEO/SEM and landing pages accordingly in order to speak directly to the mindset of the consumer.

For example: the SEO/SEM and landing pages for savings accounts should be centered around product offers and the ability to compare options. Meanwhile for mortgages, the focus should be on brand reputation, instilling a sense of trust and meeting consumer needs. For current accounts the focus should be around making the offerings easy to locate and understand.

It’s not enough to know the differences in how consumers research according to industry, it’s also important to be able to break it down by product – but at the same time ensure a sense of consistency across the site. It can be a challenge to find the right balance, but with thorough research and a broad understanding of consumer drivers, this balance can be met.

 

Contact us to get the full pdf report.

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It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it…

UX form design

…and that’s what gets results.

 

Here, at Global Reviews, we are always looking for ways to help our clients optimise their digital customer experience, from switching energy providers, applying for new bank account, or getting a quote for health or car insurance. The client result: insights that increase their bottom line.

One way of doing this is by making sure that the path to purchase is as easy as possible. In this blog I will focus specifically on form design.

In the last 18 months, Global Reviews has run over 60 studies that tested forms from over 300 brands, across a diverse range of industries such as, insurance, energy, higher education and finance, from brands in the UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland. From this research, we have found that there are four key stages to successful form design:

  1. Preparing for purchase
  2. Form features and functions
  3. Form Help and support
  4. Completing the purchase

Preparing for purchase

This is all about upfront expectation setting. Here are a few examples:

Don’t:

  • tell me I don’t qualify for this when I’m right in the middle of process
  • tell me it’s going to take three minutes when it’s closer to seven
  • leave me guessing as to what’s involved and what you might be asking me
  • tell me what I need to have when I need to have it

Do:

  • communicate eligibility criteria
  • be accurate with the amount of time it’s going to take
  • clearly explain the process and what will happen next
  • communicate upfront the information I need to have to complete the process

Form features and functions

This is all about the features and functions, the design patterns, that users will interact with. Firstly, we have the framework that the form components themselves reside in, for example:

  • Multiple steps
  • Single page
  • Progressive reveal
  • Conversation design

These aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but our tests show that some resonate better than others. Increasingly we are seeing many industries moving to a conversational design pattern in a bid to better match a product to user’s needs. This pattern was largely driven by legislative changes but increasingly business is realising it’s not about what products they have, it’s about whether I, the consumer, can get what I need with their products.

Then we have the components themselves, which interaction design pattern is better for example, when inputting the date of birth. While our studies don’t go down to testing this level of detail, we do review the forms of those who have high success, confidence and satisfaction scores, analyse what they are doing and compare them to brands who don’t perform as well.

Form help and support

This is all about how you promote self-service, provide interventions and give confidence to the user so that they continue forward. It covers areas such as error handling, security and privacy, help channels and exit strategies. It is often overlooked but can be the difference between someone competing that purchase or abandoning midway.

 

Completing the purchase

This is all about encouraging completion on the results page. Too often this page is overlooked and opportunities are missed to ensure that the user doesn’t abandon at this stage. There are a number of best practice approaches to increase the chances of conversion, such as:

  • Keep initial information simple but enable users to access further detail
  • Recall the benefits of applying online
  • Provide content which improves the perception of value
  • Cater to prospects who won’t buy online

From those studies there are a number of brands that stand out when it comes to designing forms. They do so because they have carefully designed their path to purchase so that it meets the criteria of those stages.  Here are some examples of how those brands are creating a better experience.

Preparing for purchase – Bank of Montreal, Canada

Bank of Montreal is a top performer, achieving 100% for features and functions for ‘Preparing to purchase’.

  1. Highlights brand differentiators
  2. Promotes reasons to choose the online channel to apply
  3. Caters to different audience needs
  4. Highlights benefits and reasons to choose the brandPreparing for purchase BMO

Form Function – Sonnet, Canada

Sonnet almost presents a one page form, the primary page captures key personal and product information, which is then prefilled into a second page with one or two extra questions. The prefilling of questions drives a quick and easy experience.

  1. Sonnet use only four free text questions in the entire journey. The majority of question types present are drop down, single select questions
  2. The second page presents 7 questions, 5 of which are prefilled based on previous answers

Form Function – Sonnet

Form Help and Support – Beagle Street, UK

Beagle Street provide integrated help and support during their quote process.

  1. Help and support content is tailored to the specific area of enquiry. Here, where users may want a detailed description of the differences in the types of cover, a video is provided is embedded into the help section
  2. A large ‘i’ icon directs users towards any help and support related to the page

Form Help and Support – Beagle Street

Completing the purchase – 123.ie, Ireland

123.ie are one of only two providers credited with the ability to view a summary of key information entered.

  1. 123.ie call out the online savings as a separate price – interestingly, 123.ie lead with the online saving price leaving the actual price further down the page
  2. 123.ie provide links to detailed explanation of the product

Completing the purchase – 123.ie

These are just a small sample of the insights we deliver to clients. If you’d like to know more about how you can optimise your digital experience, please get in touch with us.

 

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Will the marketplace strategy shake up the financial services industry?

As we all head to marketplaces to pick up those last minute gifts for Christmas, it seems like a good time of year to talk about the growth and shake up of the financial services industry with market place strategies. Online marketplaces are fast-becoming the favourite destination for online shoppers, with almost 70% of Australians visiting an online marketplace or auction site like eBay or Amazon every month. Marketplaces have boomed in recent years, growing by 74.8% in 2017 alone (Roy Morgan research Jun 2018). With the increased uptake of marketplace sites like Etsy, Uber and AirBNB we have to look at the reasons why these sites are so popular with consumers. What are the benefits of creating an online marketplace?

The marketplace model is based on carriers realising you cannot be the best at everything and resources are too scarce to keep up. In the marketplace model, brands give their customers access to third parties with the best products, the most pleasant customer experience and the lowest costs.

The marketplace business model cuts both ways. Customers get continuous access to the best products and services in the market and costs can be kept at a minimum through connecting (or disconnecting) parties almost in real time to key in on new customer wishes and anticipate other market developments.

Retailers such as Catch and Myer have recently opened marketplaces, recognising the benefit of increased customer traffic and expansion into other categories.

myer market place

“It’s about enabling customers to move freely between brands, channels and product solution,” says Suncorp’s chief executive for Customer Marketplace, Pip Marlow. Suncorp Australia has recently launched a $100 million digital marketplace platform. Users can now view all banking and insurance products in the one online portal from all their brands – Suncorp, AAMI, GIO, Bingle, Shannons and Vero. “We really wanted to move to a level of aggressive transparency across the brand, making sure customers knew what was available to them – and had that choice as part of it.”

suncorp marketplaceThis marketplace model is in direct contrast with the strategy of other financial brands such as Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, which is to keep customers contained to the one brand.

Monzo, Starling, N26 (challenger banks) and TSB are all launching a marketplace offering. This banking business model is on the basis of shared value where the provider creates value for the customer. Value is passed to the customer and the provider takes a referral fee from the beneficiary. Examples include foreign exchange fees, switching energy providers and switching telco providers.

N26 has partnered with TransferWise to let customers make foreign currency transfers, and with vaamo to make investments, all from within its mobile app.

n26Starling Bank recently launched its current account, the only product it will build in-house. Through its marketplace it will give customers access to P2P loans, investments, and has partnered with TransferWise. In the longer term, it plans to offer customers a choice of multiple products in each sector, and to partner with companies in the retail and lifestyle sectors.

starling bankOther companies adopting the marketplace model are Amazon, who is looking to offer bank accounts and already offers loans, along with Google, Facebook and Apple who either have banking licenses or are looking to acquire one.

The big sell for marketplace is that the customer journey and experience is both a satisfying and convenient one allowing for easier navigation and management from a central location. This new approach offers more competition through transparency, choice and better pricing.

We see marketplaces playing an even bigger role in the future.

Who will be next to implement this strategy?

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The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

When rating the current accounts landing page on mobile banking sites, Tesco Bank is comprehensively outscored and their product pages are not performing much better. Navigation, appealing visual design and information are all considered by consumers to be lacking from the Tesco Bank site compared to what competitor sites are delivering. These key areas are all contributing to a low average score for Tesco Bank for landing page impressions.Tesco bank scores 7.14 in customer audit

 

A recent study with 170 consumers looking at user experience across UK current account mobile banking sites revealed that Tesco’s unchanging site is falling further and further behind competitors who are continually evolving their site in order to match consumer needs.

Our webinar looked at where Tesco has stalled and how competitors are advancing their sites. These insights will not only help you to avoid making these same mistakes, but also show you what the top performing brands from around the world are doing to ensure they aren’t also falling behind.

Presented by: Rebecca Jennings – Principal Client Advisor

If you enjoyed this webinar you might also be interested in our previous webinar: Why are Santander losing so many potential customers and how can you learn from their mistakes

Let is know what you thought about the webinar and have your say as to what we deliver next!

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UK Banking Webinar Series: Learn from competitors’ mistakes

learn from santander mistakes

Over the past 12 months, Santander has been steadily losing prospective mortgage customers. They have gone from having a 12% preference rate amongst consumers, down to just 6%. Meanwhile, HSBC have recently increased to 16% and Nationwide is maintaining a strong lead with 23%.

Why are Santander losing so many potential customers and how can you learn from their mistakes?

A recent study with 150 consumers looking at website user experience across UK mortgage sites revealed that one of the reasons Santander is rating poorly is because their website is not working as strongly as other brands.

Our recent webinar looked at where along the online customer journey consumers are struggling to connect with Santander’s website. These insights will not only help you to avoid making these same mistakes, but also show you what the top performing brands from around the world are doing to ensure they aren’t losing prospective customers.

Presented by: Rebecca Jennings – Principal Client Advisor

If you enjoyed this webinar you might also be interested in our following webinar: The advancing & stalling of banking mobile sites (& why Tesco Bank needs to change their site)

Let is know what you thought about the webinar and have your say as to what we deliver next!

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Goldman Sachs enter savings market – but can they meet UK users’ high experience demands?

Goldman Sachs Global Reviews

The announcement last week that Goldman Sachs – the institution once dubbed “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” by Rolling Stone magazine at the height of the financial crisis in 2010 – is entering the mainstream savings account market in the UK through their online-only brand Marcus, will send ripples through the banking sector, not least because the account offers a market-beating 1.5% interest for the first year.

The new account from Marcus (named after one of the founders of Goldman Sachs, and launched in the US in 2016) is explicitly aimed at stealing market share from the established high street banks, who are already suffering from intense competition and low profit margins as well as trying to fend off a swathe of digital first start-ups such as Monzo and Revolut.

Whilst the generous rates will no doubt cause an immediate flurry of account openings,  as an online-only provider with no ATM card (though the account can be managed by phone if required)  ease of usability of the brand’s website, mobile site and app will be vital for the long term success of the enterprise.

However, at present, the brand doesn’t actually offer an app; a notable omission in the UK market where high street behemoths such as Barclays, Nationwide and Lloyds have been offering clients useful and well-performing apps for several years. In April, Goldmans acquired personal finance app Clarity Money, but have yet to pivot it into serving Marcus customers.

Part of the account’s appeal is the freedom to deposit and withdraw funds as many times as you like with no charges, unlike most savings accounts, but a frustrating online experience in doing so will soon have investors jumping ship, if market incumbents can quickly move to match the rates on accounts that users know can be easily managed through existing apps.

In short – a headline grabbing rate from one of banking’s most well-known (if not well-loved) brands will garner deposits from savvy investors in the short term, but long term success in transaction-based accounts will require rapid investment in easy to use digital experiences.

 

Get in touch to find out more about the experience demands UK consumers have when it comes to banking and how Goldman Sachs is positioned to shake up the market.

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NatWest visitors are the fastest and most satisfied when looking for mortgage rates

Home loans Fruition

Finding the right home loan is as confusing and overwhelming as picking the right roof tiles to match the bricks. It is, therefore, imperative that home loan providers make the online research process as straightforward and satisfying as possible in order to minimise confusion and ensure strong conversions.

In November 2017, Global Reviews tracked 350 consumers as they searched online for a home loan provider. Consumers were split across desktop (n=200) and mobile (n=150). After conducting their own searches, they were directed to one of eight provider websites to complete further research.

Once consumers had looked around the homepage, we asked them to find all the available mortgage rate options for first time buyers (new customers). In doing this, it was found that those who completed the task quicker typically had a higher satisfaction rate with the process of completing the task. As can be seen in the chart below, NatWest visitors are the fastest and most satisfied when looking for mortgage rates for first time buyers. Potential customers are getting hugely different experiences across different sites with a 1:28 difference between Lloyds Bank and NatWest.

Time vs Satisfaction home loans

NatWest had the fastest average task completion time with 2:14 minutes and a satisfaction rating of 81%. On the other end of the scale was Lloyds Bank with an average time of 3:24 minutes and a satisfaction rating of 73%.

Whilst a shorter task completion time generally means higher satisfaction, a longer task completion time isn’t necessarily driving dissatisfaction but rather an inability to find the right answer. This indicates underlying usability issues supported by 20% claiming starting where to look was not easy.

The following chart highlights some of the most common issues consumers faced when trying to locate the product range. From a navigation point of view, the harder it is to find where to start looking as well as the inability to find what they’re looking for is bringing down satisfaction levels amongst customers. There is a strong negative correlation of -0.93 between problems encountered and satisfaction.

The most common issues consumers faced when trying to locate the product range

By comparing key landing pages for home loans we can see that allowing visitors to easily find what they are looking for with minimal effort and scrolling is key. Successful sites focus on key calls to action within the hero images and top navigation. Having a clearly laid out site with multiple entry points allows for the different preferences consumers have. Some consumers will naturally gravitate to the top navigation, others will look to the hero image and some will look down the page to find where they want to go next.

NatWest directs traffic through a comprehensive menu catering to both new and existing NatWest customers as well as delivering multiple entry points depending on customer research preferences. The menu is split into product, customer type and application stage, as well as grouping in relevant tools such as calculators to help in the research process.

NatWest directs traffic through a comprehensive menu catering to both new and existing NatWest customersLike NatWest, Lloyds Bank also uses the main header menu to direct consumers. However, they also provide additional entry points throughout the homepage. Within the hero image there are quick links to popular pages. Sitting just below the hero image are more links to key product pages. Having three navigation areas caters for different types of browsers and therefore aids in creating a user-friendly site.

Lloyds bank has three navigation areas catering for different types of browsers By giving consumers clear options and starting points can mean a huge difference between keeping them on site or losing them to a competitor.

To learn more download our FREE industry report and view our latest webinar covering off more ways to understand and improve your conversion rates using our Fruition methodology.

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Are you one of the Credit Card Brands losing over 66% of potential clients? (webinar 13 June)

credit card infographJoin our webinar on Tuesday 13 June 2017, 10am – 10.30am BST to find out:

  • If you’re one of the brands losing over 66% of potential clients
  • What you can do to win clients
  • How to implement a coordinated aggregator strategy
  • How you can convince users that you have good online member services
  • How you can quickly improve showing users what your Unique Selling Points are and beat the competition (currently, no brands score above 50%)

Credit Card headerGlobal Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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Share of Wallet: Best Practice in Cross-selling

Global Reviews has now launched Share of Wallet, a unique data and insights solution that helps your digital and marketing teams to understand the opportunities for a better cross-sell experience for desktop web, mobile web and native app. We’d like to share some information on our methodology with you and show you a few best practice examples.

We conducted research in the banking industry in which we evaluated the current experience and offering of key brands cross-selling within their digital assets and identified best practice in this area across all their products.

With Share of Wallet, we found a solution to:

  • Align/contrast share of wallet performance against the promotion of cross sell opportunities
    • Measure the consumer share of wallet allocation of key brands within banking and insurance industries
    • Audit the implementation of feature and function best practice on digital assets across the same brands
    • Correlate share of wallet performance against the promotion of best practice digital cross-sell strategies
  • Identify best practice in this area across all industries
  • Provide recommendations to improve cross-sell features and functions

Our research shows that there is no correlation between volume of sales a customer has with your company and the volume they have with a competitor. Someone with a current account at one bank, could easily have a home insurance with another bank.

We also can’t focus on absolute satisfaction as a means of understanding share of wallet, for what drives share of wallet, is not what drives the Net Promoter Score (an index that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others, used as a proxy for overall customer satisfaction and loyalty to the brand).

Our study on Australian banks shows that the satisfaction rank has no impact on the number of brands customers use.

SoWSatisfaction

So, despite high satisfaction with one product, we found that these are the main reasons for customers to choose a brand for another product they’re interested in:

1. They have the best deals/ offers for my needs (48%)
2. They look like they have good customer service and support features (45%)
3. Their products/ offers were easy to understand (43%)

After our extensive research, our recommendations are:

  • Facilitate quote and applications: This must be a function that is prioritised and provides a good user experience within secure areas, as this is where the existing relationship can play a big part in decision making and ease of completion
  • Help me complete the form: If a current customer is getting a quote or applying, within the customer services area or app, their information should be provided and merely confirmed by the customer (name, address, date of birth, email address, income, employer, assets, debts etc.)
  • Help me understand: Use customer data to provide product recommendations, such as the optimal credit card or loan for them
  • Communication: If you are handing the customer off from one channel to another, ensure that the customer is informed but also that their details are passed on
  • Manage applications and quote: Allow visitors to view and manage applications from within the app, updating them on the progress and status of the application form, and promoting if incomplete
  • Contextual offering and solution approaches: Consider information architecture and content approach, promoting other products softly, in areas where ideal prospective customers may be
  • This content should be shown in a solution/ content manner, rather than an advertisement, in order to be viewed as helpful, UNLESS a strong offer or proposition is available
  • Checking out and quoting functionality: Promote the ability to add, combine, upsell options when quoting or checking out – it is important that cross-buy doesn’t have a negative impact on those who wish to only buy one product
  • Recalling customer data: If an existing customer is following the journey on the public site, they should be given the option to complete in the secure area or recall their details via a policy number etc. to reduce effort required

So how are providers helping existing members to buy more products? Some best practice examples:

SoWAvivaSoWANZSoWANZ2SoWLloydsSoWLloyds2SoWLloydsAviva

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of Share of Wallet research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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How to optimise cross-sales conversion: a new solution (webinar)

Global Reviews is delighted to announce the launch of SHARE OF WALLET, a unique data and insights solution that helps your digital and marketing teams to understand the opportunities for a cross-buy experience for desktop, mobile, mobile app and public websites.

Global Reviews evaluated five banks in Australia and their audit scores show that they currently achieve between 27% and 57% cross sell success. We were curious to find out why they lost their existing customers, who are looking for another product they offer, to a different brand.

We evaluated the current experience and offering of key brands cross-selling within their digital assets and identified best practice in this area across all their products.

Share of Wallet measures:

  • How many existing customers, who are in market for another product, you are losing to a competitor that you could and should have won
  • Why your cross sales experience didn’t encourage your customers to buy and to which competitor you lost them to
  • The quality and effectiveness of the experience you are providing online with real world conversion metrics

This analysis creates understanding of the competitor and market forces that are influencing purchasing decisions and identifies what changes you need to make to your site and app to impact conversions.

Some examples of best practice we discovered during our research:

  • Promote complementary products within content, with a solution approach (consider scenarios or personas)
  • Utilise customer data to provide detailed examples of their potential opportunities (borrowing capabilities, repayments, loan type)
  • Give the customer the opportunity to buy or find out more – Don’t forget to plant the seed for later

 

To see more research results and find out more about Share of Wallet, sign up to our webinar of Thursday 6 April 2017, 9am GMT

SoW webinarGlobal Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of Share of Wallet research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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