Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

How do UK consumers start to make decisions about choosing a current account online?

How UK consumers start to make decisions about choosing a current account online

Author: Marie Sheehan

Digital marketing effectiveness of current account providers
The Global Reviews’ Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) study measures how effective banks are at attracting customers online. We ran the DME programme twice for current accounts in 2014 (January & July).

What drives current account shortlisting?
As part of our DME programme ‘in market’ consumers research the current account that best suits their needs. When they complete their research we ask them who would make their “shortlist”. A shortlist usually comprises three or four brands that the consumer is considering and will look in more depth at what they have to offer.

Before starting the research we ask consumers why they would initially prefer a particular current account provider and the answer we got was that they had used the brand before. However after they’ve done a bit of research, consumers are able to make more considered decisions.

The reasons why consumers are shortlisting particular current account providers falls into three different categories:
1. Product attributes
2. Brand websites
3. Brand relationship

The reasons why consumers are shortlisting particular current account providers  Source: Global Reviews’ Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies into UK Current Account Providers 2014

The reasons why consumers are shortlisting particular current account providers
Source: Global Reviews’ Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies into UK Current Account Providers 2014

The biggest driver for shortlisting is online banking (53%). To get on to consumers’ shortlist, current account providers need to provide easy to use online banking. It’s noteworthy that mobile banking (28%) also ranks high as a product attribute that influences decision making.

Consumers prefer providers whose product/offers are easy to understand (42%). As it is a complex market, consumers also want the providers’ websites to help them compare options (39%).

For current account providers to make the short list, they need to quickly convince consumers on their website that they have easy to understand options and enable them to compare to find the option that best suits their needs.

Final preference: what happens in the online research and how that changes consumers’ minds?
13% of consumers preferred Santander initially, by the time consumers finished their research online this preference increased to 20%. Santander has not only taken that first preference, but they’ve built on it. It’s clear that Santander has been very effective at not only convincing those initial consumers, but they have also convinced others (7%) that they have the right product for them.

Nationwide started with just an 8% preference, but having been very effective at convincing consumers that they have the right product for them, this jumps to a 20% final preference score. Nationwide convert significantly more consumers online than Lloyds, Barclays and Halifax.

If you would like to know more, please contact us.

Research Calendar 2015
Credit Cards: January and July
Savings: February and August
Mortgages: April and October
Current Accounts: April and October
Personal Loans: April

International Best Practice

To find out more about what best practice looks like and those who are achieving it view our webinar recorded on January 29th: Ireland & UK Digital Banking in 2014 – A Review of the Year.

Banking webinar

 

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