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Don’t underestimate the importance of your virtual door

6/15/17

When potential customers walk in the door of your bank or credit union, what are their first impressions?

Are they awestruck by the newly remodeled exterior of your office?

Are they moved by the modern furnishings and tidy interior?

Do they get a warm fuzzy from your welcoming staff?

From the brand of coffee brewing in the lobby to the signage displayed throughout the branch to the dress code of your employees, you probably are doing everything you can to ensure your bank makes a positive statement.

But what about the prospects who walk through your virtual door?

Bank website research

Your website is your primary source of first impressions. The truth is most people are going to look you up online before they come to a branch. In fact, 81% of shoppers research products online before buying.

According to Change Sciences Group, a company that works with organizations to understand how people experience technology, good web design is essential in achieving conversions, such as filling out a loan application or signing up for a newsletter.

Consider these findings:

  • 35% of people fail to complete simple tasks on an average website.
  • The average person will try to complete a task for 60 seconds before giving up.
  • When looking at success rates by sector, the banking industry has the lowest success rate (business banking ranked last, while personal finance websites ranked about 50% for success rates).
  • The most common stumbling blocks on websites include interfaces that are too busy, missing information, text that is too small, difficult navigation and disorganized content.

Unsurprisingly, trust in your bank decreases as usability declines. If customers can’t find what they are looking for on your bank website, the odds are they won’t bother traveling to a branch.

“The basic things bank customers are looking for really haven’t changed since I started in this industry, and that’s simplicity, speed, convenience and security,” Andy Hernandez, head of eBusiness at Regions Financial, said in a recent American Banker article.

Your brick-and-mortar location might deliver on those fronts, but what about your website?

Mobile optimization

Because 15% of shoppers do their research on mobile devices, mobile optimization is essential to reaching prospective and existing customers.

According to Hernandez, “When you think about consumer behavior, it all starts with search, and more people are doing that from a smartphone or tablet…”

Globally, the number of mobile searches continues to grow year over year. Moreover, there’s a correlation between a customer’s age and his or her preferred channel for conducting business.

  • Millennials prefer online and mobile banking to in-branch transactions. (PeopleMetrics/The Financial Brand)
  • 74% of Millennials and 89% of Generation Z customers who switched banks last year listed convenience as a top-five factor in their decision to leave. (FICO)
  • But 14% of consumers who are 65 and older also use mobile banking — and the features they need tend to differ from those who are 18 to 25. (PeopleMetrics/The Financial Brand)

Simply put, you don’t want to lose customers — of any age group — because they can’t access your information or services from their phone. A responsive bank website is the only answer.

The takeaway

If your bank website isn’t delivering the information — and the user experience — customers expect, you might as well be slamming the door in their faces.

Whether you’re looking for strategies to improve the usability and accessibility of your bank website or ready for a full-blown redesign, BrownBoots can help.

Contact us via email.

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