Whether you're a bank, credit union, or FinTech, your goal is not merely to sell financial products but to offer solutions that address people's problems. Financial products serve as tools to help individuals overcome confusion and complexity and move towards a brighter future. However, many financial brand websites fail to reflect this truth, as revealed by digital secret shopping studies.

In this article, we’ll show you how to transform the pain points costing your financial brand millions of dollars into valuable opportunities.

The top 3 insights from this article:

  • Consumer perception of financial brand websites: Digital secret shopping studies reveal that consumers are unlikely to recommend bank or credit union websites to others seeking financial products. The average net promoter score rating for financial brand websites is low, indicating a lack of satisfaction with the user experience. 
  • The power of guided selling: As in-person interactions decrease, customers still require guidance throughout their buying journey. 
  • Leveraging social proof and value packaging: Incorporating third-party reviews and ratings, as well as offering value packaging through bundled services, can enhance the perceived value of financial products. 

Insight into Customer Perceptions of Bank and Credit Union Websites

One of the most fascinating insights from our digital secret shopping studies is that consumers are generally unlikely to recommend bank or credit union websites to their friends, family, or colleagues seeking financial products. The average net promoter score rating for financial brand websites during the shopping experience is a mere four out of ten.

These findings are reinforced by a study conducted by The Financial Brand, which revealed that banking websites consistently score the lowest in usability and conversions across all industries. Consumer banking sites also register the lowest level of perceived happiness among all verticals, compared to business banking or personal financial retirement websites.

Given these challenges, how can you transform this trend and differentiate your brand in a marketplace where digital shopping experiences are often viewed negatively?

The answer lies in taking steps to rise above and simplify your product offerings on your website. Rather than relying on commoditized promotions of great rates or extensive product feature lists, focus on reducing confusion and complexity.

By providing clarity, you'll increase the confidence of account holders and prospective customers, encouraging them to commit and apply for loans or deposit accounts.

5 Proven Steps to Enhance Your Financial Brand's Digital Growth Journey

There are five specific steps that can help you reduce confusion and complexity, ultimately leading to increased conversion rates for loans, deposits, and other accounts. We've witnessed the positive impact of these steps time and time again, typically over a period of 12 to 36 months.

These practical steps are based on a comprehensive analysis of over 1200 digital super secret shopping study experiences. These studies shed light on user behavior through both quantitative and qualitative lenses. Quantitative data, such as heat maps, click maps, and scroll maps, provides insight into users' actions at a macro level. On the other hand, qualitative data obtained through interviews during real buying journeys, such as purchasing a home or opening a checking account, allows us to understand the underlying motivations behind user behavior.

Step 1: Establish a Cultural Mindset of Helping First, Selling Second

In a world where money can be confusing, customers seek guidance from trusted sources. By adopting a cultural commitment to helping first and selling second, you can build trust and loyalty with your audience. Content becomes the fuel for your digital growth engine, as it allows you to rise above commoditized promotions and share valuable knowledge. Create content that addresses the real questions and struggles people have around financial matters, enabling them to make informed decisions.

Step 2: Implement Guided Selling Methodology

As face-to-face interactions diminish in the financial industry, customers still require guidance throughout their buying journey. Guided selling involves asking three important questions: where do you want me to go, what do you want me to do when I get there, and how do you want me to feel along the way? By mapping out clear steps and providing a pathway for customers, you can create content blocks that simplify their decision-making process.

Step 3: Optimize Product Comparisons

Customers often rely on multiple resources when making financial decisions. Enhance your website's product comparison matrices by offering personalized solutions through guided selling product recommendation quizzes. Additionally, benchmarking your products against competitors allows you to control the narrative and influence customer perceptions. By providing comprehensive and easy-to-understand product comparisons, you can reduce confusion and empower customers to make informed choices.

Step 4: Leverage Social Proof with Reviews and Ratings

Reviews and ratings play a significant role in influencing customer buying decisions. Incorporate social proof into your website's buying journey by showcasing third-party reviews and industry website validation. Consider integrating a platform that enables customers to provide Amazon-like reviews and ratings directly on your website. By actively managing your online reputation and leveraging the power of social proof, you can instill confidence in potential customers.

Step 5: Unlock Value Packaging Opportunities

Value packaging allows you to bundle additional services or benefits with your financial products, creating more value for your customers. Conduct market research to identify complementary services that align with your customers' needs and stress points. For example, consider bundling a mobile banking app with a mental wellness or financial coaching app, providing a holistic solution. Offering different levels of coaching bundled with your checking accounts can further differentiate your brand and generate non-interest income.

Move Forward with Courage and Confidence

By following these five steps, you can elevate your financial brand's digital growth journey and enhance customer conversions. Establishing a cultural mindset of helping first, selling second, and leveraging content as your digital growth engine will position your brand as a trusted resource. Implement guided selling methodologies, optimize product comparisons, and leverage social proof to further empower customers in their decision-making process. Finally, explore value packaging opportunities to bundle additional services and create differentiation in the digital world. Embrace these steps to drive digital growth and cultivate lasting relationships with your customers in the ever-changing financial landscape.

For more about financial transformation, reach out to James Robert Lay at the Digital Growth Institute.