The New Personal Banking Web

I argued in my previous blog post, Demise or rebirth of the banking web, that banks will transform their web sites due to the cannibalization from their own mobile banking solutions.

The acclaimed author of “From Good to Great”, Jim Collins, describes in his new book “Great by Choice” the characteristics of winners that outperform their peers through turbulent times. One of these success factors is the ability to zoom-in and -out at risks. This blog post is about my belief that successful banks will zoom out from the risk that they will lose a large share of the traffic to their web site and see the opportunity to decide what kind of traffic they want and how it can increase sales.

There are three areas in which I foresee major advances when the web is transformed for increased customer experience and sales effectiveness:

  • Adoption to customers and their devices. We will finally see the emergence of the 1:1 marketing where the content is adopted to the unique customer’s profile and behavior. The content will adapt to how the customer entered the site and what pages they visit during the session. Likewise, the content will adapt to the form factor of the device that the customer is using when browsing the site in order to give optimal user experience.  We shouldn’t assume that mobile customers always will use the bank’s native app, especially not early in the buying process.
  • Bridge for multichannel customers. Everyone recognize the phenomenon with multichannel customers but most take a too channel focused approach on each contact point. We have to support the customer when he/she traverse the different channels in order to increase sales conversion ratios. The web is probably the best bridge for customers that want to jump from self-service to human advice and then back to self-service to validate and execute the recommendations. We will see banks leverage chat, co-browsing, on-line meetings and on-line scheduling of physical meetings through the Internet soon.
  • eCommerce. Today, there are banks that are replicating the shopping experience in retail stores where customers use shopping carts to navigate through aisles in the branch and select their financial products packaged in boxes.  Accenture identified this “retailization” as one of six levelers for successful banks in their excellent report “Customer 2012”. The next step is to provide the same shopping on-line with shopping carts and simple check-outs without endless forms that have to be filled out.

This is hopefully what the banks will see when the zoom out. The next step, zooming in, is about getting into the discipline of planning and executing the transformation.  The authors offer another advice that may be useful when transforming the web. Using a metaphor, the authors suggest that we start by shooting bullets to calibrate your aim and save the cannon until we know it will be a hit.

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