Why a good website isn't enough

A well-designed, experience-rich website is at the core of any successful digital strategy. But for community banks, it’s not enough to drive new business.

Leveraging insights from the study of leading online-only and mobile financial solutions companies to employ a distinctive digital strategy can help community banks compete effectively and double their online business. (See results below.)

Across the industry, penetration rates for online and digital services at community banks are woeful. And even those customers who do use their bank’s online and mobile services are not particularly impressed with the experience.

When compared, these numbers reveal a fundamental competitive challenge for community banks*.

Yes, we know that community banks are hamstrung by the online and mobile solutions offered by their core providers. And yes, we understand that the typical community bank website has to tell every customer about every service the bank offers. But community banks are paying the price for a poor experience when it comes to capturing new – and especially younger – customers.

Last year, Accenture** reported that Millennial customers are significantly more likely to turn to non-banks for innovative financial solutions. And a Makovsky Brand Reputation survey*** reported that 46% of Millennials would consider switching to Google or Amazon or another tech-leading retail company for a better digital banking experience. Community banks are simply not perceived to be technology leaders nor capable of providing a competitive digital experience.

Community banks can learn a lot from the websites and apps of successful online-only and mobile financial services companies. These sites share a number of common characteristics that contribute to a superior customer experience:

  1. Clear product focus
  2. Decisive positioning
  3. Easy access
  4. Emphatic call to action
  5. Easy fulfillment
  6. Access to product experts
  7. Eager customer service

A redesign of a traditional community bank website, no matter how well done, can’t deliver on the type of experience customers demand. That’s why we recommend a different strategy for our clients.

The development of standalone promotional landing pages or microsites allows you to compete for those digital consumers who have turned their backs on community banks.

Microsites allow you to better target key customer segments, such as homebuyers, Millenials, retirees, or businesses with a digital experience designed to not only introduce products and services to existing customers but to acquire new customers. Targeted customers are invited to a microsite through email campaigns, digital advertising and organic search.

Once there, they receive a condensed, impactful presentation of the bank’s solution to their particular need. The singular focus of the microsite allows for a streamlined, uncluttered presentation of the bank’s capabilities and makes it easier for the visitor to find, evaluate, and purchase the solution they seek. Design emphasis is placed on engaging the visitor, providing a clear call to action, and selling the services and expertise of the bank.

Galapagos developed this approach over a year ago and beta test results to date have been significant. Site visits increased by an average of 87% (microsite promotional page compared to traditional site product pages). As well as a few other impressive numbers:

This change is digital strategy can be implemented quickly and easily and for a fraction of the cost of a new website redesign. Yet it can go a long way to changing customer perceptions of the online and digital capabilities of community banks.