Ally Nabs Top Spot In Financial Services Site Study

ally.com

Ally receives the top ranking in a survey of national, regional and online banks, investment firms, and money management services, according to a new report from web researchers Change Sciences Group.

The report looks at how well financial services firms communicate about the value of their services online. The New York-based company evaluated 22 sites. ING Direct and Capital One join Ally at the top of the results.

"Ally's top score is a wake-up call to traditional financial services online," says Pamela Pavliscak, a Change Sciences partner. "With trust at an all-time low, consumers are looking to financial services Web sites to clearly demonstrate the value they provide. They want to know quickly and clearly exactly what it will be like to be a customer of the firm."

The top banks have surpassed traditional top performers like Bank of America and E*Trade by maintaining a focus on helping customers get control of their personal finances, she adds. "Online customer experience for financial services has been taken to a new level by these firms' laser focus on user experience design," according to the report.

The firm used Kantuit, an interactive experience modeling platform that produces insights about user experience best practices, to evaluate the sites.

The study reveals that 14% of sites fail to support at least one user goal and its requirements, while 27% fail to answer at least one question that users have. About 77% lack some content that some users consider persuasive, while 45% have content problems that make information difficult to understand for some users.

About 23% have page layout problems that make information hard to find for a significant number of users, while 9% lack design elements that help users stay focused and on track.

Eighteen percent have instances of visual design that are perceived by many users to be less than professional, and 14% have visual design elements that are perceived as incongruous or inconsistent. About 36% have visual design elements that are perceived as less than welcoming. Seventy-seven percent lack some content that many users consider persuasive, and 50% fail to communicate why prospects should choose to start a relationship with the company.

Roughly half fail to give prospects an idea of what it is like to be a customer, while 32% fail to communicate special offers, appealing rates and cost savings in a prominent location.

Other areas of site coverage in the report include the role of online demos, chat and social networking. Other sites included in the research are: Ameriprise, BB&T, Chase, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Mint, Nationwide, PNC, SunTrust, Thrive, US Bank, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo.

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2 comments about "Ally Nabs Top Spot In Financial Services Site Study ".
  1. Jonathan salem Baskin from Global Brand Strategist , February 17, 2010 at 8:17 a.m.

    Ally's ranking is excellent news, and I personally happen to love its TV ads. So being 'top' means:
    - It is selling more products and services than its competitors
    - Its customers are more loyal, measured by objective #s like money invested, rate of deposits, etc.
    - It needs to spend a lower amount per customer acquired, and makes more from said customer over time vs. its competitors

    Or does it?

  2. Kevin Horne from Lairig Marketing , February 17, 2010 at 1:17 p.m.

    This is misleading and foolish. Misleading in that a casual reader who left the article early would presume this was based on consumer feedback (which of course the final paragraphs show it was not - instead some very subjective site assessment work).

    Foolish because ally's entire value proposition is based on "value." It's an online only vestige of GMAC, offering the lowest rates on the planet for two simple services (and not a single service more) to build up a base of deposits and get off the Fed's sh&tlist. If it couldnt win this "top spot" in a "sruvey" like this you'd have to wonder what was wrong.

    More here:
    http://lairigmarketing.typepad.com/lairig_marketing/2010/01/brand-naming-i-dont-know-y.html