Three key takeaways for grabbing and keeping CD shoppers through the sales cycle
Like opening a checking or savings account, deciding on a certificate of deposit, or CD, is not a decision that consumers take lightly. In fact, while financial services shoppers take a month or more to make a final decision to open checking or savings account, research from Yahoo! Insights and Hall & Partners shows that two in five consumers surveyed take two months or more to make a final decision about a CD. (A CD is similar to a savings account but has a specific, fixed term—varying from one month to five years—and offers a fixed interest rate.)
Yahoo!'s study, "The Long and Winding Road: The Gamesmanship of Shopping," offers insight into how consumers research, compare and eventually make purchases for all sorts of products and services. In this post we'll explore how consumers make the decision to open a CD, and offer tips on how financial services advertisers can attract and entice those consumers through the purchase funnel.
How consumer research CDs
Consumers undertake copious research both on- and offline to find the right CD for them. Generally, the research shows, initial awareness and research occurs primarily online, and online engagement is highest at the beginning of the cycle. As consumers move closer to their final decision, however, they rely more on in-person contact at the brick-and-mortar (or glass and steel) financial institution.
Online ads do have an impact on driving initial awareness, though most consumers surveyed said that they felt that the ads were not major factor in their final decision. The study also found, however, that "finding a good deal" is often a trigger that drove consumers to act, and that reaching consumers in their initial research phase is critical.
Specifically, the study found that:
- 75% of consumers surveyed said that the Internet makes it easier to figure out which brands to consider.
- 72% said that researching online made them aware of more brands.
- 46% said that the Internet has made them more "connected" to the brands that they favor.
Grab their attention online—and keep it
Getting consumers the right message at the right time is crucial. As the diagram below shows, 62% of those surveyed decided against going with a brand in the research phase, compared to 21% who said that they abandoned a brand only after going into the physical bank.
Important touchpoints during the initial awareness phase include:
- Financial websites
- Online ads
- Word-of-mouth from friends and relatives
In addition, online ads and traditional advertising remained important through the information-gathering phase, as consumers narrow down their options, as the graph below illustrates. Financial websites remained important throughout the process, making it vital that financial services providers tie together their messages across touchpoints, both online and off.
Perhaps the biggest factor influencing consumers' purchase decisions is whether they feel they're getting a good deal. Fully 51% of respondents surveyed said that their decision to sign up for a CD was based on finding a "great deal or offer."
Three key takeaways
- Take advantage of online advertising to grab consumers during the initial awareness phase and keep their interest piqued during the research phase.
- Make sure your website, online and offline advertising, and printed collateral are consistent in messaging and tone.
- Advertise deals and special offers to entice consumers.
Stay tuned for more research from "The Gamesmanship of Shopping" study around financial services. And to find out more about how your brand can benefit from Yahoo! Insights research, contact a Yahoo! representative.
— Michael Mattis