April 2016: Literature Ordering Systems

Literature centers house all the necessary materials that provide advisors with the resources they need to connect with clients and prospects. While electronic communications are status quo, face-to-face interactions can still make important impressions when working with clients and colleagues. To help facilitate in-person meetings, firms provide dedicated literature ordering systems, where advisors can place orders for high-grade, printed materials to share or give individuals for their personal records.

This month, we reviewed 17 of the 20 Mutual Fund Monitor-Advisor websites and assigned grades based on the accessibility of their literature ordering systems, their search function capabilities, the depth of item descriptions and the current state of cart technology. The majority of coverage group firms (85%) provide advisors with an effective literature ordering system. Firms typically provide search, filter and browsing options to assist advisors. Carts are present in site headers (43%), prefilled address forms (82%) and progress meters to track the checkout process (52%). The three top scoring firms offer excellent search and browsing features, detailed item descriptions and convenient checkout procedures. Firms receive lower marks for outdated systems and a smaller selection of materials.