June 2014: Private Site Homepages

The private site homepage initiates the client’s online experience. For this reason, firms should welcome clients to the site with an effectively designed homepage that includes pertinent account information and relevant resources. The homepage should also include quicklink sections and a comprehensive navigation menu that offers seamless access to contract management capabilities and profile settings. This Annuity Monitor Report reviews the private site homepages of firms in our coverage group. Specifically, the report focuses on the following criteria:

  • The design and layout of the homepage and navigation menu.
  • The content of the homepage.
  • The account service-related resources offered on the homepage.

Based on our examination, we noticed that the majority of firms provide basic contract information and resourceful quicklinks on their private site homepages. One firm received the highest grade (A+) for offering a comprehensive private site homepage with contract information and investment details neatly organized within intra-page tabs. This firm also utilizes graphs to highlight investment performance on the homepage. Seven other
Annuity Monitor firms also received grades in the A-range as they offer above-average homepages that feature quicklink sections and relevant account information, such as account numbers and account values. The remaining firms ranked mostly in the B-range as they could offer more account information or prominent navigation menus on their homepages. 

 

The design and layout of the private site homepages among our coverage firms varied. We found that 42% of the firms organize contract information within basic structured tables, helping clients to easily find information. Five
Annuity Monitor firms offer account details within expandable sections, which is helpful when offering information for various accounts. In terms of the navigation menu on the homepage, there are 17 firms that feature a navigation menu directly on the homepage, seven of which include flyout capabilities.

The type of account information offered on the private site homepage is relatively consistent across all coverage firms. We found that 89% of firms display an annuity contract number, account value and product name upon login. Fewer firms, however, display the contract issue date (47%), withdrawal details (32%) and premium details (16%) on the homepage.

 

In our research, we also cited noteworthy resources offered on the private site homepages. For example, seven firms offer direct access to message centers from the homepage, and four of these firms highlight the new messages on the page. In addition, we found that four firms allow users to customize some aspect of the private site homepage.

 


Additional key findings include:

  • One firm provides a chat tool directly on the private site homepage.
  • Three firms utilize graphs to highlight investment performance details on the homepage.
  • Seven firms offer clients seamless navigation between public site and private site content.
  • Nine firms provide access to their social media pages from the private site homepage.