July 2018 – Making a Lasting First Impression: A Review of Public Site Homepages

The problem with a first impression is that you only get one. While more commonly applied to job interviews and blind dates, this adage holds equally true for a firm’s public website—figuratively, the digital face of the company. For better or worse, visitors will make myriad assumptions about a company based on that initial glance at its public homepage. Brokerage firms that put their best digital face forward will see rewards in the form of new clients and increased business. Inversely, firms that neglect their public homepages will see prospective clients wander to more tempting suitors, regardless of the services or accounts the original firm may offer. In the case of brokerage websites, public site homepages offer the best chance to entice potential clients. To that end, this Broker Monitor Report reviews the public homepages presented to prospective clients—a topic last covered by e-Monitor in 2015.

Most firms in this report offer similar designs and navigational links on their public site homepages. Sixteen firms (89%) offer responsive design, while 15 (83%) use a corporate branded color scheme. Most firms do not offer a banner image carousel, with only two (11%) incorporating the outdated feature. Ten firms (55%) provide embedded login fields and all 18 firms link to an About Us page. Less common features include embedded advisor or branch locator tools, market data, pricing information, information on corporate sponsorships/ philanthropy and company news. While firms offer relatively consistent aesthetic designs, they differ widely in depth and breadth of content, as well as in corporate branding and communication of their distinct value propositions.

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