Every Tuesday, Corporate Insight releases recommendations to help financial services firms improve a key aspect of the online user experience. Recommendations are taken directly from our Monitor Reports and Consulting Services research, which cover the banking, brokerage, credit card, asset management and insurance industries.
This week’s recommendations come from our Mutual Fund Monitor – Advisor report titled Literature Order Systems: Analyzing the Shopping Experience and focus on ways fund firms can improve the literature order systems they offer their financial advisors:
Provide Order History – If advisors find materials from their firm useful, they are very likely to order them again for other clients. Since a lot of advisory communications are also seasonal (Taxes, College Savings, etc.), advisors will benefit from the ability to review what they have sent clients, and when. An accessible and detailed literature order history can prove invaluable for these purposes. Currently, half of the MFM-A firms provide literature order histories.
Allow Advisors to Sort Results – A large list of search results can be a daunting prospect without the proper tools to pare down what is important. If firms outfit advisors with sorting capabilities, as 36% of firms currently do, then the literature searching process can become significantly more efficient.
Include Rollover Shopping Carts – When searching for numerous pieces of literature, advisors will appreciate the ability to quickly and seamlessly review what they have already found and placed in their cart. If users have to navigate back and forth between different pages, this process can become tedious; but with rollover shopping cart displays, currently offered by 29% of MFM-A firms, users can accomplish this with a mere movement of the mouse.
Highlight New, Popular and Updated Items – Just as news websites utilize Most Popular or Most Emailed lists in order to promote content, asset management firms can effectively call attention to their resources using the all-powerful word of mouth tactic. Advisors will very likely want to know what their peers have found effective, so visible Most Popular lists can increase awareness, as well as lists highlighting newly released or newly updated resources
Use Smart Predictive Search – Predictive search can be an integral aspect of online shopping, but only if it is designed in a way that supplements the search process, rather than merely replace it. The three MFM-A firms that currently offer predictive searches scratch the surface of their effectiveness, but still have sizable room for improvement.
Include as Much Item Information as Possible – The more information that advisors can glean from literature listings, the more prepared they will be to make informed decisions about which documents to order, and the audience they are best suited for.