Corporate Insight recently conducted over 40 hours of in-depth interviews (IDIs) with investors to inform the Brokerage Experience Benchmarks. The IDIs—a new addition to the benchmark research this year—focus on key aspects of the digital brokerage experience across both desktop and mobile platforms. During the brokerage investor interviews, CI researchers performed screenshares allowing a diverse group of investors (ages spanned from 20s to 60s and assets spanned from $5,000 to over $500,000) to navigate brokerage websites and apps and to demonstrate how they use the platforms. This rigorous process enabled CI researchers to gain valuable insights into how investors interact with digital brokerage platforms. The latest edition of the Benchmarks include investor feedback along with an array of thematic analysis. Going forward, CI will also be implementing the findings from these brokerage investor interviews into other products, including monthly e-Monitor Reports.

On the broadest level, interviewees are largely pleased with their brokerages, expressing satisfaction with the ease of completing essential tasks like checking account performance, placing trades and executing transfers.

  • Charles Schwab Trade Ticket: “[It] is very detailed… All the information is pertinent. You don’t have anything there that you feel like, ‘why is this there?’… It’s very compact but still very easy to read.” –Kyle J., 40
  • E*TRADE Positions Page: “I appreciate the fact that it’s…straightforward and it has all your stocks to the left and all your information to the right. To me, it’s easy to read.” –Samir A., 31
  • Fidelity Transfer Experience: “It’s simple. It’s easy. I feel like I’m able to do what I need to do without any real issues or having to see my account.” –Jeremy A., 32

That said, investors are not using the full-breadth of resources and tools offered. Many interviewees were unaware of various features, particularly research capabilities, and reported that they seek similar information or resources from third-party sites. (Many interviewees shared that social media serves as a primary locus of research.) When we demonstrated that these capabilities exist on their firms’ websites, participants expressed genuine interest in using these features going forward.

  • Fidelity research offerings: “It’s kind of hard to navigate. I still haven’t learned what a lot of the offerings are like when I look through the categories, some of them sound repetitive or I’m just not exactly sure what it could be.” – Mira B., 30
  • Fidelity screeners tool: “It’s something [screeners] that I honestly did not really realize was there and I can find that useful because it’s a great way of comparing things.” – Tony R., 54

In addition to these overarching findings, the interviews cover a number of distinct topics, including mobile experiences, mobile vs. desktop preferences, navigation and account security. To learn more about the project, and how CI’s subscription services can help your organization enhance its digital experience, check out our Online Brokerage Research Services page.