Checking accounts are one of the top selling financial products in the US, and 18% of applicants apply online. To help digital banking teams benchmark their bank websites and plan future improvements, Forrester used its Website User Experience Review and Website Functionality Benchmark methodologies to evaluate the public websites of the seven largest US retail banks. Our 2013 US Bank Online Sales Rankings includes the rankings for Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Capital One, Chase, and PNC.
Highlights of the 2013 US Bank Online Sales Rankings:
- Bank of America takes the top spot for the first time. Bank of America topped this year's US bank ranking, scoring 72 out of 100. Bank of America stands out for the content and functionality it offers in both the research and the application phases. Just three points separated the top four sites: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and Citibank.
- US banks have worked hard to build trust with prospects. All of the US bank sites we ranked demonstrated proficiency in guiding prospects through the research and buying process by providing feedback, contextual help, and an indication on how to correct errors.
- Digital banking teams still struggle with efficiently merchandising products. Digital banking teams aren't merchandising accounts effectively by giving prospects reasons to do business with them. Many banking sales sites do not effectively promote services like digital banking capabilities, do not differentiate the bank from its competitors, and do not offer customer ratings and reviews.
- Canadian banks are catching up with their US peers. The gap between Canadian and US banks in terms of the quality of the checking account shopping experience is shrinking. For years, the larger US banks have outperformed their Canadian peers as a group in the sales rankings, but this 2013 Canadian Bank Online Sales Rankings indicates the gap is now just one point, and Royal Bank of Canada achieved the highest score of any bank in North America, with 81 out of 100.
Despite the many improvements to US banks' sites, there is still opportunity to improve the online sales process even further by more effectively merchandising products, providing multichannel support to the large number of prospects who apply through traditional channels, onboarding customers through digital channels, and supporting the research and buying process on mobile devices. Read my report to gain insight on how digital banking teams can optimize their digital sales process.