Zendor, the distance-shopping expert, is offering banks with an online presence usability-led website advice after research by Zendor identified barriers to sales on many banking websites.

Many of the banking websites researched by Zendor were found to provide poor levels of usability for customers, thereby creating barriers to sales at three distinct stages: when customers browse the product offerings; when customers evaluate the product offerings; and finally at the online applications stage. This means that the high level of service that customers expect from the brand is not being translated from the high street to the online experience.

Zendor found that banking website visitors needed to work hard to find required information. This was in direct comparison to their visits to banks where financial assistants were on-hand to guide them through a minefield of information and products.

In addition, few banking websites allow for customers, who wish to browse a number of sites for quotes to return to purchase from one of them. Instead of providing printable quotes or save quote options for example, customers often have to re-introduce themselves and their requirements every time they return to a site. Furthermore, barriers within the application process, such as insufficient information regarding what is being asked for, often results in customers abandoning the website to shop on competitor sites or offline.

By improving the customer experience at these vital stages, barriers to sales will be removed, and customer retention and conversion rates are likely to increase markedly. To improve the customer experience online, Zendor provides the following advise to banks:

• Be customer-centric – Design for your customers and their needs when building your site rather than the products you have on offer. This will enable them to quickly and easily find the best product for their circumstances and will allow them to make informed purchasing decisions.

• Clearly show the differences between product offerings – Provide comparison tables so that the customer can easily see the differences between the products. This will enable them to quickly shortlist the products that are most appropriate for their needs and will put an end to customers moving back and forth between product pages.

• Educate the customer – Provide information which allows customers to understand how to evaluate their options and be confident in their decisions.

• Make information easy to read and understand – Ensure the website is not full of confusing financial jargon. If financial terminology must be used, ensure there is a ‘jargon buster’ section which clearly explains what the words mean.

• Provide ‘save’ and/or ‘print’ options so that product information and quotes can be referred to at a later date should the customer wish to browse other sites before making a purchasing decision.

Zendor has proven experience of increasing the customer retention and conversion rates on financial websites. Clients include Lloyds TSB (www.screentrade.com and www.insurance.co.uk) and First Financial (www.firstfinancial.co.uk).

Zendor provides a range of web usability services to businesses with an online presence including usability-led re-designs. For further information on Zendor’s web usability services, please contact Zendor direct on 0161 237 4900, email curious@zendor.com or visit www.zendor.com

For further press information please contact: Liz Ebbrell The Scott Partnership, The Old Barn, Holly House Estate, Cranage, Middlewich, Cheshire CW10 9LT Tel: 01606 837787 Fax: 01606 837757 e-mail: pr@scottmail.co.uk

Notes to Editor
Zendor provides interactive services including web usability and accessibility reviews as part of its range of distance shopping services. Zendor’s clients include Lloyds TSB Screentrade, GE Capital, First Financial, dabs.com, Sony Computer Entertainment UK, Bon Marche, River Island, Early Learning Centre and Stanley Leisure.

Published on: 12:00AM on 20th February 2004