Retail Banks Go Digital
Retail banks have spent a lot of time and money in recent years embracing mobile technology and implementing online banking platforms. And rightly so: today’s consumers want ways to conduct a wide range of banking activities while on-the-go. Self-service platforms that automate transactions will become a staple in tomorrow’s branch of the future. Kiosks and service stations that support the busy lifestyle of consumers will attract those who want to make private, secure and fast transactions, alleviating teller line length and increasing the account holder’s in-branch independence. By pairing this technology with online banking capabilities, the branch of the future will evolve to a more customer-centric channel.
However, technology alone will not deliver a competitive advantage. It’s what banks choose to do with that technology, how it fits into an OmniChannel strategy and how the bank delivers a unique, personalized customer experience that will matter most. When it comes to the customer experience revolution, online superpower Amazon.com has shown the way by putting the needs of customers first.
Amazon: The King of eCommerce
Since 1994, Amazon has dominated eCommerce. The company’s success is not a coincidence; it’s the direct result of creating a strong user experience. Amazon.com does this in several ways:
- Easy to shop and easy to buy. The search bar at the top of the site operates like a search engine – just type in what you’re looking for. One Click shopping makes the checkout process fast and simple, without customers having to re-enter information.
- Personalized shopping experience. Amazon recommends products based on each user’s shopping and search history. Their “frequently purchased together” section proactively suggests additional products that other customers have purchased along with the current item, increasing personalization and automatic assistance.
- Spread the word. Amazon was one of the first sites to make customer reviews a significant part of the online shopping experience. Positive reviews instill a higher sense of confidence in the product and make the shopping experience more positive for the consumer.
Amazon’s top strength is that it aims to think like the customer. Its ultimate focus is on creating an easy, straightforward shopping experience that is highly personalized. Amazon already knows your buying habits. What you like, when you buy and how you like to buy are details of your individual customer experience Amazon maximizes to bring you directly to the items you are most interested in buying. This strategy of giving the customer exactly what they want is how they’ve been able to build (and retain) loyalty in a crowded market.
The Branch of the Future Needs to Personalize the Digital Experience
Banks have access to an enormous amount of information about their online customers: the transactions they conduct, the bank pages they visit, even the technology and devices they use while visiting the bank’s website. For the branch of the future to fully embrace the Age of the Customer, banks should use this data to create a personalized experience for customers who use online banking.
By learning from the digital experience Amazon has created, a retail bank can take advantage of these strategies and become the “Amazon” of the banking world.