The Role of Search in the Online Deposits Market

Compete recently held a webinar in which we analyzed the role that search plays in consumers’ online research for deposit products (savings, checking, CDs, etc.).  The study revealed some interesting findings about just how prevalent search is within the consumer buying cycle.  Some of the key findings from this webinar include:

  • Overall online shopper and applicant volume declined in 2009, however share of online shoppers utilizing search, especially Google, increased
    • >65% of deposit shoppers who used search in September 2009 chose to use Google, compared to <60% in January 2008

  • Online shopping activity is an important contributor to offline applications
    • For every 10 online applicants, 6 additional online shoppers apply at a branch

  • Deposits account shoppers who utilized search applied at a higher rate than those who did not use search
    • Searchers were 1.44x more likely to apply for a deposits product than non-searchers across all channels (branch, phone, internet)

  • 68% of shoppers perform multiple search queries
    • Shoppers performing multiple queries are up to 1.2x more likely to apply than shoppers performing a single search

  • Shoppers who utilized non-branded search terms, compared to those who exclusively used branded terms, were 1.4x more likely to apply

In sum, it is clear that search is an integral component of many consumers’ shopping process when evaluating various deposit products.  Those who utilize search also appear to be a higher value customer segment, as they apply at a greater rate than those who do not leverage this resource.  Finally, a key outcome of this study was to illustrate the prevalence of online shoppers going offline to ultimately apply for a deposit product.  Clearly there is an "amplification effect" in the value of an online shopper.  Marketers cannot simply attribute ROI to online campaigns by measuring online conversion, but rather must also take into account the value derived from a shopper learning about a product or service online and choosing an offline channel for the conversion event.

Watch a replay of the webinar.