Google Insights provide much needed help to improve your Web site

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

For years, I have been telling clients that mining search results (both internal and external) are great way to get into the mind of the shopper, understand what is on their mind, and get a better grip on the words they use when shopping for products.Google now offers a free tool to make mining search results even easier. It's called Google Insights.

Here is how you can use it:

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The business case for Web sales is made on influence, not direct sales

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

One area where metrics in financial services are still hard to come by is the level of influence that the Web has on sales made in a branch, by phone or via mail. This is one area where Forrester's data can help clients. Every year, we survey US and Canadian consumers on their acquisition activities in the previous year.  

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What financial service eBusiness execs will be saying in 2013

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

There is a great article in the Las Vegas Journal based on a speech by Macy's CEO, Terry Lundgren, at this year's Shop.org retail conference.

The gist of the speech is that he went from non-believer to a believer in the power of eBusiness as their online sales went from $30,000 in 1996 to over $1 billion today.

Everybody involved with eBusiness in financial services should read this article as it speaks to many of the questions financial service execs have about eBusiness including:

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The Age Old Question Financial Services Executives Ask

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

Not a day goes by that I don’t get the following question from a client: How do I effectively cross-sell existing customers?

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What should Forrester write about?

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

We need your input.

Periodically, Forrester runs a progam called Client Choice where we ask clients to vote on topics we should write about in upcoming research reports. We are currently running a client choice ballot and would appeciate you taking part in the voting. 

This particilar Client Choice topic list is centered around Financial Service topics including topic areas like direct banking, data security, next generation selling/servicing, and eBusiness channel strategy development.

Take a second and vote. VOTE NOW.

If you do not see a topic that interest you here, no sweat -- write one in.

Thanks.

Brad

The iPhone Is A Game-Changer For Mobile Banking

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

One job of an analyst is the separate the hype from the facts. We here at Forrester are fortunate enough to have access to customer survey information that allows us to do just that.

For the last 18 months, the hottest thing on the planet has been mobile banking. Forrester has fielded dozens and dozens of questions from clients wondering about mobile banking strategy to the point that you'd think every consumer on the planet was clamoring to bank on their mobile device.

But our surveys continue to tell us something different (at least for now). In our most recent survey from Q1 2009, 10% of US consumers with a mobile phone have signed up for moblie banking. And among those who have not banked using a mobile phone, the number interested remains low.

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Online Chat Success Can Mask Problems On Your Web Site

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

One clear trend in eBusiness these days is the increasing importance of interactive help tools including online chat and click-to-call. Hardly a day goes by where I do not get asked about how to best use this evolving technology. The problem is that often firms put the cart before the horse when approaching this important technology. Firms are quick to head down interactive help path without first solving common Web site problems. The result can be chat and call sessions resulting from sub-optimal site design; essentially interactive help is used because the site visitor cannot get their question answered on the site.

Consider this.

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What Consumers REALLY Want From Their Financial Services Provider

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

American Banker published an article last week that Mint.com and Wesabe were adding "unwanted fee finders" as a part of their services.  About a week later, I received the following notice from Mint related to my Wells Fargo account (BTW - it is a bill payment fee)

Mint

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Person-to-Person Lending Evolves and Devolves Simultaneously

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

Is it me or is there at least one major announcement in the Person-to-Person (P2P) lending space every week?

This last week had two:

  • Fynanz shuts down. Fynanz, a student lending person-to-person lender, shut down last week.  A note on their site states "Due to market conditions, at this time we are not accepting new members."
  • Pertuity Direct emerges. Pertuity Direct emerged on the person-to-person scene today with a model of person-to-person lending (and more importantly investing) that make the process more palpable - more on that later.

Here is my view on person-to-person lending:

PROS

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Search Engines: A Simple Way To Better Understand Consumers

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

A large portion of a Forrester analyst's job is keeping tab on hundreds of different Web sites. During my Web site travels over the years, a few truths have become evident:

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