The average active consumer in the UK and the US has opened more than four new online retail accounts in the last two years, and more than three accounts with online marketplaces, online gaming and financial services sites.
Research by Trulioo earlier this year highlights the power of first impressions when it comes to online account creation and provides insight to online service providers, including financial institutions, on how to attract new customers.
Canvassing more than 2000 consumers, figures show that the general public are continually and consistently looking to engage with new sites, applications and brands across all types of online services.
Across all sectors, the majority of people use their online accounts at least once a week and within financial services, 52% of people use their accounts on a daily basis. However, consumers are not content to just use the online accounts they already have.
The average active consumer in the UK and the US has opened four new online retail accounts in the last two years. Attitudes to online security and the willingness to walk away were among current frustrations when it came to creating a new account.
Here are some of the key research findings:
The vast majority (89%) of people state that a secure account creation process that validates their identity and protects them against fraud and identity theft, is very important.
Consumers in both the UK and the US share the view that security is the most significant aspect of account creation. In fact, the research shows that consumers of all ages and genders feel that security is the number one factor in an optimal account creation process.
The research uncovered some significant insights into consumer behaviour and attitudes towards online marketplaces. Overall, the sector is likely to see continued growth over the next two years, with 50% of people expecting to increase their use of online marketplaces, 45% expecting no change, and only 5% predicting they will reduce their use of these platforms.
However, the research suggests that the US will see a stronger uplift in use of online marketplaces than the UK, and that this growth is likely to be driven primarily by men and younger people.
The challenge for service providers is to deliver the level of protection that consumers want and need, but to do this while also meeting expectations for a fast and seamless experience.
Consumers look very favourably on service providers that deliver fast and secure account creation, built around real-time identity verification.
The majority of people are less likely to abandon the account opening process if the service provider uses real-time identity verification. They also have greater trust in the brand, feel more valued as a customer and are more likely to share their positive experiences with others.
Perhaps most significantly, 73% of consumers are likely to spend more money on a website where the service provider uses real-time identity verification as part of a fast and secure account opening process.
This finding applies to all types of digital services, from financial services and online gaming, through to online marketplaces and retail.
Willingness to Walk Away
Almost three-quarters (73%) of consumers claim that they are increasingly intolerant of poor experiences when opening new online accounts, and they will switch to other providers if the experience is sub-optimal.
This intolerance is expressed by younger and older consumers alike, within both the UK and the US, and across all types of digital services. People simply will not accept slow or cumbersome account creation processes.
Financial Services Need to Work Harder
The report by Trulioo highlights that in an ever-more competitive digital economy, brands in all sectors must work harder and invest more to attract and engage new customers. Losing customers and their revenue potential during the account opening process, before they’ve even had an opportunity to use and engage with a service, is a challenge facing all online businesses, including the financial sector.
Therefore, online service providers should treat the account opening process with the same level of care and attention as they do all other areas of their operations and customer experience.
Consumers live in a real-time world, and expect information and services to be available immediately. It shouldn’t be a surprise that consumers expect this real-time experience to extend to opening new accounts.
But this research reveals that consumers simply aren’t getting the level of speed and security they expect when opening new online accounts, and service providers are losing out as a result.
Brands need to move on from the idea that security and identity verification checks are barriers to seamless customer experiences. This research shows that there is in fact a strong level of acceptance of the need for identity verification checks within the onboarding process and awareness of emerging threats such as fraud and identity theft. Consumers simply want the process to be conducted as efficiently and intuitively as possible, in keeping with the experiences they enjoy at every other stage of the customer journey.
With this in mind, online service providers should review and refine their customer onboarding strategies to optimise account creation, with real-time identity verification embedded into their processes.
In doing so, they can deliver a first-class customer experience which forges trusted and lasting relationships with new customers.