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Trends & Highlights
In our monthly Trends & Highlights, Corporate Insight summarizes some of the more noteworthy trends, issues and changes we've observed in our recent research.
|May 2011: Site Revamps and Enhancements|
April was a busy month for financial firms, as several across our various Monitor groups revamped their websites, some upgraded private site capabilities and some introduced new promotional sitelets.
Last month, six firms we track unveiled new websites, including two annuity firms, one advisor firm, one mutual fund firm and two brokerage firms. Annuity firm New York Life overhauled its advisor site, while annuity firm TIAA-CREF revamped its public site, both featuring a new design and layout and better navigation to site features and pages. Advisor firm Federated redesigned its advisor site with a new homepage, a reorganized navigational menu with rollover and access to new features, such as an email subscription option that alerts advisors when new firm content is released. Though Federated’s design changes were positive, the advisor site unfortunately no longer houses the firm’s tools and educational resources.
Fund firm Dreyfus updated its public site with redesigned product overview pages, a more user-friendly main menu and a new My Dreyfus tool that provides streamlined access to important investor features, such as subscriptions and a new fund watchlist. Brokerage firm Scottrade upgraded its public site with a cleaner layout, an updated navigational menu, a static search tool on the site’s header and new page footers that provide contact information for the firm. Brokerage firm Sharebuilder unveiled perhaps the biggest changes last month, announcing that it has been rebranded as ING Direct Investing and now allows clients to access ING bank account information and online transfers between ING and ShareBuilder accounts on the private site. The firm’s both public and private sites were revamped, and also offer new features such as a static Quote bar, alerts, third-party research reports and improved charts.
New ShareBuilder Homepage
Improved Private Site Functionality
In April, two banking firms streamlined access for clients to various pre-existing private site transactions. Citibank now allows customers to view recent activity, transfer funds and make payments directly from the private site homepage, through lightboxes that appear on the page. Wells Fargo now allows customers to make one-time, future or recurring transfers, as well as Wells Fargo-tied brokerage transfers, all from the Between Your Accounts page. Previously, users had to visit separate pages to make these different types of transfers.
Transfer Funds Lightbox on Citibank Private Site Homepage
In Other News…