SAN FRANCISCO – In our second study about taking out a Personal Loan, LendingTree.com takes the lead. The lender leaves CreditKarma.com (Digital Sales Score of 22), Discover.com (Score: 18) behind with an overall Digital Sales Score of 23. Just barely behind these top 3, WellsFargo.com ranks first when it comes to digital customer experience on both mobile and desktop.
What do customers find when searching for a personal loan?
The 600 respondents in this study were given the following task: “Imagine that you want to take out an unsecured personal loan of approximately $10,000, for example, to pay off credit card (or other) debt, to finance a home improvement project or another big purchase. Note that this is different from a mortgage or car loan.”
For the 2nd year in a row LendingTree.com takes the lead. They are found by 47% of all respondents that orient themselves on taking out a personal loan. Next to that 13% stated they would choose LedingTree.com as the company they would take out a personal loan.
Big difference in performance of computers versus mobile
The results show big differences in the performance between computer and mobile for the same website. The leader in the overall Digital Sales Score, LendingTree, has the highest mobile score (9pts higher than its own desktop score) while the 2nd place CreditKarma.com had the highest desktop score (5pts higher than its own mobile score).
Digital Sales Score Ranking
Name study: Personal LoansMeasurement: November 2018Country: United States
- Total Desktop Mobile
- 1 LendingTree.com 23 19 28
- 2 CreditKarma.com 22 24 19
- 3 Discover.com 18 18 18
- 4 WellsFargo.com 18 21 15
- 5 RocketLoans.com 17 15 19
- 6 SunTrust.com 16 10 22
- 7 Marcus.com 16 18 13
- 8 LendingClub.com 12 13 11
- 9 SoFi.com 12 12 12
- 10 BankofAmerica.com 10 6 13
- 11 eLoan.com 9 9 -
- 12 Chase.com 8 6 10
- 13 UpStart.com 7 6 9
- 14 Prosper.com 6 10 3
- 15 CapitalOne.com 6 6 -
- 16 NerdWallet.com 5 - 5
- 17 Avant.com 5 5 4
- 18 NetCredit.com 4 3 5
- 19 Credible.com 3 4 2
- 20 OneMainFinancial.com 3 3 2
- Each Digital Sales Scan® is based on the Digital Sales Model. With this model, the details of the research and purchase decision-making process are mapped. Eventually the performance of a website is reflected in a single, overall score: the Digital Sales Score.
- Highest total score
- Highest score on device
LendingClub.com has a high Findability but isn’t able to get customers to take out a loan
Runner-up in terms of Findability is LendingClub.com, they are found by 36% of the customers. The website isn’t able to convince browsing customers to choose them over others: only 5% of respondent place LendingClub.com as their prefered choice. This may have something to do with the hidden rates. Or in the words of the respondents: “Give me upfront info on rate without making me sign in with my email.” This seems to be a problem for more customers: “I don’t want to give personal info right away. This was a big turn off for me. It just screams that I’m going to get spammed with junk emails from them.”
WellsFargo.com provides best customer journey
WellsFargo.com takes fourth places in the overall Digital Sales Score because they are found by just 22% of the study participants. This is a lot lower then LendingTree.com (47% Findability). But the customers that visit the website via smartphone or desktop are very happy with their journey on the company’s website. Information that customers need is easily accessible: “Loan calculator right on the page and offers to compare options.” Just as: “offers phone number to call and chat bubble to discuss with service rep”. The website also conveys the feeling that potential customers will borrow from a company with a good reputation and that gives them security.
Download the Personal Loan Insights Report for more data, insights, and visuals.
Channel Preference for taking out a personal loan
Before and after participating in the survey, respondents are asked about their channel preference. Channel Preference for finding information about a personal loan offline went down 5% between before and after the study. At the end of the study, 51% still prefers to find information online and request a personal loan online. Interesting: 6% said they wouldn’t use the internet at all to find info after doing the study, this started at 0%. Meanwhile, most of the respondents’ state that they want to take out a personal loan from a bank (49%) while taking out money from a credit union is preferred by 38% of the customers.
To beat the competition, you have to offer an excellent digital experience
This study shows once again that Digital Excellence is an absolute necessity. To beat the competition, you have to offer an excellent digital experience in the entire customer journey, and take the number 1 position when it comes to preference. Being found and scoring high in Google isn’t enough. You have to design a website that guides the customer to the product they want and provides a feeling of support.
Would you like more insights into the US market for Personal Loans? We have a crystal-clear image of your position and results. Just download the report below.