Unsecured personal loans are another consumer financial instrument next to credit cards, mortgages, student and car loans. Americans are taking out personal loans for a variety of reasons from consolidating credit card debt to financing home improvement projects. Over the last five years, the personal loan market in the United States has doubled to a national outstanding balance of $106 billion. Likewise, the median personal loan amount has grown more than $10,000 per household since 1992 (inflation adjusted, Source: SuperMoney).
With market growth, competition has increase to meet the demand spurring a plethora of online lenders with the big banks catching up in recent years. Given the ease and speed with which a consumer can get an unsecured loan against a secured loan (providing an asset or collateral for the loan), this type of loan will not soon disappear.
Consumers freely search online for a personal loan
This week, WUA will start to measure the online personal loan market by asking 600 respondents to go online for the following task:
“Imagine that you want to take out a personal loan of approximately $10,000, to pay off Credit Card (or other) debt, to finance a home improvement project or other big purchase.”
The 600 respondents will be aged 18+, earn at least $30,000, and be demographically representative of the US population. Each of the respondents will search on their own devices; 300 on computers, 300 on smartphones. They are free to use search and discover websites using any methodology, i.e. search engines, comparison sites, or going directly to a preferred website. Their previous browser history, cookies and cache will affect their customer experiences. This allows WUA benchmark the US market and to discover:
– Which websites do consumers find online?
– Who provides the best digital customer experience?
– What are the industry’s best practices online?
– Who do consumers prefer most? And, why?
The potential consumers give us feedback as they walk through each website based on our different customer experience themes as seen in WUA’s validated Digital Sales Model. They will continue until the point that they can take out a personal loan without taking it out. After evaluating 3 to 4 websites, we ask the respondents which website they preferred for taking out a loan. We also ask what about their 2nd and 3rd favorite choice, and ask them what those websites would have to do to become their 1st choice.
See how your website performs relative to the competition
Are you an online personal loan provider? This study will offer valuable market insights about your website’s performance (on desktop as well as mobile), such as: findability, conversion, preference, and detailed information about how consumers perceive the Look & Feel of your website, your Product Offer, and your Brand… compared to the competition. Furthermore, WUA’s validated model can show which changes in the customer journey will drive conversion the most. Questions our study will provide answers to for example are:
– How often is your website found, and how quickly? Via a search engine or organically, and how can you use this information to improve your findability?
– How many visitors of your website continue after having formed a first impression, and, if they drop out: why?
– If they continue, how do they experience your website when they take a further look? How do they experience the order process?
– How can you improve your website’s Look and Feel, your Product Offer and the way in which it is presented on your website, and your brand perception?
The ultimate KPI
The Digital Sales Scan offers the ultimate KPI to measure the online customer experience, which can be used to set priorities and determine backlogs. The way in which these scores are calculated makes it possible to easily compare websites both quantitatively and qualitatively, as well as different industries and countries. The impact of changes to your website can be measured immediately and continually in order to expose weaknesses and strengths. Our expert analysis and recommendations will give you the ultimate tool to help increase your online conversion!
Personal Loan research elsewhere: the United Kingdom and the Netherlands
WUA regularly conducts research in more than 18 countries. In November 2017, similar research will be conducted on the Personal Loan markets of the Netherlands and the United Kingdoms. Across the three countries more than 1500 respondents will each evaluate 4 to 5 websites, bringing our research to an internationally combined total of 6000 website evaluations. WUA will be able to benchmark all personal loan providers across these countries, and provide best practices across the market.
Based on previous research by WUA, we expect the following companies to be found and ranked among those providing the best online customer experience journeys. This is not an exhaustive list of the market; companies are listed alphabetically.