The Next Retail Apocalypse? Look Toward the Banks.

by Christopher Young

posted on 10-23-2017

If you ask the average consumer how many times they’ve entered a bank in the past year, that number can probably be counted on one hand. Most major tasks can be accomplished online and on smartphones — or via an ATM that doesn’t require stepping foot inside the branch. Banks are seemingly headed towards a fate similar to the retail sector: declining foot traffic, paired with a fast-growing but increasingly complex digital audience.

Banks are poised to lose the inherent value that comes with physical interactions and the ability to upsell services, while being threatened on digital by fast moving upstarts. However, the same innovations that have produced unexpected rivals — such as a mobile-first approach — can be leveraged by the banking industry as well to compete more effectively and better connect with customers they already have.

There is little time to wait. New data from Adobe Analytics Cloud, analyzing over 150 billion mobile visits and app launches including the banking and investment category, shows that customers are relying on digital devices more than ever before. With overall web traffic growing 8 percent for large companies (Q2 2016-Q2 2017), mobile is the primary driver. Smartphone visits have grown 80 percent (2015-Q2 2017) and while every industry saw a decline in app usage (It’s become a world dominated by Facebook, Google and Amazon app properties), banking and investment saw an 18 percent increase in app launches (from Jan. 2016). Desktop remains an important channel as well, accounting for a 61 percent share, followed by smartphones at 33 percent and tablets at 6 percent.

Today, Adobe is debuting technologies in Adobe Experience Cloud that will enable the banking industry to deliver the best experience across both digital and physical spaces, while leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning as a decisioning engine.

New Adobe Technologies for Bank.

The Adobe Experience Cloud gives brands the tools to deliver great digital experiences, that extend and complement the physical one. Major banks around the world already use Adobe technology to manage and deliver their existing Web and mobile experience. The technologies being announced today will help them tie physical and digital better together, while harnessing emerging interfaces like voice and the applications of AI and machine learning in Adobe Sensei.

o Preserving the Branch: Banks are grappling with the future of physical branch locations; they are having to re-imagine the in-store experience so that it complements the digital one, and is not destroyed by it.

o Fluid experiences: Within Adobe Experience Manager, banks can leverage a content management system to not only engage their customers on Web, mobile and social, but extend that experience to kiosks and in-branch digital screens. By integrating Adobe Sensei-powered personalization features, content can be automatically re-formatted and customized to individuals. A product description or interest rate details for instance, typically consumed on a PC or mobile website, can be summarized instantly and delivered to a screen inside the bank. Or, content can be personalized based on signals such as location and demographics, delivering locally available services or targeted promotional offers.

o Location-based personalization: The one thing that consumers tend to have with them at all times is their smartphones. As they travel with the user, they produce rich, contextual data that banks can leverage to deliver more personalized and valuable experiences for the user. Through the mobile and places core services in Adobe Experience Cloud, banks can now capture and analyze location data to engage customers in more unique ways — for those that have opted in. For example, banks can deliver geo-specific content in the mobile app based on the user’s location, such as a regional promotion. Or, when a user enters a branch location and crosses a beacon, the bank can trigger a notification on the user’s phone with instructions on how to access new services.

o Engaging Customers Through Voice: As new technologies change how consumers interact with the world around them, brands have to evolve their experiences as well. With the increased popularity of voice-enabled devices and digital assistants, Adobe has debut voice analytics in Adobe Analytics Cloud for the financial services industry, supporting all major platforms including Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Samsung Bixby. Brands can analyze both intent (“what is my balance”) and parameter (“in my checking account”) at an aggregate level. These insights can help brands hone in on hero features that consumers are responding best to, while identifying where people are hitting roadblocks. At the same time, Adobe Sensei automates the analysis of voice data to unearth actionable insights, which can then complement existing customer data to deliver more relevant experiences. This could be an attractive home loan offer for instance, based on customers known to be in the market to buy a house.

o Banking Intelligence: AI and machine learning can help banks see in their data what humans can’t uncover manually, tapping this to better connect with customers. In Adobe Analytics Cloud with the power of Adobe Sensei, anomalies in data can be flagged automatically, with an analysis of the contributing factors. Banks can see in real-time, that a feature is broken or a promotional offer is spiking — and take the steps to address it. In Adobe Marketing Cloud, personalization can be automated and delivered at-scale. HSBC uses this technology to personalize the order of products shown on their website for example, leading to a 17.04 percent lift in customers reaching the product pages and a massive 109 percent lift for the product displayed first.

For more information on Adobe Experience Cloud solutions for the financial services industry, visit here.

Topics: Financial Services

Products: Analytics