Not so very long ago, online shopping was a new craze. In 1995, Amazon opened its digital doors as an online bookstore. Fast forward and you can shop for just about anything online now. We’re not just talking about the oddities from the corners of the internet. People are making major purchases online, from engagement rings to cars.
It might not be a huge surprise, then, that 76% of American adults report that they shop online at least a few times a year and 69% of them say they online shop at least every 2–3 months.
Factors driving online shopping
Why do so many people choose to do their shopping online? Three key factors are driving this notable change in behavior:
- The ability to shop at any time of day
- The heightened convenience versus traveling to a brick-and-mortar location
- The ability to find cheaper prices
When you look at these three factors together, it becomes clear that the modern consumer wants convenience — the ability to shop when and how they want.
An ecommerce trends report published in Business Wire revealed that 47% of people who shop online care more about speed than the selection of items. That trend report applies mostly to retail purchases, but it gives you a good look at the modern consumer’s mind. We’ll say it again: in 2023, people want convenience just as much as quality.
You might think all of this just applies to the retail industry, but it absolutely does not. People aren’t segmenting their lives into verticals. They don’t have different expectations for a shoe retailer and a mortgage lender. At every turn, they want the timeliness and comfort of looking into their options online.
Staying in the comparison game
Let’s apply this more directly to the mortgage industry. A November 2022 report from Fannie Mae can teach us a lot here.
It showed that among recent homebuyers, 62% got more than one quote from mortgage lenders before closing their loan. 36% stuck with just a single quote. (The remaining 2% said they didn’t know how many quotes they got.)
You don’t want to tailor your services to just one group of people. Even if you geared your site toward the multi-quote shoppers, you’d miss out on roughly one-third of your potential customer base.
So, where does that leave modern mortgage lending institutions? In a pretty good spot, actually.
Grabbing both kinds of homebuyers
If you build your website to provide personalized rate quotes — with tools like lead workflows and landing pages — you can capture online shoppers as leads while giving them personalized rate quotes. And that lets you tap into both the multi-quote and single-quote customer bases.
For people trying to gather up multiple quotes, providing personalized rates on your website (in exchange for some of their personal information) lets them get that rate quickly and easily. You get into their pool for consideration. And you also get their contact information so one of your loan officers can provide the follow-up needed to help that lead convert.
But what about the people who get just one quote? By providing it to them with all the convenience they love from online shopping, you tick key boxes. That Fannie Mae report asked people who went with a single mortgage lender why they didn’t shop around. They said they chose to stay the course because they felt comfortable with the lender and/or satisfied with the quote.
Providing a personalized rate quote online shows leads that you care about getting them the information they need in the way they want it. In other words, it can help them feel comfortable working with you. And assuming you’re offering competitive rates, extending that to leads should leave them satisfied — potentially so much so that they don’t shop around further.
Protecting your company from the competition
Tailoring your services to online shoppers doesn’t just help you meet modern consumers where they’re at. It also helps you safeguard your business against your competitors.
If you don’t have a mortgage website that lets visitors shop rates online, you risk losing them. Even if your local competition doesn’t have a website geared to meet ecommerce expectations, you better believe the big players in the game do. From Rocket Mortgage to Ally Home Loans, there are countless options for homebuyers to get a customized rate quote in just a few clicks.
And remember, people want — and to a large extent, expect — convenience when shopping online. If you’re not serving up the information they’re seeking, they can (read: probably will) go elsewhere. And with the robust, user-friendly websites that large-scale lending institutions offer today, your best way to keep a horse in the race is to make your own site just as convenient.
That, of course, begs the question: how does your bank, credit union, or mortgage brokerage create a website that meets the demands of today’s growing population of online shoppers? We can help here.
At BankingBridge, we offer a robust selection of web tools you can easily add to your site. From the aforementioned landing pages and lead workflows to calculators and rate tables, we make it easy to get your website set up to succeed.
Are you ready to seize the opportunity online shopping presents for mortgage lenders? Don’t wait to book a demo today.