Marketers, Get To Know Digital Finance Consumers

June 27th, 2018 | ACA Team, Association of Canadian Advertisers

For marketers of financial services firms, it’s essential to understand today’s digital consumers, from where they spend their time online to what device they use to access financial categories.

At a recent ACA webinar, comScore Canada senior manager Gregory Ross provided a snapshot of digital finance consumers, with data from comScore’s MMX Multi-Platform, Mobile Metrix and MobiLens Plus measurement tools.

Looking at financial categories online, business/finance has 88% reach of the total Canadian digital population – that’s higher, even, than in the United States. The sub-categories “banking” and “financial news/research” also have high reach percentages, at 75% and 69% respectively.

“Canadians do truly embrace financial categories,” says Ross. “Almost nine out of 10 Canadians are visiting sub-categories of the business finance sector, which is fantastic.”

More than half of time spent (55.2%) is with banking, followed by news/research (32.1%), information/advice (5%), personal finance (4.3%), trading (2.9%) and taxes (0.4%).

Source: comScore MMX Multi-Platform, Canada, Jan 2018

In the overall business/finance category most Canadians will switch between platforms based on preferences and convenience. The category has 27.2 million unique visitors. Of those, 6.7 million use desktop exclusively and 4.1 million use mobile exclusively, while the majority (16.4 unique visitors) use both platforms to engage with properties in that category.

With the rise of smartphones and tablets, “you’re really seeing this penetration growth of that mobile-only audience,” says Ross.

Within finance sub-categories, clear platform preferences start to emerge, underscoring the importance of optimizing sites for mobile, while still providing a good desktop experience.

For example, 61% of unique visitors to personal finance websites such as PayPal and MoneySense access them exclusively through a mobile device. And almost half (49%) of financial information/advice (with websites such as RateHub.ca and CreditKarma.ca) is consumed through mobile.

On the other hand, some financial activities are reserved for the comfort of desktop computers. Sixty-two percent of unique visitors in the taxes category (TaxTips.ca, H&R Block) use desktop only, and 46% of unique visitors in online trading use desktop only.

However, that doesn’t mean marketers should ignore the mobile experience in these categories. Ross points out that taxes used to be in the 80% to 90% range through desktop only. “This has now shifted,” he says. “You’re seeing 24% through mobile only for taxes, which is an increasing statistic year over year.”

In terms of share of total minutes by platform, consumers love their apps in the banking and personal finance categories, giving marketers the opportunity to drive greater digital engagement. For personal finance, 41% of time spent comes from mobile apps, and for banking, it’s 35%.

Source: comScore MMX Multi-Platform Canada, Jan. 2018

Outside of financial websites, marketers can find finance consumers on B2B, government, health, maps, and regional/local sites. “If you’re looking to attract heavy users of financial information, you’re going to potentially put ads into [those categories], but don’t forget about technology, retail, lifestyles and portals,” says Ross.

Not surprisingly, the way to win younger consumers is with mobile. The data shows that 18- to 34-year-olds are most likely to perform transactional or financial tasks via mobile. “They’re comfortable with [mobile], security is not as large a concern, and they’re happy to use these functions to move money around and look at financial services,” says Ross.