In a recent survey of 5,000 consumers who had opened a new credit card in the past six months, digital marketing channels were shown to be central to consumer awareness of available products. The study, conducted by Kantar’s Lightspeed, found that half of those surveyed learned about their new cards from an online source, and almost 1 in 3 of those online sources were ads on social media platforms.
Interestingly, those who learned of new card offers online were also more likely to comparison shop than their off-line counterparts. Moreover, those who researched their options before making a final selection were more likely to choose a card from one of the mega-institutions such as American Express, Bank of America, Capital One or Discover. As an example, just under a quarter of those who comparison shopped opened a Capital One account in the end, compared to only 12 percent of those who did not compare offers.
Sources of trusted information varied by consumer group, too. For those who did not compare companies before making a selection, family and friends were their most trusted source of unbiased information (22 percent), followed by a trusted credit card comparison website (18 percent) and trusted mail offers (9 percent). For comparison shoppers, it was almost an inverse, with trusted card comparison sites coming in at 24 percent, family and friends at 19 percent and online searches at 10 percent.
As to why they ultimately chose one card over another, a quarter of respondents was influenced by introductory offers and this, tied with cards that had no annual fee, was listed as the primary reason for selecting a new card by 15 percent of consumers. Only 9 percent of those surveyed reported choosing a card for easy access to their credit scores.
The study also found that customers whose cards offer an introductory spending bonus may have a better chance of retaining customers. Those who were offered such an incentive were less likely to say they would drop the account once the promotional period is over, compared with customers offered low introductory APRs.