Comscore Finds Increased Consumer Interest in Brokerage and Investment Accounts

Non-customer brokerage shopping and account openings reached all-time highs, with +124 percent Y/Y application completes in Q1’20

Amidst stock market volatility and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research from Comscore, a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms, shows consumer interest in brokerage and investment accounts and financial education increased significantly during the first quarter of 2020 as account application and opening volumes reached all-time highs.

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Using insights from Comscore’s Custom Quarterly Brokerage Benchmarker, which includes data from U.S. desktop and mobile, Comscore’s 2020 “Buying the Dip or Weathering the Storm? Brokerage Shopping During the COVID 19 Pandemic” explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the brokerage and financial investing industry and provides insights on how brokerage and online investment brands can adapt to the needs of a shifting customer base.

Key takeaways include:

  • In Q1’20, consumers flocked to open brokerage and investment accounts. Non-customer account shopping activity reached all-time highs across each step of the acquisition funnel. In Q1’20, account shoppers grew 39 percent, application starts grew 92 percent and application completes increased 104 percent, compared to Q4’19.
  • Search channels drove shopper volume, up 2.7 million in Q1’20 compared to Q1’19. Direct type-in channels, most likely due to offline marketing and branding, drove conversion, converting 20 percent of shoppers who were referred via typing in a particular brand’s site directly.
  • Desktop remains key for application starts and completes in Q1’20, though applications through mobile also saw increases. Desktop application complete volume grew 104 percent from Q4’19 to Q1’20 while mobile grew 30 percent.
  • Financial education content consumption reached all-time highs in visitation volume and engagement, indicating a strong need for guidance and advice. Visitation to such educational content grew nearly 15 percent, from 11.4 million unique views during the historic Q1’19 bull market, to 13.1 million unique views in Q1’20. Additionally, non-customers are spending more time viewing such educational content, averaging nearly three minutes per visitor, up from 2.4 minutes per visitor last year.

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