15.12.2000  -  Munich

Online Brokers in Germany: Number of Customers is Increasing, But Customer Satisfaction is Declining

Online brokers have been successful in their attempts to attract new customers in Germany: during the last 12 months,  uppliers were able to double the number of their customers. Currently there are 1.6 million online investors in Germany. Comdirect, Consors and direkt Anlagebank were the most successful of all suppliers in canvassing customers. But also suppliers like e.g. Advance Bank, citibank and fimatex were able to increase the number of their customers considerably compared with the figures of last year. These are the results of the latest "Online Brokerage Monitor Germany 2000" by NFO Infratest.

Nevertheless, researchers at NFO Infratest point out that it is not sufficient to implement a marketing strategy which concentrates on the canvassing of new customers in order to maintain ones´ share of the market in the long term. It is equally important to tie the new customers to the company by taking the right measures. According to the researchers, online brokers have not been very effective in this respect during the last months: in 1999, 19 out of 100 customers considered switching their main broker at short notice. Today, it is already one out of four customers.

Declining customer retention in the online brokerage market is, above all, due to the rising expectations of online investors. The quality of the existing range of services is declining in this process – favourable terms and conditions are simply not enough. Customers demand several improvements: the loading of the suppliers´ websites and the online dealing in securities should be carried out more rapidly and with less errors. They also expect better customer support, e.g. comprehensive background information and, especially help with problems regarding technical procedures and products. Given this situation, the current strategy of some suppliers, which is to develop their websites further into extensive financial portals, is a good method, not only to attract new customers, but also to increase customer retention in the long run.

Background information:
The latest “Online Brokerage Monitor” by NFO Infratest is based on a total of 1,033 interviews. 688 online investors and 345 offline investors were interviewed in September/October 2000. All those interviewed were using online services or the Internet at the time. Survey participants were chosen from NFO Infratest´s online panel. The “Online Brokerage Monitor” is part of the comprehensive „Finance Online Monitoring System“. This research program also comprises monitors for “homebanking” and “insurances online”.

NFO Infratest is an NFO WorldGroup company, one of the world’s leading providers of research-based marketing information and counsel. “Marketing Minds Specializing in Research”, NFO has facilitated Fortune 500 clients’ business decisions for more than 50 years by providing indepth knowledge and understanding of consumers and brands through research. Their services include comprehensive counsel on market evaluation, product development, brand management, customer satisfaction, pricing, distribution and advertising effectiveness. NFO is a worldwide leader in Internet-based research and maintains one of the world’s largest interactive panel communities. They are one of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), and have majority-owned operations in 40 countries, thereof NFO Infratest in 14 European countries.

TNS Infratest
Martin Kögel
Landsberger Strasse 338
80687 Munich, Germany
Tel. +49 (0)89 / 56 00 - 406
Fax +49 (0)89 / 56 00 - 299

Informations about the Online Brokerage-Monitor:
Michael Plotegher
Tel. +49 (0)89 / 56 00 - 595
Fax +49 (0)89 / 56 00 - 750

Kerstin Berge
Tel. +49 (0)89 / 56 00 - 667
Fax +49 (0)89 / 56 00 - 750

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