Improving Client Relationships via Social and Mobile Channels

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7 May 2013

Strategies and Developments in the Online Brokerage World


Over the past 18 months, mobility and social media have emerged as legitimate channels in online brokerage. As online brokers continue to push the limits of mobile and social technology, full service wealth managers can look to the self-directed market for guidance in building out their digital strategy.

In the second of several reports on the online brokerage industry, Improving Client Relationships Via Social and Mobile Channels, Celent examines major trends and developments for mobility and social media among online brokerages.

Online brokers continue to add mobile functionality, expand their social media presence, and add new tools and features to private trader communities. “Online brokers seek to differentiate themselves by their advanced technology. As such, they are adding new mobile tools, and establishing a mature social media strategy that includes content, client-to-client interaction, and customer service,” says Alexander Camargo, Analyst with Celent’s Securities and Investments Group and author of the report.

“Usage metrics show that their efforts are paying off; mobile use continues to grow, investors access brokers’ Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn pages, and trader networks improve stickiness. Although not all functionalities will be the same, full service wealth managers developing a digital strategy can look to online brokers for lessons learned and inspiration,” he adds.

The report first provides a perspective on the mobile channel. The study supplies recent usage/adoption metrics, considers common and emerging functionalities, and outlines current tablet development. The report also outlines common challenges and future opportunities/considerations for developing a mobile strategy. The report then looks at social media, examining developments among private trader networks and third party social communities. Celent also provides a summary of challenges and a future look at social media developments among online brokers.

The report also outlines how lessons learned from the self-directed market can be applied to an advisor-led/full service environment. Celent concludes with a prospective look at the future of mobile and social media.

This 26-page report contains four figures and six tables.