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LeapRate Exclusive Interview… As any online company knows, your Home Page is your main window to the world. Your main branding page. Your main landing page. The main place where both existing and future potential clients connect to you.
So when a very successful online company changes everything about its Home Page – from the URL of the page to the site’s entire look and design – people take notice.
It was therefore not a big shock that our exclusive report earlier this week on Saxo Bank and its decision to dump saxobank.com for home.saxo got a lot of attention and went viral on social media.
But it still left many (including us) wondering: Why did Saxo Bank do it? What were the considerations? And, most importantly, what other changes might be ahead for the very technology-focused retail forex broker?
So we went right to the source. We’re pleased to present the results of our conversation with Anna Granholm-Brun, Senior Digital Strategist at Saxo Bank, who had a lot to do with all the changes.
LR: Hi Anna, and thanks for joining us today. Changing an online company’s URL is something like a popular football player wearing a different number jersey. How did you come to the decision to drop saxobank.com for home.saxo?
Anna: There were four main arguments that lead us as a group to decide to move from .Com to .Saxo.
First off, being a first-mover within the area of technology and innovation is a familiar position for Saxo. Early on we could see that there were clear benefits for using branded TLDs (Top Level Domains). We thus started the application process for our own TLD back in 2012, so this has been long under way. In summer 2015 our TLD was activated and few months later we launched our global institutional site on www.markets.saxo and later our Saxo Academy with www.academy.saxo.
Second, was the ability for TLDs to further communicate a high level of security for visitors engaging with the site. As the owner of .Saxo we are in full control over any site launched under that TLD. Security is something we know clients place increasing importance on due to the growing issues that many large companies are facing with protecting private information. By taking yet another step to protect our visitors and their experience on our sites, we are able to continue to grow the trust and confidence they have for the Saxo Group brand.
Third, we saw value in the increased level of branding flexibility that came from consolidating our URL structure – enabling us to both highlight the head brand and the local brand in their own relevant and unique ways. The level of complexity within our website management and URL structure was rigid and prevented us in some cases from responding quickly to market fluctuations, and scaling where we saw opportunity. Although moving everything over to .Saxo is not a silver bullet to enable this, it is part of the equation.
Lastly, we saw the .Saxo TLD as yet another opportunity to enhance the user experience that visitors have when engaging with Saxo’s digital entities, by simplifying our URL structure, site content and the journey towards becoming a client with Saxo. Every single touch point in the user journey towards joining Saxo matters, and this was yet another effort to make that experience with Saxo enjoyable and effective.
LR: As far as the Saxo Bank home page itself, you’ve also made some drastic changes. The look is certainly a lot more ‘visual’ than before. As far as we can tell, the only visible link now is ‘Try Free Demo’, there’s not even a ‘Real Account’ button visible above the fold. What’s your thinking there? Is this mainly about how things look on mobile devices?
Anna: An increasing number of the websites we benchmark against are moving away from being heavy and complex repositories of information, to websites that respond to the visitors device choice, needs and interest. They are mastering the equation of meeting both business objectives and the needs/expectations of their visitors. The new design and UX that you see on Saxo’s website was built with this shift in mind as well as historical user experience data collected from our previous sites.
Visitors are still offered both options of either ‘Trying a Free Demo’, or ‘Opening a Live Account’; however, we have made the bold decision to prioritize the path that our historical data has shown the most value coming from. It is rather understandable that a visitor would be more capable of knowing if Saxo is right for them, if they have experienced our platform and learned what it can uniquely do for them. If a visitor wants to open an account, the option is still prioritized as #1 in the main menu, but the initial path choice has been simplified.
We will see how this shift towards a simplified user journey plays out over time as we collect user data to evolve the site structure in a way that increases value for both our visitors as well as our business.
LR: What were the other key changes you’ve made which we might have missed in the overall online client experience at Saxo Bank?
Anna: All changes on the site have been focused on first and foremost creating a simpler, more relevant user experience, starting with our global website and then applying the same design principles to our regional websites that are part of the Saxo Group over the next year. As we expand the design to our other business areas, we will naturally evolve the design principles to meet the needs of the business, while maintaining a branded ‘Saxo’ thread that reminds of our vision and identity as a company.
As a second focus, we have built an entirely new technical architecture on a new CMS (content management system) that will enable our global and local organizations to go to market with new material, updates, and promotions more quickly in a much more scalable way than before.
By decreasing the time needed to go to market with new material, as well as the time needed for day to day website management, we can reallocate effort towards developing and delivering more relevant content to our visitors, and generating genuine interest in what Saxo has to offer.
The new look and feel you see on the new site is part of Saxo Groups new visual identity which you will also recognize in our latest Change campaign – “Lets change the way we invest”.
On the platform side we have just launched fully digital bonds trading on SaxoTraderGO with online access to 5,000 bonds, using advanced robotics Saxo is cutting out the time-consuming and cost-intensive middleman. That is definitely worth and articles itself.
LR: What else should we look for from Saxo Bank in the coming months?
Anna: Going forward you can expect to see Saxo continuing to focus on creating a better user experience for both our existing and future clients, not only on our main websites, but also on hubs such as Tradingfloor, Saxo Academy, and on the trading platforms. Figuring out how to create an effective user experience for each of our target audiences is about the journey rather than looking for a point where we will master it. We know that staying at the forefront of digital trading and investment is hard, but we aim to make it easy for those with an interest to join in by becoming a client with Saxo.