Data and customization have become extremely important parts of the customer experience in just about every industry. The name of the game is providing customers and users with what they want before they even know that they want it: from grocery stores to military tech providers, data-based customization is everywhere.
In the forex world, data is largely used to provide customized experiences to traders. However, striking the balance between creating tailor-made user experiences and pushing users’ behaviors too much can be challenging. Although, in a world where user retention is so important, surmounting these challenges is critical.
Recently, Finance Magnates spoke to two forex data experts in a webinar about how to use data to create the best possible user experiences for forex traders at each stage of the customer lifecycle.
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Our dynamic duo of expert panelists included Denis Makagonov, Data architect and Head of Business intelligence at forex, commodities, synthetic and stock indices trading platform, Deriv; and Harel Falk, Vice President of Sales & Business Development at Solitics, a real-time data platform for automation personalization and analytics that enables B2C brands to customize their customer experience in real-time.
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The following is an excerpt that has been edited for clarity and length. To hear the full discussion with Harel Falk (Solitics) and Denis Makagonov (Deriv), visit us on Soundcloud or Youtube.
In the Pre-conversion Stage, “It’s Important to Get Data from as Many Sources as You Can, and If Possible, in Real-Time. But, It Doesn’t Stop There, Getting the Data Isn’t Enough, You Should Utilize It in Real-Time to Engage Your Traders with the Right Message at the Right Time via the Right Channel. ”
“Generally speaking, as a B2C brand in the online trading business, you want to get as much data as you can available to yourself to use,” Harel said. “It’s important to get it from as many sources as you can, and if possible, in real-time.”
What does this look like on a practical level? “We’re talking about taking advantage of the front-end, whether it’s the website itself, the trading platform, the back-end sources (like the CRM and other databases that you have there), third-party streams and content that you might be using. You’ll want to have all of those data points connected on a general level.”
How can this data be used in a pre-conversion stage? Harel said that “you want to create this customer journey experience that is based off of the source where the customer came from: for example, it could be an affiliate; it could be the landing page. The country where the customer is from often has an impact on the regulation.”
However, Harel explained that the most important part is that the data can be used to “create trust, and create incentives.”
Additionally, the onboarding process itself can be used as a series of data points that can be used to create an even more customized experience: “you want to address how the customer behaves,” Harel said.
For example, “how long did it take him to register? Is he on the deposit page and not doing anything? Has he left and come back?”
“You want to address all of those and respond to them live based on what’s happening. Those are critical points to address in this pre-conversion stage.”
Customized User Incentives: Yes or No?
If the pre-conversion stage has been successful, the user will have made their first deposit onto a trading platform, a moment that Denis Makagonov described as “one of the most important” moments in the customer’s lifecycle.
“It’s a fundamental metric for marketing, for sales, for trading, and for the overall user experience,” he said.
From this point forward, “we pay a lot of attention to successful deposits, as well as unsuccessful attempts to deposit,” Denis explained. “We are trying to improve our systems and our third-party service providers to increase the success rate of deposits.”
Denis said that optimizing this aspect of the user experience is very important for user retention. “Rather than calling customers when they are having obstacles, we are trying to eliminate obstacles” in the first place, he said.
Interestingly, Denis said that his own company does not use data to create customized offers or incentives for various customers as a matter of principle: “we don’t use personalized offers,” he said. “We believe in offering equal opportunities for clients overall.”
Therefore, “we don’t use, for example, incentives or bonuses on deposits,” he said. Rather, Denis believes that focusing “on a better product, on competitive prices, on a wider choice of instruments and controls for traders, is something that traders value more than a small bump in their capital.”
However, “we don’t push traders,” he said.
“Give Traders Trust and Keep Them Informed.”
Indeed, balancing user experience with incentives can be a delicate process. However, sometimes, incentives may not be an option in the first place.
Harel said that “the whole issue of being able to control the processes and having that ‘one place’ to be able to manage various aspects of the customer experience and the data that comes in is crucial, which is, by the way, one of the things that Solitics enabled our B2C brands to do.”
“I think that Denis brought up a true pain point, which is that most of the trading industry’ can’t offer bonuses and things of that nature due to regulations,” Harel said. Therefore, “you have to create a superior product if you want to get more engagement and want your traders to trust you more and come back again.”
However, if data-based incentives are not an option, Harel said that data can be used to build positive relationships between trading platforms and traders in a different way.
Simply “provide traders with data,” Harel said. “Give them trust and keep them informed.”
Indeed, “it’s not as much about bonuses as it is about creating a place where they feel ‘right at home’, so to speak,” Harel said.
“That also requires use of data on the backend, and requires you to show each customer the most relevant data for him.”
“Combining that extra-amazing product with those data points, and having one place to control it, is critical.”
Building a Lasting Relationship between Trading Platforms and Traders
After a customer has successfully made their first deposit, the challenge for the platform becomes building a long-lasting relationship with the customer.
Denis said that an important part of this is creating a platform that is easy to use, equipped with “simple tools that are easy to use for everybody.” This “democratizes” the act of trading.
“In many scenarios, we prefer to simplify the processes rather than providing complex explanations,” Denis said, adding that in general, it is important to provide the “best trading experience” possible.
“Usually, that experience is related to chart prices, execution, and the level of trust which we have between clients and the company,” Denis said. A company “needs to be reliable” when it comes to things like withdrawals and trade execution.
In addition to this baseline level of trust, Harel Falk added that data also plays an important role after the customer has made their first-time deposit: “there are different types of customers and traders out there, and you should generate and show different things for different types of traders.”
“At the point where they’re after their first-time deposit, where they’ve begun to trade, there are a lot of data points that you can use to understand who you’re dealing with, whether it’s the amount of the deposit, the time and the behavior that they showed along the process,” and more.
“If you have a way to control your data well and control it in real-time, you can start sending traders down different paths based on a lot of that data, and see how they react according to that.”
Other factors that platforms can take into account during this phase include “what positions were opened, how fast they opened them, and what assets they’re interested in.”
Based on these data points, providing the right information at the right time is crucial: for example, if a platform shows basic trading tips to a professional trader, the trader may feel alienated by that experience: “he’s gonna be like, ‘these guys are completely disconnected from who and what I am,’ which is not going to be to the benefit of the broker.”
This is an excerpt that has been edited for clarity and length. To hear the full discussion with Harel Falk (Solitics) and Denis Makagonov (Deriv), visit us on Soundcloud or Youtube.