Technology
The functionality

Remove the (technical) obstacles

Most visitors come to your site with a clear mission: to find a certain piece of information. Your job is to make their search for information feel effortless. Based on responses and statistics, there are three technical obstacles you should focus on improving: speed, search and responsiveness.  

Search

Historically, the internal search engines have not been able to compete with advanced external search engines. This means that people often prefer using Google to find what they are looking for - about 89% to be specific. This is in contrast to the 65% that utilise the internal search engine. 

The good news is that internal search engines are becoming a lot more helpful. Our data shows that 64% find relevant results when using the internal search engine, which is a significant improvement compared to last year when only 46% found what they’re looking for. If your search engine is not up to par, now would be a good time to start making improvements.

Speed

The clear winner of “most important feature on a corporate website”, with 99% agreeing, is site and page loading speed. It doesn’t matter how impressive your design is if your visitors get impatient and leave without even seeing the menu.

Optimising your site speed is not the fanciest feature to spend time and energy on. It’s not easy to motivate the investment when you have requests for shiny new features and updated designs. But with long-term goals and tracking, there’s little doubt that it will pay off. Both in user satisfaction and in numbers. When your bounce rate is reduced and your visitors are happily browsing your site at lightning speed.

Responsive

Mobile devices are becoming the new normal for browsing the internet. When asking the capital market, 60% have accessed a corporate website via smartphone the past six months, and 52% via a tablet. 

People also move between devices in new ways. From following a link on your smartphone and saving it for reading on your laptop, to switching between your tablet and computer with a big screen at the office. Understanding the behaviour of your target group, the different screens and systems they use to access your content, is crucial when developing a responsive site that truly supports the user. 

84% of the capital market ranks their experience when accessing a site via smartphone or tablet as  “OK”. The rest were evenly distributed between “good” and “bad”. If you would like to exceed their expectations, this would be a good time to start working on the user experience for your responsive site.

                2014                       2015                       2016        
Percent mobile and tablet 16.6 19.7 20 19.4 19.7 19.4 21.1 24 30 22.6 22.6 22.5 24.1 27 29.2 35.9 32.2 35.9 33.7 33.7 33.1 33.3 31.8 34.4 36.5 37.2 41.2 40.1 38.7 37.2 39.4 46 41.9 39.2 39.1 37.8
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2016
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
0
 
10
 
20
 
30
 
40
 
50
 
%

Mobile visit development for 15 corporate websites 

When you’ve decided to start working on the basics, don’t forget to invest time in setting up analytics, deciding on measurement points and creating user tests. You want to be able to follow up and share your results.
 

PDF on screen is still a preferred format for digital reports - but for how long?

Everyone is talking about the potential and possibilities of digital reports. Digital reports allow for more creativity, interactive features, and are adaptable for every device. And still, in 2016, 69% of the capital market prefer to read annual reports as PDF on screen.

How the capital market access annual reports

It’s almost a tie between the printed copy and online reports as preferred format, the first 13% and the second 11%. PDF on screen is still the primary choice of the 69% who read online. This has increased by 7% since last year. This is also consistent with another Comprend survey of the capital market done earlier this year, where 91% prefer PDF on screen.

Preferred format
PDF on screen
Printed copy
Online
Printed from website
  Preferred format
PDF on screen 69%
Printed copy 13%
Online 11%
Printed from website 7%

When looking at devices, the numbers have not changed significantly since 2015. Almost everyone accesses reports through a computer, 29% via tablets and 13% via smartphones.

Tablet, 29%Smartphone, 13%
  Tablet, 29% Smartphone, 13%
Value 29% 13%
Empty 71 87

What does this mean?

To put the numbers in perspective, we know that behaviour changes take time. The capital market is a target group who knows what they are looking for. Annual reports have been done as PDFs for many years and they follow a similar structure. Since companies always do a PDF version, but not always an online, it makes sense to have that format as the primary choice. But for how long?

The fact that the PDF is the preferred format is also likely the reason so few choose to access reports in mobile. On a tablet, the size of the screen makes it possible to read and navigate PDF documents fairly well, but on smartphones, it is simply not a good user experience.

When asked what additional content the capital market would like to see in a digital report compared to print and PDF, common answers included charts, videos, interactivity and comments. In the survey mentioned earlier, 63% defined interactive graphs and tables as a relevant function for online reports. An increasing number of companies are starting to explore the digital format and take advantage of its possibilities – BBVA, to mention one.

When more companies push the boundaries, expectations from all target groups will likely change as a result. After all, there was a time when people did not know they wanted to read reports as PDFs.