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Modern Website Marketing, Design, Development, and Hosting Trends in 2024 and Beyond


By Ken Lowy, NewtekOne
April 22, 2024

We’re only halfway through 2024 and already new trends in website marketing, design, development, and hosting are emerging. These trends are coming faster, are more dynamic, demand user-friendly interfaces, and are technologically advanced.

There’s an evolving expectation from credit union members that demand seamless, secure, and personalized digital experiences. Let's explore some of the trends that are setting the stage for credit unions and the challenges credit unions face in meeting the needs of your members.

Navigating the Digital Horizon – A New Era for Credit Union Websites

By the nature of living in a digital world, continuous updates and advancements are now the new standard. Credit unions, traditionally seen as conservative financial institutions, are destined to become forerunners and innovators of the digital experience. For the remainder of 2024 and beyond, credit unions are increasing their ability to connect, protect, and serve their members through all their digital platforms.

Hyper-Personalization Through AI

The era of generic greetings is over. Websites must do more than greet your members by name, too. Both the present and future demand that you know your members’ financial goals and offer them advice as unique as their digital fingerprints. AI algorithms analyze millions – even billions – of data points instantly. This AI advantage creates personalized content for each member’s goals and can make product recommendations tailored to their individual needs. Moreover, AI remembers the goals and displays them on personalized financial dashboards.

Personalized financial dashboards are just the beginning, though. With the advancement of AI-driven product recommendations, the future of credit union websites says to every member, "We know you, we value you, and we're here for you."

Actionable Insight: Installing AI-driven analytics tools to track each member’s behavior and preferences goes a long way in capturing the data needed to customize product offerings and financial advice.

Mobile-First Design – Instantaneous Load Times

Now that millions of people are accessing websites on their mobile devices, credit unions must prioritize mobile-first design. There’s simply no getting around it: websites must be optimized for smaller screens. Additionally, items such as touch-friendly navigation, instantaneous load times, and features like mobile check deposits must be optimized for the members. Mobile design must also include seamless navigation and functionality because mobile users are more likely than desktop users to search for what they need.

Actionable Insight: Conduct a mobile usability test on your website to determine areas of improvement.

Heatmap Technology – User-Intent Behavior

It may be the most significant yet underutilized technology credit unions should be using right now. A heatmap is a color-rich, two-dimensional visual representation of how a member uses a credit union website. A heatmap analyzes large datasets to track a member’s clicks, cursor movement, and how far they scroll down the page.

Quick Page Design Analysis

Heatmaps deliver immediate feedback on which areas of a webpage are most interesting to your members. For credit unions that want to see which elements (like call-to-action buttons) or financial product offers are most interesting to your members. Best of all, you can see the results in real time.

Cost-Effective User Research

Many heatmap tools offer free trials or affordable plans. Microsoft, for example, recently released its free heatmap tool, Microsoft Clarity. The great thing about Clarity is that it’s free forever. With powerful heatmap tools like this, it’s one of the most cost-effective tools a credit union can use to gain valuable insights into member behavior.

Data Filter for Audience Segmentation

Heatmaps can be filtered to analyze the behavior of different audience members. For example, credit unions can use this information to tailor the website experience to specific groups, such as new members, long-term members, or those using iPhone or Android devices.

Identifying Points of Friction

Heatmaps can help credit unions identify and eliminate points of friction by highlighting a member’s online activity. Using various color temperatures as a visual cue, you can see areas where a member shows confusion by clicking on non-clickable elements. Correcting these issues will help improve the overall experience of members.

Actionable Insight: Select a heatmap tool that best suits your credit union’s needs. Consider factors such as ease of use, the ability to integrate with your analytics software, and which features you need most.

Fortifying Trust – Security and Compliance

In a 24/7 world where digital threats never stop – and ransomware is now offered as an affiliate product – credit unions have no choice but to double down on security, like…

  • Superb hosting environments
  • Stringent authentication protocols
  • Unwavering compliance and
  • Accessibility standards

…are the new standard of trust in a digital world.

Credit unions that prioritize these security measures are not only protecting your members’ data but also reinforcing the trust in which those relationships are built.

Actionable Insight: Schedule regular reviews, update security protocols, and consider adopting multi-factor authentication and encryption safeguards.

The Cloud Revolution – Development and Hosting Evolved

The cloud is no longer just a buzzword; suddenly, it's the bedrock of modern website infrastructure. Thankfully, credit unions are catching up to the power of cloud-native platforms to scale. 8 Cloud platforms are not just about doing good business; they’re the future of innovation, and we’re witnessing it in real-time. Cloud technology allows credit unions to deploy new services at the speed of thought and respond to member’s needs as quickly as changes can be made.

Actionable Insight: Choose a cloud hosting provider that offers scalability, security, and compliance features that are specific to your credit union’s needs.

The Omnichannel Imperative – Seamless Navigation for Members

There’s no such thing as a singular path anymore. Not in this digital world we live in. A member’s journey must be thought of more like a web, an interweb that reaches across and attaches itself to multiple digital channels. In other words, the future of credit unions is an omnichannel lifestyle.

When a member scrolls through social media, reads an email, or clicks on an ad, they are just living their normal life. It’s the credit union’s job to communicate a consistent message across all digital platforms. Equally, if not more important, the user experience must be seamless. An omnichannel approach is more than a convenience; it's the future of meeting our members' needs whenever and wherever they are.

Actionable Insight: Begin by mapping out your member’s online journey across all digital channels. Then, look for the gaps that hinder their journey and develop a strategy to help bridge those gaps.

Video and Interactive Content – The New Engagement Game

Video and interactive content are the new frontiers of member engagement. Credit unions are leveraging these tools to educate, inform, and entertain. From explainer videos that simplify complex financial concepts to interactive calculators that help members plan their financial future, digital tools play a vital role in transforming a passive website into an interactive and dynamic experience.

Actionable Insight: Consider creating high-quality video content to explain complex financial concepts in simple terms. Also, include tools like financial calculators as a response device to keep members actively engaged.

Sustainability – Digital Strategies With a Conscience

Sustainability is more than a trend; it's a commitment to the future. Credit unions are integrating sustainable practices into their digital strategies, from green hosting to energy-efficient website designs. This commitment reflects the values of credit union members who are increasingly conscious of environmental impact.

Actionable Insight: Take a close look at your digital footprint and look for ways to optimize and reduce it. For example, optimize images to allow your website to load faster. Also, consider a green web hosting provider.

So, What Else Is Around the Corner?

Voice Search Optimization

If you’ve ever spoken into your phone asking for, well, anything, you’re using Voice Search technology. And now, with the rise of smart speakers and voice-activated devices in homes, optimizing for voice search is more crucial than ever. Credit unions must evolve and align with the advances in voice search technology.

Enhanced Member Experience

When credit unions incorporate voice search, they’re taking a big step in helping members find information easier and faster just by speaking naturally. This technology can go a long way in building member satisfaction and loyalty because 71% of consumers prefer voice search over typing into a search engine.

Another obvious advantage is for the 14% of individuals with disabilities who have limited or no use of their arms and hands. In cases such as these, voice search is ideal. Finally, with 49% of consumers using voice search for local services, there is an ever-growing demand for voice search for credit unions and banks.

Actionable Insight: Optimizing your website’s content for voice search is the future, and taking action sooner rather than later will give your credit union a competitive edge.

Conclusion: The Future Is All Things Digital

The trends we’ve explored above are just the beginning. Only the future will reveal the next great trend that credit unions will need to adopt. That leaves us to focus on optimizing the current trends that are happening in real time. By committing to increasing our members’ online experience, we can ensure a future that is not only personalized, inclusive, and secure but also reinforces the trust our members have come to rely on. Credit unions are in competition with traditional banks and other financial institutions. Capitalizing on emerging trends is one of the best ways to stay competitive.

Connect with NewtekOne to learn more.

About NewtekOne

Businesses expect more and NewtekOne (NASDAQ: NEWT) delivers core solutions that help businesses grow. As a partner, NewtekOne provides SBA lending services, business financing, merchant processing, payroll, insurance and website/technology services that credit unions can offer to members.