More Bang for the Buck: Bricks or Clicks?
Brick and mortar branches certainly aren’t going away. You’ll always need face-to-face interaction with members.
But in-person service isn’t cheap – in 2014, the average credit union branch cost over $2 million to build and equip. Even buying and refurbishing a closed branch of a competitor won’t save a lot of that cost. Sure, you can expense that over several years, but that’s still a big number on the ledger – especially for only averaging 7,200 transactions per month per branch.
Your members are seeing a lot more of your website than your branches.
Our credit union clients’ sites now average about four visits per month per member. In other words, an average midsize CU with about 20,000 members will usually get about 80,000 website visits in a month – well over 10x the visits to one average branch. That’s 80,000 chances to get your message across and reinforce your brand in front of an active, involved audience – everywhere, any time, and on every device.
Now let’s put these numbers in a budgeting perspective, shall we?
Imagine if a credit union were to budget 2% of that average new branch cost to build their new web site.
This would give you about $40K – enough to build a brand-new, mobile-friendly, responsive web site with an easy-to-use content management system and several bells and whistles.
For only 2% of the cost of a new branch you get 10x the opportunities to interact with your members.
Even with secure hosting and maintenance rolled in, an up-to-date website offers more bang for your buck than brick and mortar. So before you get too involved in picking out the carpet and wallpaper for your next branch, make sure you’re getting the most out of the branch more members see more often than any other – your web site.
Also published on CUInsight.com
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