For the tenth year in a row Canstar recognises CMC Markets Invest as setting Australia’s online share industry benchmark, when it comes to offering an outstanding value online share trading platform.
Since 2011 CMC Markets Invest has secured Canstar’s national award for ‘Outstanding Value Online Share Trading’, and Canstar’s five-star rating for each investor category (casual investor, active investor, and trader), since 2014.
It’s an amazing achievement and Canstar caught up with Andy Rogers, Head of Stockbroking at CMC Markets, to find out more.
Q: How has investor online behaviour changed over the past few years – are investors still as focused on ASX listed stocks?
A: In line with customer demand for a broader range of investment products, our platform has evolved throughout the last 10 years. An investor study in 2011 identified 22% of direct shares portfolios invested in overseas shares, but by 2019, this was at 53%. Since launching our international offering in 2018, we have seen significant growth quarter on quarter as investors seek diversification, and millennials find familiarity with overseas brands such as Google, Tesla, Facebook, Netflix, and Apple.
When we designed our international share trading solution, we were conscious of the traditional overwhelming bias Australian Investors have to ASX listed shares. Further, the research we conducted suggested buying international was broadly considered too complicated – the need for a separate account, additional paperwork and difficultly in transferring funds to a foreign currency account prior to being able to place an order.
We simplified all this by tightly integrating international shares and ETFs for a full range of markets from the same account, using the familiar screens with the FX conversion handled by the platform automatically.
Q: What are some of the most popular online resources on your platform that your clients use?
A: Coupling well with our education offering, some of the most popular online resources on the CMC Markets share trading platform are the Morningstar quantitative equity reports and the Screener equity reports with star & risk ratings. Having multiple sources of information for clients to review and cross-reference means they feel more confident about validating their investment and trading decisions.
In the current economic climate where there are historically low-interest rates, a number of our clients have geared their investments to gain greater market exposure and portfolio diversification that access to more trading capital can provide. Our platform now has real-time connectivity to three of the leading margin lenders in the country – Leveraged (part of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank), St George Margin Lending, and the ANZ Share investment loan product. This connectivity allows access to margin loan accounts details including holdings from within any of our three platforms – Standard, Pro, or our mobile apps.
Q: In terms of functionality, what process do you use to determine what your customers want now as well as predict what they may want in the near future?
A: We have a number of systems and methods to identify and develop what our customers want. For example, we have built Google Analytics and Amplitude into the platform so we can determine the most popular pages and why customers exit certain pages. We also look at the findings of independent industry surveys, such as Investment Trends. More recently in designing our latest mobile apps we commissioned an independent agency to conduct customer paid lab interviews covering the topics of user research, evidenced-based and inclusive design, and usability testing.
Q: Any upcoming or recent improvements or innovations that you would like to highlight?
Ten years ago we developed our first iPhone app prototype, today over 50% of our customers regularly place orders via our mobile apps. After extensive customer research and design feedback, we are now in the process of developing our fourth generation android and IOS mobile apps. Supporting our commitment to ‘best value’ – we promise the apps will have extra features, research tools, and additional international markets whilst also being exceptionally easy to use.
Based on customer demand we will be adding four international markets – New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, and Denmark bringing our total coverage to 16 countries.
Canstar congratulates CMC Markets Invest on its outstanding achievement. You can read the Canstar Online Share Trading report here.
Thanks to Andy Rogers, Head of Stockbroking at CMC Markets Invest for sharing his insights in this interview.