Increasing user engagement, transactions, and payments - Research & Strategy for Investment funds platform

Klaudia Doerffer
Klaudia Doerffer
Nov 12, 2020
8 min read
Increasing user engagement, transactions, and payments - Research & Strategy for Investment funds platform

The Investment Fund we worked with offers investment and pension funds online, however users rarely log in and thereby do any operations. Thus, the Investment Fund came to us to help them find new ways to engage and activate their users. Through increasing user engagement on the platform, they hoped to also increase transactions and payments.

We started the project with a Discovery Phase to understand how we might raise user activity. Through qualitative research, we were able to understand users’ motivations and needs around investing in funds or pension schemes. We used these insights to generate new ideas, which we then refined during strategic workshops with our client.

The process

1. Kick-off workshop

Together with our client, we defined project goals, inspirations, KPIs and target segments to plan the research.

2. Desk research and qualitative studies

We reviewed Polish and foreign financial management platforms in terms of features and conducted an industry trends analysis. We then ran a qualitative study with 10 heavy-users to understand their motivations around using the platform. We synthesized the research and prepared a research report.

Based on the research, we created inspirational materials for the creative workshop.

3. Creative workshop

We ran the creative workshop with the client’s team, during which we generated ideas to raise user engagement on the platform. We then voted for ideas based on their attractiveness for the client.

4. Ideas for user activation 

We ranked the ideas and grouped the ideas into categories and prepared the strategic workshop.

5. Strategic workshop 

We presented the winning ideas to our client and evaluated their feasibility and priority level, which allowed us to define a project roadmap. 

These ideas were then developed and added to the platform as new functionalities.

Additionally, insights from the quantitative study directed the redesign of the whole platform.

The kick-off workshop

The kick-off workshop aimed to i.a. specify project goals and KPIs, as well as understand the client’s target segments and define the platform’s “heavy users”. To fulfill research goals, we indeed wanted to run in-depth interviews (IDIs) with heavy users – people, who often use and make operations on the platform. 

During the kick-off  workshop with the client, we: 

  • defined key performance indicators, e.g. “user activity” and “regular payments”; 
  • specified the project’s business goals; 
  • identified the most important client segments; 
  • discussed our client’s initial ideas on how to activate users

Trends analysis in online investment and retirement planning

Simultaneously with the study preparation, we conducted desk research on existing Polish and foreign investment platforms. Based on this review, we prepared a report describing financial platform features and trends in online investing and retirement planning.

Besides, the materials were used to prepare feature testing that was part of the study with the users. During the interviews, we were showing platform features and asking participants to choose the most attractive ones for them. Participants were also asked to create their “ideal investment funds platform” using drawings and the features chosen previously as inspiration.

Qualitative study preparation

Based on the information gained from the kick-off workshop, we defined the recruitment criteria for participants (we took the KPIs definitions into account). We recruited 7 users of competitive investment funds platforms and 3 users of our own client. 

The goals of the IDIs were to understand contexts and needs connected with investment funds platforms usage, as well as discover opportunities for activating the client’s platform users. IDIs with heavy users helped us answer the following questions:

  • What are the heavy users’ motivations and needs? 
  • When does the need to use such products appear (pension funds/investment funds)? 
  • What is the active users’ purpose of logging in on the investment funds platform? What operations do they make? 
  • How can we make the platform more attractive? 
  • How can we make the users more active? 

The scenario's sctructure was the following:

1. Introduction  - participant’s profile
About the participant’s job, sources of income, life situation.

2. About investing and saving 
Understanding participant’s way of thinking about investing / saving (depending on what products participant uses). Financial knowledge sources, approach to fulfilling investment/pension plans, and tools used by the participant.

3. Choosing a strategy for investment/pension planning 
About seeking product information and making choices.

4. Product usage
About using investment funds platform and motivation to buy products. 

5. Features testing
The participant chooses the most attractive platform features. 

6. Creative exercise 
The participant creates “an ideal service for pension saving/funds investing” for himself/herself.

Conducting the IDIs

Each in-depth interview took around 1,5 hr.

The study took 2 days and took place in Kantar qualitative laboratory in Warsaw.
The client was present during the studies and watching interviews behind a two-way mirror. 

The study was conducted by 2 researchers: while one was moderating, the other one was transcribing the interview.  

The interview included exercises that helped in organizing the participant’s narration and engaged them: 

  • Writing down the participant’s investment/saving goals 
  • Writing down products that participant uses and ways of using them
  • Drawing investment funds platform that participant uses and describing how they use it 
  • Creating “an ideal investment funds platform” based on inspirations

Synthesizing data and preparing study report

After conducting the study we:

  • completed the transcripts made during the study
  • made a features ranking (based on the feature testing) 
  • described insights for each participant and grouped them by themes 
  • prepared a list of the most important and repeated insights
  • described the insights in the report 
  • for each insight, we added participants’ quotes or drawing to illustrate the insights

Research report structure

The study report consisted of several parts: 

  • The study information (methodology, study goals, and sample description),
  • Key insights discovered during the study (investment funds platform users’ needs, behavior, expectations, and barriers),
  • Opinions on the client’s current investment funds platform, 
  • The most attractive features chosen by participants (the ones that evoked positive emotional reactions)
  • Features in common between all “ideal investment funds platform” created by participants 


The creative workshop

The goal of the creative workshop was to produce an extensive list of ideas around user activation on the platform. The workshop was run online with a total of 20 participants. We managed to generate 74 ideas in 3 hours. 

We used the following materials to inspire new ideas: 

  • The research insights presentation 
  • Industry trends presentation 

The workshop was divided into two parts: after each presentation, workshop participants produced ideas that then were discussed.

After the workshop, we all voted individually for the most attractive ideas. 

Based on the votes, we made a list of the highest-ranked ideas that we organized in categories (e.g. view personalization, fee transparency)


The strategic workshop

During the strategic workshop we: 

  • discussed the creative workshop’s results: the highest-ranked ideas and ideas categories, 
  • described winning ideas in more detail and estimated their feasibility (legal, business, operational, technological, and time-wise)
  •  prioritized ideas from a business perspective through votes, 
  • established a product roadmap to implement ideas by taking priority and feasibility levels into account

The roadmap was then used by the Design Team to plan the platform’s redesign process

Klaudia Doerffer
Klaudia Doerffer
Nov 12, 2020
8 min read

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