JPMorgan Chase is retooling its website to create a more cohesive experience across its digital channels. The new look -- unveiled on the bank's homepage Sunday -- mimics the Chase Mobile app, which was refreshed last April and has more than 21 million active users.
The homepage breaks the mold of many bank websites, like those from Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo. It highlights evocative lifestyle images rather than product shots and employs responsive design, which adapts to the size of the window.
"We're taking the same design and innovative philosophy that you saw in the mobile app and implementing it [on the website]," said Tim Parsey, head of digital customer experience at Chase, adding that the design is simple, personal and cohesive to create the sense of a human relationship. "It's part of the journey of modernizing the digital experience at Chase."
The approach aims to create the same experience for users across desktop, mobile and tablet. Similarities between the mobile app and the new website include the "hamburger button," which signals the drop-down menu, and the menu itself, which is identical in both versions.
There are number of other changes throughout the site that add a personal touch. For example, the previous "Products & Services" tab has been changed to a drop-down menu that encourages people to "Explore products." And the website uses "sign in" and "sign out" instead of "login" because it's more conversational.
The new look will roll out to account pages and across other features on the website beginning in the fall.
The new homepage also features a branded content section called "News & Stories," which features discussions about financial health, small business advice and neighborhood stories as well as ads for products like Apple Pay, which are labeled as promotions. The content aims to bring aspects of Chase's bank branches, like a sense of community and personal advice from bankers, to the digital experience.
"Our customers don't want to be inconvenienced by banking on anyone else's terms but their own," said Susan Canavari, head of brand for Chase. "'News & Stories' is a really good way to give our customers the info they need. ... It really humanizes our brand."
Chase began experimenting with branded content last year in an effort to build deeper relationships with consumers by offering them financial advice. It added a "New & Stories" tab to the old homepage in November and found that users who visited the page stayed on the website three times longer than those who didn't. Since then, the company has expanded its content strategy to include lifestyle stories and other relevant coverage.
"Some of the stories that we created are very close to our business," said Brian Becker, head of content at Chase, referring to small business tips and financial advice. "And we really do feel like we have an opportunity to go a little bit farther."
The bank hopes to attract more visitors to its growing archive of stories by showcasing it on the homepage and other areas throughout the site, as well as on its social channels.