DISQO insights: crypto and newer financial services gain consumer traction

  1. Peak engagement with cryptocurrency and new service providers like Robinhood is driven by individual personal characteristics such as self-confidence, then fueled by market developments amplified by the news and social media
  2. Consumers at all income levels visit cryptocurrency exchanges and Robinhood at similar rates
  3. All ages and incomes are open to and experimenting with new investments

DISQO’s platform is fueled by zero-party data of unparalleled scale, breadth and granularity, powering brand growth by putting customers at the center of the brand experience. Brands uncover rich demographic and psychographic consumer profiles associated with behaviors of interest, such as search activities, browsing and cart activity on retail domains, media consumption, advertising exposure, and more. 

In Decrypting Consumer Behavior & Crypto,” DISQO leveraged its consumer insights platform to examine engagement with major cryptocurrency exchanges, Robinhood, and the five largest traditional stock brokerages (schwab.com, fidelity.com, etrade.com, tdameritrade.com, and edwardjones.com). The online activities of more than 10,000 consumer members of DISQO’s fully consented audience informed the behavioral analysis between January and November 2021. DISQO also queried its audience (n = 2700) for awareness of – and opinions about – new financial services and currencies. 

“Consumers are at different stages of consideration and adoption of cryptocurrencies and new financial services, so we wanted to dig deeper to aid our clients’ understanding of these important behavioral changes,” said Carl Van Ostrand, VP, Data Solutions for DISQO. “We explored the behaviors, demographics, and attitudinal dimensions of today’s cryptocurrency exchange visitors to learn who is driving digital transformation in finance.” 

News and social media drive behavior

Visits to crypto exchanges and Robinhood were driven by news and social media. Peaks in site visits corresponded with the Gamestop activist trading news cycle in late 2020/early 2021; Elon Musk tweeting about dogecoin in May 2021; and Crypto.com securing naming rights to the Staples Center in Los Angeles in November 2021. 

As Super Bowl LVI approaches, with at least two cryptocurrency brands planning to advertise for the first time during the game, these sites will likely see another bump.

Confidence and risk aversion

DISQO asked members of its audience who visited cryptocurrency exchanges about their risk tolerance as related to personal finance and found that people who purchased cryptocurrency were more confident in managing their personal finances (72% vs 63%), and also more open to high-risk / high-reward investments (44% vs  23%) – versus non-buyers. 

Gender, age, and income indicators

Contrasting people who visited cryptocurrency exchanges and Robinhood with those who visited the sites of the top five traditional brokerage firms, DISQO found that newer financial services are attracting many more men than women — about two to three times as many. However, there was little difference in their income levels. 

Traditional stock broker sites, on the other hand, saw steady rates of increased visits from people in higher income brackets, and the gap between women and men was only a few percentage points (22% vs 29%). 

Not surprisingly, visits to crypto services and Robinhood peaked with people ages 35-44, while the traditional firms saw sustained engagement with people in older age brackets, continuing well over the age of 65.

“By connecting what people think with what they do online, we can challenge the notion that new financial services and currencies are only for the young or wealthy,” said Van Ostrand. “For financial institutions and brands in general, our findings suggest leaning into more tech-friendly and innovative approaches over the long term.”

Brands, agencies and researchers are increasingly turning to DISQO for its unique platform that empowers a complete understanding of customer experience. Through direct relationships with consumers who willingly share what they think and do, clients build breakthrough insights and competitive advantage. DISQO used its platform to inform the insights found in “Decrypting Consumer Behavior & Crypto” which can be downloaded here