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Issue 2001-5 Monday, March 19, 2001








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  Zebank: first exclusive figures  

One year later than expected Zebank, one of the last Internet projects carried out by the Bernard Arnault group, was finally launched in Mid-February.

As a result, Zebank worked very hard in terms of communication, multiplying advertising campaigns, whether they were online, broadcasted on the radio or on television, in the form of press releases or advertising posters.

BVA TFC Research, the subsidiary that was created jointly between BVA and eMarketStrategies and that presently owns the firstbehavioural panel on the French market with over 17.000 active users who access the Internet both from home and from work, publish here, in exclusivity for eMarket News, the first figures concerning Zebank. The analysed period goes from 1 to 13 March 2001.

First of all, it seems that Zebank won its first bet: it managed to attract Internet users on its website. Indeed, its activity rate, which measures how often Internet users visit a website, was 0.6% for the analysed period.

For the same period, the activity rate was 0.83% for Banquedirecte.fr.

And yet these figures should be used with caution as the leading banking website, Credit-agricole.fr, gets an activity rate of 5.47%.


Let me remind you that the activity rate is the result of three different criteria: cover rate as far as visits are concerned, number of pages viewed but also time spent on the site.

These results show that Zebank.com managed to make up, on its own and over a very short period of time, 0.6% of the whole Internet activity in France.

Even though its activity rate only represents one tenth of the percentage achieved by the Credit Agricole, this first result seems very promising.

What's more, over the first 13th days of March, Zebank managed to outdistance ebanking.fr, the other online bank that was launched by the Fortis group at the end of January 2001. The activity rate for ebanking.fr did not exceed 0.31%.

It is true that communication costs were lower for ebanking.fr but this is easy to understand as the site aims for a much restricted target customer.

What Zebank needs to do now is try and keep the same activity rate, despite smaller communication costs.

Please be aware that most of the Internet users who visited Zebank at the beginning of March are in fact customized visitors on other banking websites.

This is how 10.39% of the people who visited Zebank also visited banquedirecte.fr, its direct competitor that is already established; likewise, 11.69% of the people who visited Zebank also visited Caisse-epargne.fr over the same period of time, etc…

But you should also be aware that 38.96% of the people who visited Zebank during the analysed period did not visit any other banking website. This figure proves that the communication campaign launched by Zebank was a success as it persuaded visitors that do not use any other banking website to visit Zebank.com.

Please also note that Internet users visited Zebank at times that correspond with Internet usage patterns as far as traditional banking sites are concerned, according to what BVA TFC Research noticed up till now.

This is how Internet users massively visited Zebank during the day: 76.11% of the visits took place between 9h00 and 11h00 A.M. and the visitors mostly accessed the Internet from work.

Such Internet usage is a good argument for basing communication campaigns on the most popular websites that are also mostly visited from work.

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