Alexander Dennis: How we helped to increase sales & customer engagement with a new eCommerce platform
Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), the UK’s leading bus and coach manufacturer, wanted to implement a new system to replace its current online, B2B parts ordering platform. Sigma was asked to research, design and develop this bespoke parts ordering system which greatly enhances and streamlines ADL’s commerce offering.
ADL strives to provide a world class service to meet its customers’ ongoing maintenance needs and lead the way in the industry. To help them continue to meet this goal, ADL needed an improved e-commerce platform to transform their B2B customer experience.
The key objectives for the project were to:
- Drive increased product sales and customer engagement
- Make the experience of buying from ADL simpler and more effective
- Increase efficiencies in the internal ADL sales and order fulfillment processes
- Improve customers’ understanding of ADL as a company
We approached this project in two phases; the first phase focused on initial discovery and specification and the second, involved a full end-to-end UX, design and build approach, developing a new, responsive (mobile friendly) e-commerce platform.
We worked closely with ADL to understand and define exactly what ADL’s business stakeholders and customers were looking for, and to ensure that the solution delivered the best experience and the most functionality, for their budget.
After the initial planning meeting with stakeholders, we carried out extensive usability testing of the existing site to gain insight into what worked and what could be improved upon. We carried out observational testing with users to evaluate the site, and then conducted interviews with them afterwards, to assess the findings and build a more subjective view of their feelings when using the site.
We used these insights to develop a prototype of the new system through co-design workshops, working closely with ADL to ensure that the goals and ideas for the new solution were aligned at every stage. This prototype was then tested with a cross-section of users, adopting the same testing approach we used when investigating ADL’s original site.
We developed the back-end of the system using the open source Umbraco CMS, and integrated uCommerce to deliver cutting edge commerce, transactional and Product Information Management (PIM) functionality. Once the solution was developed, we carried out full cross-browser, user acceptance, accessibility, and device testing to iron out any bugs and ensure the final solution ran perfectly.
We now manage over 500,000 parts worldwide across 8 different systems via one simple Sigma platform, with over 2.7M transactions annually. Sigma’s approach to discovery, collaborative design and prototyping was flawless.
Richard Jackson, Aftermarket Technology Director at Alexander Dennis Limited
When the site launched, ADL reported a 30% increase in sales and their site traffic tripled within the first week. The website now enables users to carry out faceted searches, look for superceded products and find the updated parts, and provides schematics and manuals for the buses, which can be easily updated online. For ADL's sales team too, they now have a much better insight into which products are in stock.
Richard Jackson, Aftermarket Technology Director at ADL commented,
In Sigma, we found the ideal partner to overhaul our e-commerce platform, to deliver a more intuitive, user-centred parts ordering experience that would support our ambitious aftersales growth strategy, and we have been hugely impressed by their commitment, approach and the final product.
We now manage over 500,000 parts worldwide across 8 different systems via one simple Sigma platform, with over 2.7M transactions annually. This platform has enabled us to change the way the business works and transform the market we work in. We plan to grow our aftermarket business by over a 30% in the next 5 years and this platform is core to achieving this target. The platform has been received by both our customers and our suppliers as “class leading” and this is a credit to the team.
Sigma’s approach to discovery, collaborative design and prototyping was flawless. They were technically knowledgeable, able to interpret our needs effectively, and they were a pleasure to do business with.
- User research
- Content development, consultancy and information architecture
- Usability testing
- Creative, UX and interaction design
- Full front and back end development using Umbraco and uCommerce
- User acceptance, device and cross-browser testing
- Testing and Quality Assurance
- Training and full handover
- Ongoing support, maintenance and optimisation
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