New Sitecore site brings more than 4,500 product web pages to light for business customers.
Acuity serves four main types of customers: independent agents, distributors that warehouse as well as sell products, architects/lighting designers, and specifiers scoping out project technical designs. In addition, the company sells through certain retail channels, often to contractors who then search the website for product information. Acuity also sells to a handful of large clients which use Acuity’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform technology in their operations.
Customers use the Acuity website to search the company’s portfolio of more than 4,500 product web pages, many of which come with varied configurations to meet customer needs. Before the redesign, Acuity’s website was dense with some content that customers weren’t reading and was plagued with performance and reliability issues.
“We set out to create a more stable platform that accelerated customer access to information while reducing our maintenance costs,” said Andrew Crowder, Vice President of Enterprise Architecture, Web, for Acuity Brands.
Acuity engaged Sitecore partner RDA to help rebuild the website on Sitecore Experience Platform (XP 9). RDA’s experience with Sitecore and Azure was instrumental in the successful rollout of Sitecore on Microsoft Azure PaaS for rapid deployment, quick scale-up, elimination of server overhead, and ease of application performance interface (API) integration.
“I would like to emphasize the value we got from RDA. With them as a partner — bringing the right talent and the right experience — we hit our five-month roadmap from kickoff of development to our beta launch, and then one more month to the live launch of our robust, fairly complicated site,” Crowder said.
The new website integrates with Acuity’s product information system (PIM) — containing imagery, documentation, specification sheets, and instructions. It provides a rich search experience using the Coveo machine learning search engine, and now supports a main website and 14 brand sites that have migrated to the new platform. In addition, a smaller team can deliver new functionality more rapidly.
The new Acuity site makes it easy for customers to find the right products they need. It displays more than 4,500 product web pages with complex specifications and search criteria and delivers reliable performance for 200 concurrent users. Click-through rates have risen from 70% to 85%. Before, approximately 15% of users were unable to find the product they sought. That figure is down to approximately 5%. Search results used to take up to 15 seconds. Now it’s usually under 2 seconds, and the enhanced search interface allows users to access key product information with fewer clicks.
The solution also improves Acuity’s internal efficiencies. The estimated product catalog load time (ETL) has dropped from 72 hours to 2 hours, for faster time to market. Page load times decreased from 4-5 seconds to 2-3 seconds, providing a better user experience.
Even as Acuity completes migration of its brand sites to the new Sitecore platform, it’s setting its sights on enhancing personalization for different markets. Acuity has long been the North American market leader for high-quality lighting solutions, but now the website reflects its business position and provides a platform to support the company for an even brighter future.
“We’re providing a website that is industry best-in-class,” Crowder says.