Koodo Meets Commerce
A national industry leader in the telecommunications world, Koodo, has been working with Acro Media since 2013. While the Acro Media team has planned, executed and launched thousands of lines of code for Koodo in many different aspects related to web development over the course of year’s worth of sprints, their main objective and goal has always been what Acro Media does best… big commerce.
How did Acro Media improve the commerce experience for the Koodo customer? This wasn’t just a small tweak for Koodo; they didn’t need “finesse”, an “updated platform” or some lipstick on an “outdated solution”. It was the fact that they didn't even have a commerce solution for selling their products online to begin with! The Acro Media/ Koodo team needed to tackle this problem head on. It’s an entirely other approached necessary when your client is already a national competitor in the mobility sales space, with a big list of clients, you need to execute within expectations so you don’t interrupt customer flow, while giving them what they need: the ability to purchase phones and plans ONLINE. Consumers expect every website on the planet to have commerce/purchasing functionality, how do you manage this giant task, with elegance and accuracy when there’s already a massive user base at hand? In there lies the rub.
What was the previous experience we started with? Customers would actually go through the entire checkout process of selecting their phones and plans just to find out that they couldn't purchase their products online at the end of the flow. Once they completed the process of selecting and configuring their device and plans, they wouldn't have the option to purchase; but instead they would have the option to print off their order and find the closest Koodo store that could fulfill their order. This was basically the horse and buggy method of completing an eComm purchase online. We needed to retire the saddle, and upgrade to some actual horse-power!
While connecting commerce functionality was the main goal, here are some other opportunity areas Koodo had to be cognizant of accomplishing throughout the project as well:
- Un-responsive website, time to get mobile friendly!
- Website was not accessible, all users needed equal access to the site, regardless of physical ability.
- Performance issues — needed to speed up site.
- And overall, they were using an outdated website, get with the times y’all.
"With a lot of hard work from our dedicated Koodo development and project management team we were able to connect ecommerce functionality."
The Solution - Connecting Commerce
With a lot of hard work from our dedicated Koodo development and project management team we were able to connect ecommerce functionality to the website and fix all the secondary customer and operational gaps.
Acro Media took a site that was creating a bad user experience due to a poor checkout flow, or in this case, a site that had no checkout - and added commerce functionality. Selling a mobile device in combination with a plan is actually a very complex ordeal, riddled with conditions and edge cases. Some considerations we had to keep top of mind were ensuring phones and plans were compatible with one another when customers purchased. We also had to make sure the site was personalized to show different rates, plans and phones depending on which Province someone might be shopping from, or the customer loyalty in which they’d built as a long term Koodo client. While this has not been an easy task, it has given Koodo the ability to finally give their customers what they wanted - the ability to purchase and manage their phones online. You can learn more about this in the “custom integrations/modules” section.
Website accessibility is the process of designing a website or web tool in such as way that people with disabilities can perceive, understand and interact with that specific website or property without loss of functionality or options. Ontario, where Koodo is headquartered, has the most stringent national requirements for accessibility standards, and breaching these terms comes with a hefty fine. Making a complex web tool available to all users without sacrificing design or experience takes a skilled team, endless testing, multiple iterations and patience. If you’re interested in learning more about the do’s and don’ts to pass accessibility testing, check out our detailed blog post here on the topic.
Going Responsive and Decreasing Page Load Time
Before working with Acro Media, Koodo’s website was not responsive and the site speed was very slow. It was a bit ironic asking customers to purchase a mobile device on a non-responsive site; maybe even a touch embarrassing! Having a well designed responsive site can have a significant impact on bounce rates and the same applies with site speed. We have now fixed these fundamentals and have given Koodo more leverage for creating a great user experience and turning their site into a selling machine - no matter the device at hand. Page load times can be a fickle fickle undertaking. Through MASSIVE collaboration with the Koodo dev ops team, and the Acro Media boys, we all worked hand in hand to tweak, test and fine tune all of the switches. Through streamlined use of modern CSS and HTML5 practices, a custom configured server and a balancing act of caching remedies, Koodo offers their customers the fastest experience possible for the tasks at hand.
Every business has different goals and functionality they need out of their website. A boxed eComm solution just doesn’t hit the mark on a tool this large, or this complex - most of the time this will require custom development to supplement the business rules. Below are some of the custom modules we developed for Koodo to create a great user experience for their customers.
Koodo Cart — functionality allows you to only have one phone and one plan in the cart and makes sure the plan and phone are compatible. There would be nothing more disappointing that setting up your new phone and plan online, only to find out after the fact that you mixed and matched a combo that just doesn’t work, much like an 80’s prom outfit.
Region Management — Gives Koodo the ability to show different plans, phones and prices based off of which Province they are in. We don’t want customers in BC being charged Quebec tax rates, and neither do you! Sacrebleu!
Koodo Plans — Gives Koodo the ability to sell plans, which are essentially products with no up-front cost, but still need a monthly price attached to them. Not as simple as charging a credit card monthly (picture The Matrix screen here, calculating your options in the background while you stare longingly at Keanu Reeves).
The Outcome - Giving Customers What They Want
When you’re dealing with a net-new eComm experience, it can be misleading to quantify your achievements with percentages and stats to put a positive bow on the end of a case study. So what truths can we tell you? Over the last 3.5 years, Koodo and Acro Media have worked hand in hand with a full-time devoted programming and management team. They pump out 2 full sprint cycles each month, with features launching bi-weekly.
With thousands of visitors every month, Koodo needed the ability to convert users online. Rather than make assumptions about their drop off rates, or hoping customers were taking their online interest to the nearest store, Koodo needed a sales funnel they could analyze, test, and manage directly. They now move at the edge of eComm technology instead of pushing papers and waiting in line at mall kiosks. I’d call this a success, not matter the infographic with a green upwards pointing arrow tacked on at the end.