The former German cable network operator Unitymedia GmbH (now Vodafone) was able to significantly improve the customer experience on its website and increase the conversion rate with pro!vision - a subsidiary of diva-e.
What started as a small consulting project developed into a comprehensive consulting and development project. At the end of the one-and-a-half year collaboration with diva-e, a new pricing interface was developed, the so-called AEM Commerce Adapter (ACA). With the help of the Commerce Adapter and a cache optimization, it was possible to get a grip on the complex and layered backend systems for price calculation. Despite frequently changing prices in the promotion campaigns, it was possible to significantly speed up the price display on the website. As a result, the duration of the price query was reduced by 90% and, as a result, the number of broadband orders increased.
Before the project started, working with the AEM CMS was characterized by limitations. Since changes to the CMS components of the website were labor-intensive and took a long time, marketers and editors were unable to implement their planned marketing and promotional actions in the desired time. One of the special challenges was that the group was about to be taken over and was undergoing an internal restructuring and reorganization process.
After a holistic strategy and process consulting, the diva-e experts succeeded in significantly shortening the time-to-web, improving the website's functionality and maintainability, and ensuring its availability.
The flawless accessibility of the website should be ensured and price information should be displayed quickly. Web content needed to be created and modified more flexibly, and marketing and promotional activities needed to be launched more quickly. In addition, outdated structures in development and deployment had to be dissolved and replaced by new, more flexible processes.
The consulting process began with a detailed examination of the current state. In numerous workshops, the AEM environment, the connected backend systems, the IT infrastructure and the organizational structure of the organizational units involved were analyzed. The analysis revealed a historically grown AEM application with a connection to complex backend systems. The complex set-up of the development environment was not supported by Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD), Continuous Deployment (CD) methods. To address this issue, a new CRX repository was established for AEM development with a sample development set-up.
The central challenge was the price calculation and the requirement to be able to react quickly to price changes that were to be advertised in promotions. One analysis result was that the AEM application only served as a "frontend", while the actual business logic of the price calculation was completely in the backend. Prices were calculated based on complex frameworks and only displayed in the AEM CMS. Up to seven software layers were involved in a price query. To solve this, the AEM Commerce Adapter (ACA) was developed, which could deliver prices quickly and in a business-driven data structure for new components. Due to adapted release planning, the loading speed was initially increased by a caching mechanism while maintaining the same data structure.
In order to simplify future AEM development, diva-e developed a prototypical component according to best practice methods, which was to be used by the AEM development team as a template for new developments. A model approach was chosen that included the tasks of requirement engineering, UX/UI definition, creation of a living style guide and AEM implementation according to clean code principles.
However, the diva-e experts contributed not only technical but also organizational approaches to the solution. One measure was to establish an additional team for optimization. While the existing AEM team focused on the day-to-day business and the continued operation of the existing AEM application, the new team dealt with the analysis and improvement of the system architecture and the structuring of the project.
As a result, the customer experience on the website was significantly improved. A configurable price caching in AEM ensured the high-performance delivery of prices and promotions. The flawless display of prices was guaranteed at all times.
The provision of a prototype not only sustainably increased the code quality of the AEM environment, but also helped to improve the future maintainability of the application. At the same time, operational risks and implementation and follow-up costs in operations decreased. The closer integration of IT operations with the development process led to a reduction in release and update cycles and a significant increase in productivity. Software changes could be developed faster, more cost-effectively and in higher quality. The development results in detail:
Flexible product and product comparison pages for conversion rate optimization.
Introduction of a Price & Options component with dynamic price display and price summation based on the selected options.
Development of other flexible components such as sliders and tables for optimal product display.
Implementation of Atomic Design and introduction of a Living Style Guide to ensure consistent presentation of content on the website.