Access Self Storage are one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing self-storage companies with a customer first and friendly ethos at the core of their values. With over 20 years of experience in the self-storage industry, they have more than 50 Access Self Storage stores nationwide, all in easy to reach locations. Storage is at the heart of their business, but they also offer supporting services including virtual office services, parking, document management and mailboxes.
As a business committed to keeping the customer at the heart of everything they do, Access is determined to make sure they offer a market-leading digital experience.
Their previous site was under performing and it wasn’t possible to easily and quickly find and book storage with confidence.
The ability to place an order through the site or reserve storage space wasn’t possible and Access were unable to fully compete with their competitors.
There were various Sitecore related issues from the previous build that were also impacting the team’s ability to engage with their customers at scale.
Kagool were appointed to design and build an industry-leading experience for finding and booking storage using the power of Sitecore 9.
Delivering a great online customer experience was key to Access’ business strategy. So whilst rebuilding the Sitecore 8.2 site in Sitecore 9 we redesigned the customer journeys with a focus on improving UX to create an engaging and unique user experience that reflects their brand values and service offering.
To ensure the design was a success our team set about understanding the current barriers to customers purchasing storage. Through qualitative research and workshops we identified that potential customers were struggling to understand the space they may be committing to.
We addressed this through a connected interaction that helped users visualise the space they are selecting. Other design improvements were made throughout the site including improving the map features to help users find facilities near them.
During the final stage of the build, we focused on creating a bespoke connector for the Sitecore Commerce Connect Framework, that enabled users to make a reservation and place an order through the new Access Self Storage website and ensure the payment journey helps ancillary sales. The e-commerce solution will connect with a payment provider called ‘Paysafe’.
The business logic of this bespoke connector is part of a separate service and exposed by an API that the website can interact with. With this architecture in place, the website remains agnostic of the business rules and the internal systems within Access Self Storage. Kagool built the API before handing over the support and maintenance to Access once the new site went live.
We also enabled Access to configure AMP versions of their article pages and shop items in Sitecore, to ultimately provide a smooth, more engaging experience on mobile and desktop. Each of these page types will have an alternative AMP presentation layout set up and the layout for the pages will be able to be switched by adding a query string parameter to URL.
By creating these AMP specific components Access Self Storage will be able to display their content with different AMP mark-up. A link tag will be generated in the mark up of the non AMP-page that will reference the AMP version of the page. The Access Self Storage content editors will then have the ability to turn this link on and off to enable AMP versions of pages
To ensure we provide Access Self Storage with a Sitecore platform that adheres to Google best practice and can be effectively crawled, indexed and optimised for organic search, we have also built it with Technical SEO best practice in mind.
From original idea to go-live, this project will have taken 5 months from discovery to launch. The impact has been immediate with great improvements in traffic. Conversion rates have also improved sharply.
Future phases will see Kagool continue to assist Access Self Storage in maximising ROI offering and consulting on how to get the best from some of the more advanced Sitecore features.
"We are pleased with the immediate results that the new website is bringing the business. Enquiry numbers are increasing and the user journey is simplified. Initial numbers are showing an increase in mobile traffic and conversion by double digits. Thanks to a great build the business looks forward to future development work on the site."
Head of Digital Marketing