Fairtrade - Kagool


How we improved engagement for Fairtrade through Sitecore


Fairtrade is a global movement with a strong and active presence in the UK, represented by the Fairtrade Foundation. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms for farmers and workers.


25% increase in Fairtrade's online store
38% increase in facebook likes
Increased visitor time on the site
10% increase in mobile and tablet traffic

The Challenge

The main aim of the project was to increase the general awareness and understanding of who Fairtrade is and what they do.

Fairtrade wanted to generate a memorable user experience for their audience which includes: Consumers, businesses and decision makers, campaigners, schools and students, governments and NGOs.

Fairtrade were engaged with their creative agency on how they could change perception of Fairtrade from a sustainability focused organisation to a challenger brand concerned with ethical product choices.

They needed a new site to reflect this. Fairtrade’s existing content management system (CMS) had become increasingly dated and was no longer supported. Because of this their site didn’t offer a great user experience. It was also difficult to update content and add functionality.

Fairtrade needed to re-platform. Sitecore was chosen due to its scalability, flexibility and game changing features such as Email Campaign Manager (ECM) and Digital marketing System (DMS).

There was a tight deadline of six months to complete the project from start to finish. 2014 was Fairtrade’s 20th anniversary in the UK and they wanted the new site launch to coincide.

While the initial site was designed to be lean it needed to be built so that it could easily support future development.

Fairtrade wanted the new site to integrate with their back office systems (RSM2000).

The Approach

We wanted to make sure Fairtrade’s Sitecore installation was built on solid foundations.

We built the site so that widget content can be easily changed using rules in Sitecore. This is great for changing content based on devices. It will also allow for multi-varient testing and personalisation using Sitecore DMS.

We configured the Sitecore build to allow re-use of shared components. This allows for multi-lingual and local extension during the next stage of its customer experience development.

We integrated Sitecore modules WFFM (Web Forms for Marketers) and Weblog. Fairtrade’s editors can easily update content on the site.

The site is fully optimised for desktop, mobile and tablet, with different layouts defined for each. This is in line with our hybrid approach to mobile and tablet.

The site uses real time weather data for countries worldwide. This provides user insight into current conditions where producers are located and offers users a connection to the region.

It has custom social connectors built in to allow cross-channel communication and visibility, with again a particular emphasis on the mobile and tablet experience.

Personalisation features haven’t gone live yet, however the underlying Sitecore DMS framework has been configured.

We looked at integrating Fairtrade’s back office system but this was found to be obsolete. Fairtrade are going to choose a new CRM which will then be integrated.

We configured the servers on Fairtrade’s internal infrastructure. The production environment features delivery and authoring servers, with suitable publishing targets defined.

Summary and next steps

This site is the first example of Fairtrade’s drive to enhance and update their brand and as such is a flagship marketing product for them.

Introducing Sitecore’s Experience Platform has been a game changer for Fairtrade. They can better manage content to engage with their followers, while bespoke analytics tracking has let them introduce data based decision making at a management level.

Fairtrade’s new Sitecore site is future-proof and as accessible on mobile as it is on desktop.

Because the site was built with Sitecore DMS in mind future changes will be made to enable greater personalisation and automation for users.

This project was obviously a very important undertaking for Fairtrade The great thing is people have commented on how the new site has changed the way that we are perceived. Thats really satisfying as it was the point of the whole project.

Jagdeep Gill

Senior Digital Manager, Fairtrade