Monarch Airlines- a Codehouse Sitecore solution case study

Codehouse deliver personalised Sitecore website to Monarch.

Monarch's Sitecore awards include: 2013 Sitecore Site of the Year UK, 2013 Best DMS Deployment/Integration, 2013 Best Travel & Hospitality, 2014 Best DMS Deployment/Integration and 2014 Best use of Web Personalisation.

A customer centric Sitecore website with personalisation.

Brief

With Monarch operating two core web-based systems; the Group site on 'www.' and the SkySales system (based on Navitaire) on 'booking.', our brief was to use Sitecore development expertise to:

  1. Deliver a manageable and flexible Sitecore CMS solution that would replace the group site for Monarch. This included migration from www.monarch.co.uk ('www' or 'group' site/pages)
  2. Integrate Monarch's Sitecore website with client specific integration points like SkySales Flight Queries, Live Pricing Database and SkySales JSON Destination API
  3. Apply advanced personalisation to Monarch’s Sitecore Homepage and banner on Confirmation Page

Execution

Following a series of comprehensive Sitecore Discovery workshops a dedicated Codehouse Sitecore development team delivered the project in phases as development sprints using Agile Methodology, a method which favours collaboration and flexibility over rigidly defined requirements. Each component of Monarch’s Sitecore website was broken down into individually achievable, development tasks. These tasks were gathered together into a ‘backlog’ so that Monarch could prioritise the order of development. This ensured that the most valued/essential features were delivered earlier in the project.

The execution was delivered in phases. These phases involved extensive Sitecore development expertise that covered the implementation of base content types like pages and widgets (widgets being editable Sitecore components that hold bite-sized information like images, text and links to other pages throughout Monarch’s Sitecore website), and integration of Monarch's Sitecore solution with social media, eCommerce, and the Navitaire booking system. The main phase however was to enrich Monarch's new website with an improved user experience by implementing:

  • Extensive personalisation against flight search, booking activity (both incomplete and complete bookings), standard Digital Marketing System DMS personalisation, GEO-IP personalisation, HTML5, geo-location personalisation, search referrer personalisation and flight search categorisation
  • Support of automatic relevancy based personalisation against user data based on LUCENE.NET search and configurable Sitecore personalisation rules
  • Integration of real-time flight prices into personalised promotions and carousels displayed on the Home page
  • A Sitecore managed and a ‘personalisable’ flight, holiday, villa and hotel search panel
  • Personalised pricing grids on Home page
  • Personalised retail product promotions e.g. seats and meals
  • Personalised confirmation page retail offers

In addition to the extensive personalisation features our team of Sitecore experts re-structured URLs, applied user roles, and implemented Google Analytics, RedEye and Omniture tagging to monitor visitor behaviour, which complements the Sitecore Analytics which, in turn, powers personalisation, split testing and post booking email communications.

With Monarch being in the travel sector it was important that its Sitecore website catered for multiple languages. Our Sitecore team ensured that Monarch’s Sitecore content managed website has the capacity to support multi-lingual content, which includes English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, and Catalan.

Media handling was also made more efficient. This was achieved by storing all image assets in the Sitecore Database, which are then served by Content Distribution nodes.

As well as applying extensive back-end Sitecore knowledge to this project, our front end development team used adaptive and responsive expertise to deliver a mobile site.

Results

To cater for 5 million unique visits per month Monarch's new Sitecore 6.5 installation is hosted on Sungard hosting platform and uses 4 content delivery servers, 1 content management server and 2 SQL servers. This provides greater speed and stability within an improved and flexible CMS structure with significantly reduced page load times, in particular Monarch's home page, which benefits from a 50% reduction on its load time.

Monarch's Sitecore website delivers relevant content to website visitors via personalisation.  Because of this the visitor experience has improved as more of Monarch's online customers are finding the flights they want quickly and easily, which has resulted in positive Feefo customer ratings & feedback.

Other significant results include:

  • 5% uplift in conversion
  • 10% reduction in page impressions per booking
  • £1.64 increased average passenger spend on ancillaries
  • 16% increase in uptake of promoted ancillaries

“We’re delighted with the improvements we’ve been able to make so far with the Sitecore platform. We’ve been able to move away from being reliant on web development resource to make even the simplest changes and are now able to react almost immediately to content change requests. Being able to deliver highly personalised content to every visitor is helping us to deliver this great service through a superior user experience.” Ian Chambers, Head of Email & Online, Monarch Airlines

“We're delighted to have been recognised again for our Sitecore implementation. We set out to ensure we deliver the best online experience for our customers and the work over the last year has built on that solid foundation - the customer remains at the heart of our focus. We know that competition is tough so we need to continue punching above our weight, particularly in digital. The continued recognition of our efforts in this area is a great sign we’re on the right path for success.” Luke Donnebaum, Website Manager, Monarch Airlines

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Monarch Airlines- a Codehouse Sitecore solution case study

About Monarch

British airline Monarch, who are based at Luton Airport, operate scheduled flights to destinations in the Mediterranean, Italy, France, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, North Africa and Turkey.

About Codehouse

Codehouse is a Microsoft Gold Partner focusing on web development on the .NET platform and in Sitecore and Umbraco content management systems. We are proud to be one of the most experienced Umbraco and Sitecore Solution Partners worldwide

We want to make sure you get the best out of Sitecore CMS. That is why we offer expert Sitecore specific services that range from consultancy and training to maintenance, migration and support. Codehouse Sitecore Discovery is an open-dialogue consultancy service designed to get your Sitecore project off to the best start. Codehouse Sitecore Business-as-Usual takes over the on-going support and enhancement of your existing Sitecore CMS solution. Codehouse Sitecore Migration delivers end-to-end migration to the Sitecore CMS platform using industry best practice. The Codehouse comprehensive Sitecore Support Service is available to those for whom we have built Sitecore solutions as well as those who already have a Sitecore website and are looking for a flexible, focused Sitecore Partner.