- Improve customer journeys
- Allow for more accurate and dynamic segmentation/ customization
- Manage multilingual international campaigns
- Reduce bounce rate
- Boost SEO-generated traffic
- Cloud migration
- New look and Feel
- Linking Customer Relation Management with eZ Platform using eZ API Connectors
- Actualize target-specific content to improve SEO strategy
- Segment visitors and content
- Build travel configurator using Symfony
- Build a private user area with added value content
- Migration of site from eZ Publish to eZ Platform using Legacy Bridge
- Support for five annual marketing campaigns in 10 markets and nine languages
- 1.2 million new users on 2019 platform, representing year-on-year growth of 45%
- Greater visitor engagement and lower bounce rate through personalization
- Visitors can plan activities without registering
- Andorra World Fan community platform creates richer customer profiles
Andorra Delivers a Bold Digital-first Tourism Strategy
Andorra wants more virtual and physical visitors – to its website, and to its many attractions. An ambitious project of personalization, international campaign management, and SEO optimization was undertaken to make this a reality. It required a migration to eZ Platform, a new front-end and using APIs to connect the existing customer data base to the new platform. It is early days, but visitor numbers are up, bounce rates are down, and more traffic is being generated in the overall sources.
The Principality of Andorra is a small independent nation situated in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. Its economy has a tight relationship with tourism: 8.5m annual visitors account for roughly 50% of the principality’s GDP. Its tourist body, Visit Andorra, mounts major winter and summer marketing campaigns each year as well as three smaller ones, including one for Cirque du Soleil, which has a base in the country.
eZ Platform has long been a robust platform and a reliable partner so the client insisted that the next steps be taken with eZ Platform. Migration projects can be challenging but the Legacy Bridge and support from its digital agency Infinitum Digital (Microblau Group), are making the switch friction-free.
The more advanced functionalities of eZ Platform allow for greater and more versatile personalization. Targeted content, a dynamic travel configurator as well as a focus on SEO is boosting visitor numbers, bringing down bounce rates and engaging visitors with the Andorra brand.
With eZ Platform we can reach our potential customers and personalize their online experience to match their interests in Andorra
Andorra’s economy has a tight relationship with tourism, so the Principality needs to stand out in the market and constantly find innovative ways to engage and capture visitors. Personalization, broad international campaign management and a more powerful SEO strategy are the chief drivers of its digital-first marketing approach.
The approach and philosophy of the project is summed up by Xavier Gallego, Head of IT and Digital Projects for Visit Andorra. “We want to personalize each visitor experience as much as we can. The main idea is to overcome the concept of a global internet user,” says Gallego. “There is no such thing as a typical internet user.”
This far-reaching approach needed a flexible, multi-faceted platform and the decision was taken to migrate the tourist promotion website visitandorra.com from eZ Publish to eZ Platform. This migration is ongoing, and in 2020 the legacy admin user interface will be completely replaced. “Backward compatibility is very important for projects that need to last.” Visit Andorra has been evolving its digital strategy using eZ over the past eight years.
You can choose the days you want to stay, the type of activities you want to do, and you can order and re-order all these activities giving you the ability to create a highly personalized schedule for your stay in Andorra
This personalization project is ambitious. The first step was to link the identification module of eZ Platform with the existing Customer Relationship Manager system of vistitandorra.com. Visit Andorra has some 600,000 registered users so the database is extensive. “We used all the extensibility and API approach of eZ Platform to link the systems to create a smooth customer journey,” Gallego explains.
During 2020, profiling for visitors who log in will be identified as a segment in the system. To build on this, Visit Andorra is working with Ibexa’s Customer Success team – and of course the personalization functionalities of the platform – to construct personas based on these visitor segments and offer highly targeted content to boost conversion.
If you want visitors to get to know your country better, you have to get to know your visitors. Not all tourists go on a winter holiday to ski, for example – many will be looking for a winter spa break, or a combination of both.
For some skiers, accommodation and restaurants are secondary, but for others, fine dining or a reflexology treatment after a day on the slopes is a crucial element of their holiday. And of course, travelers with children will have quite different priorities from younger tourists, or tourists in retirement.
We used all the extensibility and API approach of eZ Platform to link the systems to create a smooth customer journey
A project that has been completed over the past year addresses this question of choice and options. The site now has a versatile and effective travel configurator using the open stardard Symfony. “You can choose the days you want to stay, the type of activities you want to do, and you can order and re-order all these activities,” Gallego explains.
“Mixing cultural activities, mixing places to stay, mixing restaurants, mixing activities inside museums, mixing all this information gives you the ability to create a highly personalized schedule for your stay in Andorra.”
Visitors can play around with the configurator without having to register – always a barrier to engagement. The gamification aspect of the functionality (as well as its obvious usefulness) is getting visitors across that barrier.
They register to save their travel schedule, and possibly to share it with site editors. This is where it gets interesting because the travel schedules reveal a lot of about the tastes and preferences of different personas.
“Editors can use the schedules to spot trends and create predefined travel configurations for specific segments,” says Gallego. Visitors can share their configurations with other (registered) users in the private community area, Andorraworld Fan. This experience of sharing and comparing travel plans heightens engagement with the Andorra brand.
With eZ Platform Cloud it is easy to have different versions, to test different things and to deploy whenever we like. And everything is going really well!
Smart localization is another aspect of the drive to drill down to the individual visitor. If you come to visitandorra.com, with an IP address based in France, the site will be in French. There are different strategies for different markets.
In January, a Spanish visitor to visitandorra.com will see a homepage with the winter campaign whereas a visitor in Russia will already be presented with the range of summer destinations and activities in Andorra. This reflects the practical reality that it would take most Russian tourists quite some time to plan a trip to the Pyrenees – and in January they will have seen enough snow!
SEO traffic tends to convert better than visits generated by pay-per-click and Visit Andorra has worked hard to optimize its SEO strategy – 40% of visits are organic, and visitors are staying longer. Bounce rates and SEO-traffic may be more decisive than overall traffic, and this is improving too.
In general, the site attracted 46 % more visitors in 2019 compared to 2018. Says Gallego: “The bounce rate is going down, down, down. This is because we have improved the overall customer experience and the specific customer journeys involved.”
An important aspect of the project is the adoption of eZ Platform Cloud as Visit Andorra’s on-premise architecture was not flexible enough to manage its constant evolution.
“Normally we have more than one project rolling,” explains Xavier Gallego. “Sometimes we have four or five developers working on different projects. With eZPlatform Cloud it is easy to have different versions, to create a branch of the development and to merge this branch, to send links, to test different things to the Andorra teams. And to deploy whenever we like. We now deploy on Friday afternoons and we’re deploying at weekends. And everything is going really well!”