Electronic marketing and online advertising can generate amazing leads, but what happens if your website can't handle a massive increase in visitor numbers? It's a lesson simply energy learned the hard way.
As one of Australia's fastest-growing energy retailers, Simply Energy was moving their focus to digital channels. Previously, they had relied on door-to-door and telesales, but in 2014 they switched their strategy to eDMs and online advertising. The results were incredible – with site visits jumping to three times their previous daily average.
There was just one problem – their server was not designed to handle the volume of visitors. "We sometimes had a spike in traffic to our site, and the web server wasn't able to cope. Our website's performance noticeably slowed during these times," says Rohan Smith, digital strategy manager at Simply Energy.
Not only was the system unable to handle spikes in visitor traffic, but the company was also hamstrung by outdated infrastructure. They were running Windows Server 2003, a platform no longer supported by Microsoft, and they had no capacity to develop a mobile site or to expand self-service portals to streamline customer support.
In the face of these problems, there was little the sales and marketing team could do except limit and stagger their campaigns to avoid overloading the system with too much traffic.
It was clear that a move to the cloud would solve Simply Energy's server problems and enable them to deliver improved support to customers. And the business knew they couldn't do it on their own; they needed an experienced partner to lead them to their desired outcomes.
After a careful review, Melbourne IT Enterprise Services was chosen for their customised and strategically designed service. "Often with IT, cost is a primary driving factor. In this case, we had a bit of a win. We were able to select a premium product with a better result. Most likely because sales and marketing were key stakeholders, driven by customer experience outcomes, not price," says Smith.
"The Melbourne IT team was very clear, very straightforward without being overly technical," he says. "They took the time to understand the problem, and we figured out the solution. They guided us through the process of migrating our website operations to a managed AWS service from Melbourne IT."
The results speak for themselves. The Simply Energy site is now roughly 25% faster, the bounce rate has reduced, and their Google Quality Score has improved, reducing their CPC spend. They've also developed a mobile site, which now accounts for nearly 40% of their traffic, and launched online chat support.
Simply Energy's next moves? Improving customer-facing portals and relocating internal analytics and sales reporting to the cloud. And with their expertise in these areas as well, Melbourne IT will be backing them all the way.
Trust was a big factor. When you're moving information, you want to have a partner that's trusted and is going to stay on the journey with you.
ROHAN SMITH, DIGITAL STRATEGY MANAGER, SIMPLY ENERGY
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