Better mobile experience pays off with a surge in conversions
KinderCare Education is the nation’s leading early childhood education and childcare provider, operating more than 1,400 local centers across the country. With seven million visits a year to KinderCare.com, digital plays a huge role in educating new families about KinderCare’s services and curriculum, facilitating ongoing engagement.
PK and KinderCare have been partners in an ongoing multi-year initiative to improve and optimize the digital experience that both humanizes the brand and impacts the bottom line. Based on overwhelming mobile traffic we recently worked together to improve the experience through responsive web design while moving Kindercare.com onto a modern new content management system (CMS).
The new site makes it easy for prospective families to find the information they need to choose KinderCare—and for the company’s marketing team to create and manage content.
In early 2015, as mobile usage was on a steep upward trajectory, nearly 40% of KinderCare’s website traffic was coming from mobile devices. But their mobile experience—a separate, non-responsive “m-dot” site—not only provided a sub-par experience for visitors but also required separate maintenance.
The mobile site performed at a much lower conversion rate than the desktop site and was proving costly to maintain. KinderCare needed a better mobile experience to:
- Allow families to connect with and tour local centers
- Encourage more of these families to stay on their site
- Make it easy for them to locate centers that are convenient to them
The new site also needed to empower field staff to convey timely and critical information to their enrolled families.
KinderCare’s mobile website data clearly supported a strong case for a mobile responsive redesign. But web analytics told only half of this story. As the final step of enrollment happens offline in the local center, the final step of the conversion data needed to be gathered from backend sources, like customer relationship management and business intelligence systems.
PK collaborated with KinderCare’s finance department and other groups to verify the data and determine the ultimate financial impact of a responsive redesign. Targeting even conservative projections, KinderCare was confident that a responsive redesign would quickly net a positive return.
This was more than just a responsive design initiative. In addition to evolving customer habits, KinderCare was contending with bloated operational expenses and the acquisition and merger of Ektron, their legacy CMS platform. After making many incremental—yet substantial—platform and experience improvements over the years, KinderCare seized the opportunity to make a more revolutionary investment—and replatform.
Thanks to our long-standing relationship and trust built over many years, KinderCare looked to PK for guidance in choosing and implementing the new technology. The Sitecore 8 Experience Platform, a world-class CMS, would enable KinderCare to offer an exceptional digital experience while providing a solid platform on which to compete and grow in an increasingly mobile world.
Based on our previous collaboration on KinderCare’s Digital Experience Strategy, which helped the company align around a vision that puts families first, we recommended a full-scale review and analysis of digital content, focusing on the customer’s experience. We wanted to ensure that every piece of content would be useful, relevant and valuable. In the end, we were able to sunset at least half the pages from the previous website.
This customer-centric content strategy, combined with the site redesign and new Sitecore 8 platform, provides KinderCare with a solid platform that will enable rich, personalized experiences with targeted content for prospects and customers.
Since the new site launched on Sitecore 8, KinderCare.com visitors enjoy huge improvements in their experience. The new site is much more usable on mobile and makes it easy for prospective families to find the information they need to choose KinderCare. The improved digital experience translates into higher mobile conversion rates, which has already far surpassed the original ROI projections.
Mobile site conversion improved so much on launch that KinderCare recognized full payback on their investment within the first six months.
In addition to increasing revenue, the new CMS and workflow make it faster and easier for the marketing team to create and manage content for the site and for the field staff to convey timely and critical information to families. Plus, connecting the corporate marketing team with field operations takes another step toward a consistent brand experience across all KinderCare touchpoints.