Great Western Railway:
The making of GWR.com
In 2015 First Great Western became Great Western Railway – reverting back to the original name of the line when it opened in 1838.
As First Great Western’s digital partner, we were thrilled to build the new site for such an iconic brand. More than simply a website redesign, the creation of GWR.com was the first stop on the journey to becoming a truly digital-first business – part of a programme of transformation that our digital strategy consultants defined with the team at First Great Western.
In addition to launching the new brand, GWR.com needed to increase revenue and customer satisfaction by offering:
- Frictionless ticket purchasing on all devices
- Clear, real-time information and guidance during disruption
- Content which inspires customers and tourists to explore the West
How we did it
Once the vision was set, the operational changes outlined, and the roadmap agreed, the process of change began. We had a full time team of 15 working from a dedicated project office – above a train station no less! Our priorities were to:
- Digitise the brand: Working with GWR’s branding partner, we applied the brand across 30+ digital touch-points, and ensured the tone of voice online was consistently GWR
- Replatform: We built the new site on Sitecore 8.0, chosen for its personalisation and marketing automation capabilities
- Become truly mobile-first: With 34% of customers visiting the site on mobile, we designed and developed the site primarily for mobile in a way that ‘scales up’ for larger screens
- Test with real users: We tested the navigation and customer journeys with real passengers at stations to make sure using the site would be easy and intuitive to use
- Lead with compelling content: We created inspirational, search-optimised content for key destinations to help customers plan trips and discover the best of the West
The site has achieved fantastic results since launch in September 2015:
The launch of GWR.com was the first project in a programme of digital transformation. After launching the site, we completed 2 crucial initiatives by:
- Redesigning the booking experience
- Redesigning the My Account area and improving integration with the Sitecore platform
Both projects form part of GWR’s ongoing mission to increase revenue through improved customer experience, and consolidate a complex legacy infrastructure.
With a 24/7 team of consultants from all departments dedicated to the GWR account, we run a continuous optimisation programme using customer feedback, testing and data to inform iterative improvements to the site.