Oxfam GB is part of an international confederation of 17 organisations working in 94 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice around the world.
Oxfam’s mission is to empower people and bring about global change to reduce poverty. Oxfam GB is an unusual organisation – as well as leading humanitarian and development work in the field it also seeks to raise awareness in the UK through its campaigning and fundraising activities. Oxfam also pioneered the charity shop concept in the UK and was one of the first organisations to take this into the digital space via its Online Shop. A single core idea runs through the design of the new Oxfam site, developed by its partner Code Computerlove – to motivate and inspire more people to do more to support its work. Site visitors now enjoy a richer and better-integrated user experience, more relevant to the way they live their lives, whether they’ve come to the site to donate, shop, campaign, fundraise, volunteer or simply to browse and learn more. The site also delivers a range of benefits and cost-efficiencies to the internal processes and operations that Oxfam uses to communicate and do business online.
The key challenge facing Oxfam prior to the new Sitecore solution was a website built on a disparate range of existing digital technologies, services and applications, and with some 20,000 hand-built HTML pages – all of which was limiting the Oxfam digital team’s ability to deliver great user experience and innovation.
Oxfam’s existing web architecture was difficult to manage and inefficient: only developers and technical users were able to build and publish pages; central integration, sharing and re-use of content wasn’t possible; knowledge, ownership and management of digital processes was uncoordinated across the organisation. As a result, there was a lack of consistency across Oxfam’s digital communications and functionality.
Oxfam wanted a Microsoft .NET solution, and was seeking a scaleable CMS platform that could support its needs now and into the future. Sitecore’s scaleability, and sophisticated publishing and workflow system were particularly attractive to Oxfam, allowing content production and management to be extended beyond the central digital team for the first time.
In addition, Sitecore’s fully integrated Digital Marketing System offers opportunities for greater personalisation, with industry-leading engagement analytics. This is a key tool in creating a more personal, localised and relevant experience for Oxfam’s supporters online.
This Oxfam project – to deliver Oxfam’s business objectives through a new user-centred web experience – has been the biggest site build in Code Computerlove’s history.
Key to the success of this build has been a component-based approach to content delivery has provided Oxfam with the ability to integrate content with ease, speed and efficiency, to deliver a consistent look and feel, and to deploy content with greater control. The new site also helps support events and fundraising recruitment and engagement through the use of new community spaces.
Throughout this huge transformation, Code Computerlove has catered for Oxfam’s unique needs as a charity, from e-commerce and supporter engagement to knowledge sharing and documentation. All this has been achieved without any business-critical downtime.
Since the site launched in April, the inherent efficiencies offered by the Sitecore Content Management Solution have helped deliver time and cost savings.
By way of example, Code Computerlove has subesequently reskinned the new website in line with new global branding, this was delivered ahead of schedule and below budget.
Feedback from end users has also been exceptional, both from within the business and from site users. Dwell time and conversion rates across all key donation journeys have increased.
As a result of the ‘Agile’ project methodology used by Code Computerlove to deliver the project, Oxfam itself has become an increasingly flexible and responsive organisation. Key principles behind the ways that Code worked throughout the implementation are being adopted by Oxfam’s own teams: ‘sprint’ phases on a fortnightly rolling basis have inculcated a continual process of release, learn, change, and release for future technical projects.