Leading ferry operator and freight line increases online sales with Sitecore

Stena Line is one of the world's largest ferry operators with a fleet of 35 ships. With Europe's most comprehensive network, Stena Line consists of 18 ferry routes around Scandinavia and the UK. Approximately 15.9 million passengers and 3 million cars travel with Stena Line. Additionally, Stena Line has Europe’s largest freight route network. Stena Line's website has around 5 million unique visitors per year. The company’s previous web system was outdated, and they needed a new system to accomodate the growing traffic to the site. The new system needed to be easy to manage and flexible, especially considering that the Stena Line website is made up of a variety of domains and languages. After evaluating various alternatives, Stena Line chose Sitecore to deliver a new platform that would integrate with Stena Line’s own system.

Challenge

Stena Line's website has thousands of visitors daily from a variety of countries, and traffic continues to grow. The company's previous web publishing system, which they had been using for seven years, needed to be replaced. A significant problem was that it was not possible to integrate Stena Line's own system with the old platform. Stena Line needed a platform that would fit into the existing technical environment and act as an extension of Stena Line's own systems.

"To create a successful website that is easy to manage, we needed to integrate our own systems with the platform," says Per Lundkvist, IT product manager at Stena Line. "It was therefore important that the new platform was based on. NET, which is the same technical environment as the rest of the development."

The Stena Line site includes seven different languages and nine domains. This meant that the old system was complex and sometimes difficult to administer. For the company's eight web editors it meant a lot of work in updating and publishing new information. A fundamental requirement of the new CMS was that it would simplify the Web Editors’ work.

Stena Line invited five suppliers to the procurement of a new web system. The process was evaluated and rated a number of criteria, including:

  • Having SEO functionality
  • Ability to manage multiple languages
  • Ability to manage multiple domains
  • Possibility of integration with in-house system
  • Ability to handle different types of information
  • Easy to administer
  • The stability of the CMS company

Solution

After a thorough evaluation process, Stena Line chose Sitecore’s CMS, because it best matched their specifications. Sitecore’s CMS integrated with Stena Line's own system, including the company's booking engine, which is a critical part of the business. Sitecore readily adapts  to divergent business requirements, and Stena Line is using Sitecore to create multiple sites across their varied lines of business, including their freight service, www.freight.stenaline.com. Using Sitecore, Stena Line was able to create informative and user-friendly websites to drive sales.

As part of their Sitecore solution, Stena Line implemented the Sitecore Staging Module, making it possible to publish content on multiple servers at the same time by updating a central server. The module makes it both easier and safer to move information between servers.

Result

After deploying Sitecore, Stena Line’s sales via their site increased by more than 50%. This growth is a result of several factors, including increased website SEO visibility, the improved site functionality and quality of the information and experience provided to visitors.

By integrating Sitecore with their system, Stena Line’s platform is much better equipped for the growing traffic to the company website. The Sitecore CMS is easy for administrators to manage, and they can easily create customized workflows for different parts of the site for different users. Since Sitecore and Stena Line’s other systems are all based on .NET, it’s very easy to create more web pages and perform configurations with the existing personnel.

Technical Description

Solution Special Ingredients:

  • Integration with in-house .NET reservation system and databases
  • Sitecore Staging Module