Non-profit organization Joyce Meyer Ministries (JMM) is not in the business of traditional commerce, but as a global organization that has funded more than $250 million towards causes around the world, commerce solves the question: how do you leverage technology of today to raise money for good?

Paul Robert of Joyce Meyer Ministries and Phil Bui, XCentium’s VP of Commerce, shared how Sitecore Experience Commerce solves this question during their breakout session at Sitecore Symposium 2019: Non-profit commerce: Why commerce is important – even when profits are not.

Here is how JMM’s path to personalization has enabled the organization to optimize its digital experience across online channels and drive donations.

Joyce Meyer Ministries’ personalization barriers

JMM is a Christian organization founded with the mission to share life-changing messages of scripture and to help people around the world. It’s digital experience is made up of two components: supplying access to inspirational content across its digital channels, and enabling supporters to donate. JMM donations go toward initiatives both domestic and international.

Prior to starting its journey with XCentium and Sitecore, JMM’s major challenge was how it operated its web presences to support its content and donation efforts in five regions: the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa. JMM operated across these five areas using disparate platforms.

“You had this huge audience who was emotionally tied to Joyce Meyer Ministries, but then you lost them when they came into the catalog and checkout process,” Phil shared.

Adding to the complexity, each region had a different commerce system that was siloed from the CRM and ERP systems, plus payment platforms, and challenging regulations and requirements. Search functions were also limited to their siloed content and commerce systems. And JMM had zero ability to do A/B testing for maximizing contributions.

Overall, JMM faced many challenges in providing brand consistency and a superior customer experience across all the different regions and systems.

“We wanted to craft a narrative for the nearly 1 million unique visitors we got each month,” Paul said. “We also wanted to create paths for the audience to be able to journey with the organization similar to the experiences on other channels.”

On the backend, JMM wanted to feel confident that its systems were configured for growth.

“We want to limit the hurdles to impactful teachings, but also empower donors to give generously when they can,” Paul said.

Global personalization starts small

Partnering with XCentium and Sitecore, JMM adopted a crawl-walk-run approach to its personalization journey, starting with consolidating and organizing all the items that existed across multiple catalogs into a single catalog.

“You may have separate regional needs that define what each product is, but you want to not have the complexity of having multiple catalogs in all these different regions,” Phil shared. “Start from one base catalog that all regions use, but then customize items based on region.”

Having a single catalog eliminates the siloed content and labored processes keeping multiple systems up to date, plus it enables all regions to have a single source of truth. Content included in a visitor’s CX can be customized based on their user IP, geo-location, currency, etc.

The second phase of JMM’s personalization journey was setting up its infrastructure to roll out web presences as needed. JMM started small, rolling out a single region at a time, so it was clear what tools and features are needed for each one and could then be incorporated across other regions. JMM had the ability to incrementally release to different regions with different fulfillment, inventory, checkout, payment, and catalog features.

“These are all basic things that you expect from a commerce system, which is the reason why you choose Sitecore Experience Commerce,” Phil said. “It gives you the ability to roll out these features and gives you the ability to crawl, walk, run.”

He added, “With Sitecore Experience Commerce combined together with Sitecore Experience Platform, you now have the ability to continue that blending of content and experience that the user has and does so well that people come back to the site every day to be able to listen to the messages that JMM sends out.”

Sitecore powers JMM’s personalized non-profit commerce

Sitecore XP and Sitecore XC are at the core of JMM’s personalization engine. With Microsoft Azure Cloud as the foundation, Sitecore allows for key integrations that drive JMM’s seamless experience between systems, flexible personalization, reporting for tracking ROI, and scalability to grow and shrink as needed.

“You can take the strength of Sitecore, which is personalization, and the strength of commerce and have the capabilities of personalization in commerce,” Phil said.

Key benefits:

  • Sitecore allows for single sign-on, linking the JMM mobile app and online experience to the sign-in session of the commerce piece.
  • PaaS enables JMM to scale in and scale out as needed, plus roll out small releases every two weeks instead of relying on large deployments.
  • JMM is able to provide data-driven personalization by leveraging a donation array customized based on the visitor’s history. XCentium created a donation grid with pre-set values, making it simple for JMM to personalize based on rules set in place. “We want to ask the right people for the right amount of money. At the same time, we don’t want to insult somebody by offering a single array,” Paul said.
  • With built-in reporting features, JMM is able to measure impact by testing and verifying activities and effective dollar amounts. “These types of reports are needed, because as you’re running you want to make sure you’re running in the right direction,” Phil said.

“What you see is that you have the ability for personalization in Sitecore, you have the capability for this powerful commerce engine that allows you to extend and integrate, and then you have this platform that allows you to grow and shrink as needed. And these three empowering capabilities will allow the Joyce Meyer Ministries to grow and expand and evolve as they need too,” Phil said.

Looking to the future, JMM is planning integration with Salesforce.

“With the capabilities we have and that we’re building in, it’s a process of refinement, evolving, and honing these campaigns to determine what is the best fit,” Phil said.

To learn more, read our article “Six key capabilities for a modern commerce platform”.

Hansen Lieu is the Product Marketing Director for Commerce at Sitecore. With over 10 years of experience helping organizations gain competitive advantage with digital commerce and CRM technologies, Hansen is responsible for positioning, messaging, thought leadership, and go-to-market strategy. Follow him on Twitter @HansenTweets or on LinkedIn.