Constantly monitoring verbal and behavioral feedback and making tweaks based on the data is nothing less than a formula for digital success. The only problem is that building those feedback loops within a technology stack that will help monitor and action that feedback is far from easy.

In their presentation at Sitecore DX Dubai, Karan Chimnani, eCommerce and Digital Marketing Director of Miral Group, and George Smith, Regional Marketing Director at Horizontal Digital, shared how their continuous improvement framework helped garner meteoric post-COVID success for Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

Seeing and fixing human problems with composable technology

After embracing an ecommerce digital transformation and building several Sitecore-powered products, Yas Island experienced a tremendous rise in bookings, particularly from post-pandemic holiday-goers from multiple countries.

Growing pains, however, soon kicked in (as they so often do). Those pains spread across the breadth of what the digital experience is trying to offer, from content, to commerce and into the on-island experience.

The website was not owning the space around the best source of information about traveling to Yas Island, flagship offers were proving to show some pain points due to their widespread adoption, and there were seemingly minor interruptions of on-ground experiences. All these factors combined to trigger a cause that would help turn the problems into opportunities.

Yas Island came to recognize the need for building a knowledge center that delivers personalized information, optimize its commerce funnel during its critical peak season, while also using forensic testing methods to ensure its success and to address how to improve the digital assets that support the guest’s overall experience. Not exactly a walk in the park unless your technology stack is built for global, regional, and localized customer success.

With Horizontal Digital’s help using Sitecore XP, Yas Island was able to do precisely that while vastly improving the user experience and user happiness during the booking process. Here’s how they did it.

The continuous improvement framework

Most companies wind down their digital transformation processes after launching their project. After all, the hard work is done, right? Wrong.

In reality, that’s the phase where digital transformation should be kicked up another notch, particularly as feedback, complaints, and flaws are detected in real time.

Yas Island and Horizontal Digital, a Sitecore Platinum Partner, recognized this. Post-launch, they decided to implement their “continuous improvement framework”, which involves:

  • Defining the opportunity
  • Designing and testing the solution
  • Developing and deploying the solution and gaining feedback from customers

This framework allows organizations to discover the issue they’re trying to solve, whether it’s worth solving, whether the capabilities are available, and what can be done to solve the problem or capitalize on opportunities.

Acting on feedback

Chimnani and Smith shared three examples of how acting on feedback via the continuous improvement framework would enable Yas Island to create personalized experiences that rival the excitement of its renowned theme parks.

In the first instance, they realized that competitors and review sites were playing the role of knowledge center, and they missed out on the opportunity to convert. Yas Island needed a way to demystify the destination.

By bucketing all of the information into different categories and ideas, such as the practical information a user needs, they could provide information about the park and curate information about reaching the country, whether visas were needed, and more, leading to the Yas Island First Time Visitor Guide.

Leveraging insights

Another example was the “Kids Go Free” package. Yas Island always enjoys a very busy summer, with families deciding to vacation on the island. So, they have provided the “Kids Go Free” offer. As the spike in traffic grew year on year, it became clear this offer meant something different to all the multiple family structures that wanted to take part. Yas Island also needed to maintain its brand as a family destination. The presenters showed precisely how Yas Island plans to optimize the “Kids Go Free” offer, from how the content is communicated on the site right through the booking journey.

In addition, Horizontal Digital leveraged data they collected from customers to remind the customers that they are getting an incredible deal as they book their kids for free. The messaging (“Kids Go Free”) is echoed clearly and consistently throughout the booking process, increasing CRO and customer happiness with a no-strings-attached bargain.

However, that still didn’t stop them from testing. Horizontal Digital validated these designs with the Yas Island end-users and realized they were successful.

The plan is to leverage Sitecore’s capabilities and deploy this particular experience to a subset of the entire customer base in order to ensure maximum returns. Once the positive results are repeated, they can echo the design-stage testing results and roll it out to everyone to see if the benefits remain.

Making keen observations

However, not all continuous improvement projects stem from data points or customer research. Sometimes, they stem from observing your customers, which can give rise to ideas and important initiatives that should be prioritized.

While dining at a restaurant inside the theme park, a Yas Island employee spotted the fact that the Booking Confirmation QR code on a voucher was too small. Staff and customers were struggling. The team used this data point to improve the post-purchase experience, and the booking process, and add new opportunities.

Uncovering new opportunities for customer happiness

There’s no such thing as a perfect product. New trends, customers, and problems will eventually form roadblocks that demand technical flexibility. Horizontal Digital’s Continuous Improvement Framework, underpinned by Sitecore’s technology, enables that flexibility.

Continuous Improvement also prepares brands to act on data in all its forms. Whether it's a spike in traffic from a particular region, or a one-off incident at the check-in desk. If it can be seen and measured, it can be resolved.

With the right framework and technology, Yas Island has not only adapted to post-COVID challenges but has also emerged stronger, offering guests a seamless and personalized experience. Their story underscores the importance of staying agile, leveraging insights, and relentlessly pursuing excellence in the digital realm.

To get a full recap of everything that happened at Sitecore DX Dubai, we have a summary blog you can read.

Sophie Krokida is a Content Writer at Sitecore. Connect with her on LinkedIn.