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Case Study: Migrating Multiple Brands To A Single Domain

August 14, 2018 | |

Full Site Redesign For Gentex

Gentex are a century-old brand that manufactures clothing and equipment for military, police, and emergency service providers. They came to IntuitSolutions with a major development challenge: could we unify all their brands into a single domain?

Gentex has acquired nine separate brands in recent years. These brands came to Gentex with their own technological practices in place – meaning they were all on different website platforms. Our challenge was to merge all nine of the Gentex family brands onto a single domain that used WordPress to power its CMS and BigCommerce for ecommerce.

Our challenge was to merge all nine of the Gentex family brands onto a single domain.

Not only did our developers have to deal with the practicality of merging nine different sites, they also had to deliver a site that looked cohesive and provided a great user experience. This was extra challenging because Gentex has an unusually complex business model. They not only sell both B2B and B2C, but also sell to approved government contractors, including representatives from militaries around the world. This means that some of their products can be purchased in a relatively straightforward manner while others require approval.

It was a big challenge but the end result is a single domain that’s cohesive, easy to navigate, and spotlights each of the Gentex family brands.

Gentex homepage

Gentex’s information-rich homepage spotlights their most important brand information.

gentex family

The Gentex family brands

Safe Website Migrations – Protect SEO Rankings

For years, Gentex had been acquiring brands in its industry but didn’t have a single, unified web presence. The core of their redesign was to finally bring the family brands together on a single domain.

Switching website platforms is challenging in the best of circumstances. A lot of work that goes into avoiding an SEO disaster: you have to keep track of links, redirects, and site maps (plus content and structural changes) to keep Google’s bots from getting confused.

And if migrating one site is tricky, merging nine is a huge challenge. In addition to actually migrating the sites, we laid out a pre- and post-launch SEO plan to ensure no one in the Gentex family took a hit. This involved serious research into each of the nine domains, plus in-depth strategizing about all aspects of technical SEO.

If you’re switching website platforms, you need to invest in pre- and post-launch search engine optimizations to ensure that your rankings don’t take a hit.

Brand Microsites Improve User Experience

How can a single site contained several brand experiences while remaining a unified whole? This was Gentex’s central design challenge. The brands they acquired are major players within their industry and Gentex wanted to preserve and spotlight them while still keeping the overall user experience cohesive.

To solve for this, our developers created “microsites” for each of the brands. What this means is that, when you navigate to any of the Gentex family brands (such as Cromwell, Alpha, or Ops-Core), you see an individualized menu and styling for each one.

Ops Core

Some brands, such as Ops-Core, have complex styling.

cromwell

Others more closely align to the Gentex styling but have logos swapped out for the particular brand.

However, each microsite is still part of the Gentex domain and is clearly linked to from the main Gentex homepage. This allows Gentex to have the best of both worlds. The “microsites” allow each of the brands in the family to differentiate themselves without the hassle of having to manage multiple domains.

Upsell Feature On Product Page

One of the easiest ways to make more money on BigCommerce? Upselling. Encouraging customers to add additional items to an order they’re already planning to complete boosts your average order value and overall earnings.

We implemented an upsell feature on relevant Product Pages. It creates a menu of suggested additional Products beneath the main Product Detail area and lets users select what they want and add all the items directly to Cart. You can even select Options!

upselling

Conditional Content For Diverse Customer Base

Merchandising for ecommerce sites that sell B2B or B2B + B2C is challenging enough, but Gentex presented an additional challenge. Not only do they sell to businesses and private individuals, they also do a lot of business with representatives of governments. A lot of what they sell either goes to the US Military or other approved military bodies.

Obviously, this presents a challenge. Some products can be purchased in a straightforward way, while others require extra approval and paperwork. Our developers used custom fields to create multiple paths to purchase.

Checkout optionsFor example, this Product Detail page offers three options for customers looking to buy. They can either add the item directly to Cart, contact Ops-Core to complete an order, or search for an international distributor.

These buttons vary based on product. If a product is not available for a B2C customer, then that product won’t have an Add To Cart button, and the user will only be able to access either Contact Us and/or Contact A Distributor.

This type of feature is important for many types of sites. Conditional content (hiding and showing content based on the item or who’s searching for it) is crucial for non-B2C sites that want to operate in the ecommerce sphere.

Additional BigCommerce Add-Ons And Services For Gentex

Need BigCommerce Development Work? Call Us!

If you’re facing a big challenge, we can help! Whether it’s a migration to BigCommerce, a full site redesign, or just a persistent problem, our development team has the expertise to make your biggest dreams a reality. Call us today to talk about your goals or get a free UX audit!

Brian co-founded IntuitSolutions, and has been leading our team for more than 15 years. He jumps between his roles as CEO, Salesman, and Project Manager - making sure that our goals are met and that our customers are thrilled with what they receive.

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