Gfi helps Toyota Motor Europe launch 46 websites in 41 countries in just 6 months time

Toyota Motor Europe wanted to launch a new online platform giving visitors the same user experience on every device. Gfi helped to develop the new digital platform.

Challenges

  • Develop a new digital and customer-centric platform that offers every visitor a personalised experience;
  • Launch 46 websites in 41 European countries in 6 months;
  • Develop a platform that is easy to manage centrally, easy to scale and yet allows every country to manage their own (local) content & campaigns.

Solutions

  •  A new customer-centric and responsive digital platform developed with SDL Tridion.

 

Organization profile

Toyota Motor Europe is the European headquarter of the Japanese car manufacturer. It houses key activities for Toyota and Lexus in Europe and acts as the nerve center for manufacturing and engineering, marketing and sales activities in over 48 countries all over Europe, supported by 28 national Marketing & Sales organisations, 3000 outlets and 9 production plants. Together with General Motors, Toyota competes for the title of biggest car-maker of the world.

Software and services

  • Web Content Management system: SDL Tridion;
  • Server technology: node js;
  • Front end technology: Bootstrap, JQuery, JavaScript;
  • Services: analysis, development, testing, project management, roll-out.

Vertical Industries

Manufacturing

Country/Region

Belgium

Gfi helps Toyota Motor Europe launch 46 websites in 41 countries in just 6 months time

Toyota Motor Europe – together with the rest of the automobile industry – noticed a drastic change in consumer behaviour over the last couple of years. In the past, consumers visited several dealerships to compare brands and models before buying. Today a potential customer visits the websites of the different car brands, checks online reviews and collects tips from his or her social network to make a choice. Then he goes to the dealership to negotiate and finalise the deal.

That is why Toyota Motor Europe, based in Evere (Brussels) and responsible for all marketing and engineering activities for Toyota and Lexus in Europe, wanted to launch a new online platform giving visitors the same user experience on every device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.).

It goes beyond usability. The new website helps organise the company more efficiently, allows knowledge sharing on an internal level and helps Toyota become a future-proof and ‘digitally connected’ business. Gfi helped to developed the new digital platform.

“Visitors are more satisfied with the website. More importantly, we see that our young audience is most positive about the new platform and uses the embedded tools fairly frequently. And that’s what we aimed for.”

Karen Peeters

Senior Manager Online Experience, Toyota Motor Europe

46 websites in 41 European countries

Toyota Motor Europe wants a new customer-centric digital platform that offers visitors a personalised experience. “We want visitors to have the same excellent user experience on all channels and with every contact with Toyota. Both online and offline”, explains Karen Peeters, Senior Manager Online Experience at Toyota Motor Europe. “A visitor can easily collect useful information via PC, tablet or smartphone, but also save his perfect car configuration and send it to the nearest dealership or create a QR-code and pay the dealer a visit. Since we live in the social age, potential customers must be able to share their favourite model with their friends on social media, etc.”

Next to the user experience, there were back office requirements too: the new platform had to be easy to manage and easy to scale. And the different countries should all be able to adapt or add local content without making changes to the templates or the platform.

The goal was to launch 46 websites in 41 countries in 6 months time, as the launch of the new platform coincided with the launch of the Toyota Aygo, a new model for a younger audience. That gave the team a very strict deadline.

New technology and scrum

“Gfi helped us create our very first website and have seen over 10 generations of websites pass by. Every 18 to 24 months we had a major update but this one was different,” says Karen Peeters. “For this project we had to start from scratch, as our philosophy – be completely customer-centric – was completely different. On top of that, we wanted to lay solid foundations to develop new versions of our website more easily for the next 5 to 10 years.”

Toyota Motor Europe and Gfi chose for the scrum methodology. No obvious choice taking into consideration the size and complexity of the project, but necessary to respect the strict deadline. That’s why the development team of Gfi used short iterations to develop portions of the website and presented the results of these ‘sprints’ to the project team of Toyota Motor Europe for validation.

The strict deadline urged Gfi to create a team with Belgian consultants and experts working at the Gfi service center in Lisbon (Portugal). While team Belgium developed the new platform, team Portugal prepared the technical migration from the old website to the new one.

The collaboration between the Belgian and Portuguese teams allowed Gfi to easily scale the team working on the project during peak moments. Over 20 consultants in total helped create the new digital platform.

Gfi used several new or recent technologies to develop the website, such as responsive design (the website dynamically adjusts to the device on which it is shown), CDN (Content Distribution Networks) and ServerSide JavaScript. The infrastructure was moved to the cloud (Amazon).

Customer satisfaction on the rise and a future-proof platform

Gfi successfully developed a new platform within the deadline, migrated the old website to the new platform and helped Toyota Motor Europe launch its 46 new websites in 41 countries. Within six months. A considerable success with great results.

“Visitors are more satisfied with the website. More importantly, we see that our young audience is most positive about the new platform and uses the embedded tools fairly frequently. We can say we reach our goal”, explains Karen Peeters. “And we have a future-proof platform that will help us update our website faster in the future.”

Why Gfi?

“Gfi has been a loyal partner for several years. We knew they were the perfect match for this project, as they know our history and have both the expertise and the capacity to develop and migrate such a large and complex website within a limited period of time,” says Karen Peeters. “When we hit some road blocks – something that always happens when working on complex projects – Gfi was very helpful and came up with suggestions and ideas that helped us meet our deadline. That is what a good partnership is all about.”

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