Content strategy leads investment as Fisher & Paykel replatforms global digital presence

Home appliances giant's EVP of marketing and customer experience talks about the strategy and work done to overhaul its global digital experiences for customers

It’s content and experience strategy, rather than the technical components, that have been the biggest investment in Fisher & Paykel’s global digital experience overhaul, its marketing and experience chief says.

Fisher & Paykel EVP of marketing and customer experience, Rudi Khoury, told CMO the home appliances giant recognised several years ago its digital presence as a B2B2C player was vital for all parties in the supply chain, not least the end consumer.

“We have great retail partners, but we have to help them. One way we can work better is if we can help customers through the product selection process, so that when they go to one of our partners, they are better informed,” he explained. “The combined experience for us, the retailer and the end customer is better that way.”

This ambition has seen Fisher & Paykel replatform its site globally onto Salesforce’s suite of digital products, tapping Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud and in select markets, Commerce Cloud. It’s also worked with digital commerce consultancies, Tryzen, and Amblique, to build out the more customer-centred digital offering.

The first sites to go live on the new platform were the US and Canada in late 2019, followed by Australia in March, the UK in June and Singapore in July.

Read more: Fisher & Paykel: We want to be the most human-centred appliance company

Khoury explained the emphasis is on simplifying the product selection journey process. “When you’re renovating your house, you’re lucky if you do that even 10 years and beyond, and end customers are coming in and out of the market with big breaks inbetween. After a long time between interacting, we want to simplify the process to help you make the best choice for you,” he said.  “We need to do more and do a better, and you need to do it faster.”

Having a cloud-based platform allows Fisher & Paykel to focus less on the infrastructure pieces and concentrate its energy instead on designing and building the experience, Khoury said.

The fresh Fisher & Paykel site opens with the high-end brand stories, but quickly encourages users to move into category pages. Khoury said his team spent a lot of time on filters and how to narrow down that selection quickly.

“The reason it’s important is we have a great, full product range. And we design our products to match as families so aesthetically, they can look the same. So we need to help people understand the benefits and differences between the products,” he said. “We also have multiple styles we cater to. For example, we do contemporary, minimal, integrated, professional, and in our freestanding ranges, we do a classic style.

“The first element becomes educating people that they have a style choice to make based on what kind of kitchen they’re building. Secondly, it’s about the technology you need to choose, filtered down by things like value, size and capacity. You can go from 60 products to seven products in contemporary very quickly, then you have the next layer, such as a convection oven or if you want a combination oven with microwave. It means you can land on one product very quickly.”  

To achieve this, Khoury said content became the bigger part of the investment, more so than the technical part of the project.

“We spent a lot of time in the copywriting, getting the product information right, getting new content around category pages to support the story,” Khoury said.

Fisher & Paykel also sought feedback from end users, designers and architects using its site to advise their clients, as well as conducted a focus group as its took the first fresh sites to market in the US to make sure assumptions it had made were resonating.

“We put the site in front of potential new consumers and with their consent, videoed it, walking through through the site and talking about what they were thinking and experiencing,” Khoury said. “It was massively insights and we built in these changes as we did the next iterations and launched more sites.”  

Because the majority of Fisher & Paykel’s sites are not commerce sites, Khoury said it’s largely looking to engagement metrics, such as time spent on site, where users are going to next and bounce rates, to quantify success. This is complemented by qualitative work with focus groups and “human, people feedback”, he said.

“Correlating those together gives you a strong picture. In the UK and Singapore, we are doing commerce, so we will have conversion data in those markets,” Khoury said.

Once replatforming in completed, Khoury saw a big opportunity to share end customer learnings with retail and supply partners. In addition, Fisher & Paykel is looking to unify the main website with its customer support capabilities online.

“We are building a lot of self-service tools on support pages, but we have not unified in the main website yet. There are plans to integrate so the experiences feel like one in coming months,” he said. “We have great online booking tools and knowledge base we have built into the last two years, giving customers the tools to do themselves.”

From an internal perspective, Khoury said rapid innovation in cloud-based technology in the last five years has allowed his team to move swiftly. He was also proud of the cross-functional work achieved around content.

“I feel the team has done a great job, with marketing and brand working in parallel,” he added.  

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