Jøtul rekindles its relationship with users around the world

Transformation of the multi-brand web platform and deployment of a PIM solution by SQLI

Jøtul, a Norwegian manufacturer of cast iron stoves and fireplaces, is a market leader. Established in 40 countries, it markets its products under the brands Jøtul, Scan, ILD and Atra, via its retailer network. Possessing only a platform that delivered corporate messages, Jøtul wanted to turn its attention more to its end customers, by offering them an enhanced experience, while generating more leads via its distributors. It selected SQLI as a partner for the total overhaul of its platform and the deployment of a PIM solution, in order to drive forward its digital strategy. 

A new digital experience for a new global impetus

Until now, Jøtul had a web platform linked to a constellation of websites for each brand (Jøtul, Scan, ILD and Atra) and each country. This platform presented two major inconveniences:

  • A proprietary CMS that was difficult to maintain and had exhausted its potential.
  • An initial focus on brand image rather than lead generation, with the onus for this placed on the retailer network.

The Norwegian manufacturer therefore needed to transform its platform, to switch its focus to lead generation, by adopting a web-to-store approach and attracting more users. It also wanted to facilitate each country's contribution to running the websites and enable personalization of the interface according to the brands' local specificities. User and contributor experience were core considerations. SQLI and representatives of the key markets – Norway, France and the United States – worked together with these goals in mind.

Cross-national synergies driving transformation 

Like Jøtul, SQLI pursued cross-national synergy. Its Lyon-based teams in charge of the project worked in conjunction with a Swedish team that has expertise in PIM solutions, as well as SQLI's teams in Paris and Morocco for UX and development aspects.

The new platform was designed to be a common core for all of the countries and brands, with sufficient modularity to adapt to their specificities. Because its hosting is organised according to geographical zones, and with a view to continuous deployment and load increase of the websites, the team opted for a cloud solution. Amazon Web Services was chosen.

SQLI suggested a Drupal CMS as a single platform to:

  • Enable each country and each brand to personalize the graphics of their website
  • Facilitate catalogue management using the Drupal Commerce module
  • Natively connect the platform to third-party system flows, such as the PIM solution

The team also suggested deploying PIM, based on the inRiver solution, in order to make product data management more efficient in the 40 countries where Jøtul has a presence. While previously each country managed its product data separately, the PIM solution makes it possible to centralise all data and save a significant amount of time with data processing and publication in the various languages required. In terms of UX, SQLI conducted a series of buyer interviews and visited various points of sale in the three key markets, in order to further its understanding of user behaviours and needs.

Following this scoping phase, the team recommended the following for the purchasing journey and digital contact opportunities:

  • Establish a store locator and quote request function.
  • Produce editorial content with a focus on storytelling and client testimonials.
  • Offer more support to users in the form of articles on using the products which answer practical questions.
  • Take into account local specificities – as energy sources, climate and the initial need (style, heating needs, etc.) are strongly linked to the country and culture

In order to ensure the visibility of the new websites and their GDPR compliance, the transformation was accompanied by assistance in the area of SEO and personal data management throughout European markets. 

Initial results and future prospects

Following deployment of the French and Norwegian websites in 2019, more than 40 websites were created, including the first websites for the brand Scan recently.

Guy-Cédric Galea, CEO of Jøtul France stated that: "Two weeks following the launch of the French website, we have beaten the record for visitor numbers in the months of October and November 2019, in comparison with previous years. During the first month, we also saw several hundred calls made to our retailers by Internet users who had clicked on telephone numbers displayed on the website, which was very positive. "

The retailers, both in France and other countries, like the new websites, thanks to their visual appeal and redesigned UX. There is now a dual challenge: recommence lead generation in the post-lockdown period and create the new website for Ravelli, an Italian brand acquired by Jøtul, based on the new platform.