A poor digital partner experience and undiscoverable content hampered Aprilaire's ability to service its partner's real-time need for product resources and data while on the go.
Founded in 1938, Aprilaire was an early pioneer in indoor air quality solutions and was the proud builder of the first whole-home humidifier. Today, Aprilaire empowers its dealers and distributors with a full line of healthy air solutions, tools and training, including for humidification, air purification, ventilation, thermostats and more. These systems are installed directly in homes to provide health, comfort, and home preservation.
The company’s operations hinge on a tight network of partners accessing a gated portion of its website for product, installation and documentation resources. Through their dashboards, they can also reference marketing materials, selling tips and an up-to-date list of sales leads. However, the site’s user experience was hampering partner operations, leaving too many to call Aprilaire Customer Support for help finding the documentation they needed on a day-to-day basis.
To respond, the Aprilaire team embarked on a project to modernize its online partner experience, make its reference content more discoverable and improve both traffic and lead generation. It further sought to simplify backend administration. A pivot to a mobile-first development approach would better satisfy the on-the-go tech requirements of its partner community. Modernizing would enable Aprilaire to solidify its position as an industry leader—but only if it picked the right solution.
The company did a thorough review, but the flexibility of the Progress® Sitefinity® platform, combined with its ease of third-party integrations and fresh user experience won the day.
“Our developers were able to use the Sitefinity interface to create a simple backend where Aprilaire employees would be comfortable making copy, image or any other changes on the fly,” said Dakota Pawlak, Associate Director of Production, “This was extremely important to us when choosing a site platform.”
The company deployed nine different user types, and by tapping both roles and personalization tools through Sitefinity, provided a seamless experience to all frontend users. The configuration enabled anyone on the team to go in and make a wide array of content updates to the site, without having any coding or web development experience.
Both the website and partner dashboard were built with a mobile-first strategy to service the large number of partners needing to login from out in the field to find important documents, check leads and manage their account. Third-party integrations with its digital asset management solution, Widen Collective, and search via AWS ElasticSearch, combined with Sitefinity to vastly improve the user experience, enabling them with near instant access to the documents and content they needed.
The company launched to all user types at the same time, and received overwhelmingly positive reviews, from partners, prospective partners and customers. Each user role type had a specialized experience tailored to the data they needed to access. This included marketing materials, leads that Aprilaire generated and sent to partners, and performance data it tracked and posted for partner use. The new easy-to-use interface got noticed.
“We have seen a steady increase in conversions on the website since the new site went live,” said Chris Freeman, Web Marketing Specialist, Aprilaire . “New users to the site have gone up 29% with an increase of 30% returning to use the new site again. The mobile-first approach to user experience has paid off, with a 75% increase in mobile use when compared to the old Aprilaire Partners website.”
Critically important to partners are the sales and service experiences with their own customers, “Now, Aprilaire’s partners are never slowed down during a sale or maintenance appointment when they’re in their customers’ homes. This has greatly improved the partner-to-end-customer experience and keeps partners coming back to the site,“said Chris Freeman.
The website has equipped the company to quickly scale to respond to spikes in demand, as it has in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. “COVID-19 raised awareness about the importance of indoor air quality making the invisible, visible,” stated Dave Carlson, Senior Marketing Manager, Aprilaire. “With our high-quality HVAC products in high demand, Aprilaire is proud to be at the forefront of slowing the spread of the virus.”
About Aprilaire Partners:
In 1954, Aprilaire built the first whole-home humidifier. Today, Aprilaire Indoor Quality solutions allow its partners to generate additional revenue by offering a full line of healthy air solutions, supported by the tools and training they need to meet their customer’s concerns for health, comfort and home preservation. Learn more at aprilairepartners.com.
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