Lack of CMS version upgrades and third-party integrations left MAG’s website functionality falling short of user expectations.
The Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) is a merchant organization dedicated to driving positive change in payments through multi-stakeholder collaboration. MAG represents 165 of the largest U.S. merchants, accounting for over $4.8 trillion in annual sales and roughly 62% of all US credit card volume. MAG serves an important role in fostering collaboration, education and advocacy for its members and their 14 million employee associates.
With this level of economic impact, seamless access to information is one of MAG’s prime member benefits. But its website was falling short. “It was hard to find anything,” said Beth Provenzano, Vice President, Public Affairs, Merchant Advisory Group. “The menu labeling and organization of content was not intuitive and the needs of our members had outgrown our site.”
An existing Progress® Sitefinity® customer, MAG built an online member experience to serve its specific content needs. But, as the business environment rapidly changed, so did member expectations. Site visitors were having difficulty finding specific content because the menu labeling and content structure were no longer intuitive for an expanding content library. Members needed an upgraded website to serve their comprehensive needs.
Together with their implementation partner, Astriata, the team began the project with a strategic usability test to inform website design and development. MAG had precise requirements, which included curated search functionality, user management, and access controls to accommodate differing permission levels. MAG also needed integrated Single Sign-On (SSO) with iMIS, its association management software; PATH, its learning management system; social media sites; and FeedBlitz, the email marketing platform MAG used for member communication.
Additionally, MAG required secure, encrypted forms capable of conditional logic and custom submission messages. Between Sitefinity’s out-of-the-box functionality and Astriata’s customizations for alerts, document management and news categories, the CMS delivered on all MAG requirements. Members would now have a seamless user experience when seeking information, including curated news stories from third-party sites and educational content from the LMS. By creating new and custom content types to meet certain requirements for educational resources, MAG site users would be able to easily find the information they need when searching. Plus, the new site clearly highlighted the benefits of membership through visual cues provided by icons next to premium content, locked for member-only access until members signed in via the integrated AMS. On top of that, members would be able to subscribe to newsletter updates thanks to integration with FeedBlitz.
Further, users reported finding the new navigation intuitive and the conference pages both informative and easy to use. The upgraded Sitefinity instance seamlessly pulls records from MAG’s learning management system, making it easier for members to find the educational resources they want. The MAG newsletter, both recent and archived issues, has since become a focal part of the website, with traffic elevating it to the most visited page.
Engagement, measured using time on page, has increased 109%, from the original 56 seconds to 1 minute 57 seconds post-site redesign. The team is pleased that readers are finding the information they’re searching for, then staying to engage with it.
“This upgraded and customized version of Sitefinity has allowed us to reach our audiences on multiple levels,” Collins added. “We are using the technology to draw users in and move them through the site, ensuring they are finding the customized results they want. Sitefinity has been a game changer for our user experience.”
About Merchant Advisory Group
The Merchant Advisory Group (MAG) was founded in 2008 by a small visionary group of merchants in the payments field dedicated to driving positive change in payments through multi-stakeholder collaboration. The MAG represents 165 of the largest U.S. merchants which account for over $4.8 trillion in annual sales. Learn more at merchantadvisorygroup.org.
Astriata serves association, healthcare, government and nonprofit clients, focusing on creating engaging user experiences. It offers branding, web and print design, CMS implementations and digital marketing. Its design approach is informed by usability testing to deliver an effective UX. Astriata is Maryland-certified as a woman-owned, minority-owned small business.