Soudal: multi-site experience

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DIY or professional? Tailored product info in just a few clicks.
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Discover in 2 minutes how we made sure the multi-multi-multi story of Soudal became a success! 

Challenge

The 3-dimensional complexity of exposing the right product information to multiple countries, in multiple languages to multiple audiences.

The scope? 20+ countries, 20+ languages, 12.000+ product variations, 100.000+ website sessions per month, and 13 domains.

Solution

A powerful platform that supports the “multi-multi-multi” needs of Soudal: multiple markets and each market can have its own domain with multiple languages and multiple audiences. 

Result

A user-friendly website for all different target groups, expandable in 30 languages. And 4 times more organic traffic through strong SEO

To top it off: a FeWeb Award for best B2B website in Belgium. 

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All info available in a few clicks

The biggest challenge lies in the 3-dimensional complexity of exposing the right product information to multiple countries, in multiple languages to multiple audiences (DIY vs Pro). Not to forget that Soudal has over 12.000 products that are managed in a central Product Information Management System (PIM) with a lot of multimedia content like pictures, video tutorials, manuals...

In recent years, Soudal has grown exponentially - both in terms of product offering and markets served. It had become a tremendous challenge to keep providing relevant information online in different languages. As Soudal's business is organized around customer service excellence, it wanted to find a way to cover its challenges, including:

  • over 12.000 product variations, with different info for each audience,
  • websites in more than 10 languages, in more than 20 countries, 
  • a different offering for professionals and DIY customers,
  • more than 100.000 website sessions per month, 
  • 13 different domains.

Soudal needs to plan and release new markets in a deterministic way. At all times, the websites need to be available, up to date with the latest products, secure, and upscalable with new features and markets. The technology choices must be well-considered, sustainable, scalable, and future-proof. Initially, the migration of product data via the PDS to the website took several hours daily.

Soudal case - 2 screens

An open two-way collaboration

Dropsolid and Soudal work together on different levels: the strategy is worked out together, the implementation is taken care of by Dropsolid and possible optimizations are discussed, worked out and taught to the local Soudal marketers.

The collaboration is very open in both directions so that we can quickly see tangible results.

PIM vs PDS

While a Product Information Management System (PIM) is basically about how to collect, enrich, store and publish product information within a given organization, a Product Data Syndication System (PDS) is about how to share product information between manufacturers, merchants, and marketplaces. Soudal is using a PDS to expose all its products to its sales and distribution channels. 

The solution for Soudal

A powerful platform that supports the “multi-multi-multi” needs of Soudal: multiple markets and each market can have its own domain with multiple languages (e.g. Belgium) and multiple audiences (DIY and Pro). 

The Dropsolid Multi Market Solution

To make sure that:

  • content and features are centralized.
  • different markets on different domains behave like different websites.
  • each market has the same structural look and behavior but may have shared or specific content.
  • each market can be responsible for its own content.
     

The Mediator

A custom-built middleware to do the heavy lifting on the migration to: 

  • extract and transform data from the PDS.
  • make sure the data is consistent.
  • make it available for the website to import once and for daily updates.
     

The Product Finder

A wizard to guide you to the right product is also available via in-store displays and shows exactly the right products for each market.

It doesn’t only require powerful technology. Well-defined governance and collaboration are key:

  • Create checklists, procedures, and good practices documentation to release new markets.
  • Work together as one team (Soudal and Dropsolid) and brainstorm, discuss, and plan the product and maintenance roadmap, scaling, and new functionalities.
  • Continuous follow-up and optimizations, technically and content-wise to improve performance and SEO.
Soudal case - 4 screens

The result?

Four great results, both parties can be really proud of: 

  1. A 400% increase in organic traffic to the Belgian website in 3 months after go-live.
  2. 20+ countries, 10+ languages,12.000+ product variations and 100.000+ website sessions per month.
  3. Hosting sites across the globe, even in China. 
  4. Continuous platform evolutions and strong collaboration to support growth and further digitization of services.

The revamped website is designed to optimize the user experience for the different types of visitors that Soudal caters to. Each visitor should now easily be able to find the information they need in a few clicks.

  • Professionals are able to log in, allowing them to download specific info for their clients.
  • DIY clients can easily find information on how and when to use certain products. In addition, tutorial videos have been added to explain common questions about popular products.

The new website is integrated with SAP. The website uses available data from the ERP to retrieve relevant product information, including technical spec sheets, packshots and tutorial videos. This integration, combined with Dropsolid’s Multi-Market Module enables Soudal's marketing team to deliver vast quantities of products and related information to the different types of customers through all local websites. This allows for a seamless customer journey, while decreasing the time spent by the support team answering questions.

The website was first launched in Dutch and French, with a medium-term roadmap for the addition of an extra 30 languages over a two-year time span.

3 months after Go-live of the first new websites, the organic traffic is 4 times higher than before! Our Drupal developers and architects include technical SEO in the foundations of each web project. Great results guaranteed.

In 2019, Soudal was awarded "B2B Website of the year" by the Feweb Excellence Awards. A great honor for our teams!

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Soudal header with a couple doing home diy
Soudal homepage mobile while hand holding phone
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About Soudal

Soudal Group is Europe’s leading independent manufacturer of sealants, adhesives and PU foams. The family-owned business caters to construction professionals, retail clients and industrial assembly companies. The company sells over 12.000 different products, which are sold across 138 countries worldwide.

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