Established in 1999, InXpress is a global shipping and logistics franchiser. Delivering carrier solutions to businesses for domestic and international shipping, it is now DHL’s third-biggest global customer. As well as the UK, InXpress has a strong US and Australian presence and is growing as a franchise model in 14 other countries across the world. A respected partner to global carriers, InXpress delivers exceptional rates and customer service to its customers.
However, due to enormous fragmentation through a lack of marketing centralisation, the brand was suffering from a poor online experience. More than 300 franchisees have their own InXpress branded websites creating a digital mess for the business. InXpress needed to take back control of its brand, while still allowing the franchise owners a degree of control over their online presence.
With three key challenges to overcome, the project focused on helping InXpress grow by:
- Recruiting new customers: These are the end businesses that use InXpress carrier solutions across the globe.
- Selling more franchises: The sale of new franchises is worldwide, with a particularly heavy push for new business in Australia.
- Supporting the existing franchises and ensuring profitability: This strategy included InXpress offering them marketing support, business coaching and networking events.
We were brought in to audit their digital experience and provide a solution. In order to hit InXpress’ objectives, this needed to encompass web design, back-end and front-end development, an enterprise marketing system, marketing automation, microsites, secure portals and an SEO element.
Due to the sheer scale of the project it was most efficient to divide it into smaller phases and sprints. For optimal impact, we produced a website design and layout that could translate across all countries, as well as incorporating a microsite for every individual franchise owner. This amounted to more than 300 different websites.
Finding the Right Strategy
We built a mathematical model to demonstrate the impact and improvement a digital strategy could have on the business. We looked at what a typical franchise turns over, the typical profit margin and attrition rates for customers. A series of bandings for turnover, profit margin and attrition rate were then created. This ensured the model was as accurate as possible in determining what would happen if more franchises were secured and if customer retention was improved. From this research, the core strategy was focused on providing franchisees with digital marketing tools to improve their own retention rates.
The Global Perspective
Beginning the project in March 2015, a global site was built and launched in September 2015 as the first project phase. With a dual purpose to sell internally and externally, this website allowed buy in from existing franchisees while recruiting new franchises too. The website also pulled each franchise into one single domain, bolstering the site’s search engine optimisation.
Alongside building this global website, we developed a multi-lingual platform for each country. Every country’s website needed to include a microsite for every franchise. The UK website launched first, followed by site launches in the US and Australia. From there, the further 14 countries were rolled out at a rate of around one per fortnight.
Supporting Franchise Owners
To lock in existing franchise owners and reduce attrition rates we created a portal, allowing these owners to engage with each other and the head office online. An online community was formed with chats, blogs, forums, inspirational quotes and stories added.
Each franchise owner required secure access to their own account information within the portal including specific contract documentation. Some of these documents also required access from regional and global directors, requiring a highly bespoke “My Account” area to be created within the portal.
A knowledge library was built containing all the business’s contracts. Security was vitally important, with different levels for franchisee, franchise employers, regional, head office staff and country and global heads. This process required a strict adherence to intricate coding techniques.
A range of marketing automation elements were also provided allowing franchise owners to create their own campaign landing pages for email marketing, along with traffic analytics information.
When a lead comes through from the website, the franchisee gets a text message. Sitting behind the online form is the marketing automation. When the form is filled in, the automation follows up with the user. An email is sent thanking them for visiting. Depending on how questions are answered, it will tailor the communications for a hot or cold lead, sending out further communications over the coming weeks if necessary.
The system is connected into the CRM. Once a lead becomes a client, the system will turn off the messages. Each franchisee can also turn the system on or off independently. Additional functionality shows which of their contracts have made quote requests and subscribed to newsletters. The system also checks on people who haven’t placed an order for six months and people who have signed on but not actually shipped anything.
“NetConstruct have helped us to create continuity and flexibility across our websites and individual franchisee pages by leveraging the customisable features of the Kentico EMS platform. The InXpress brand has continued to grow from strength to strength and we are now able to better support our global and franchisee partners with the latest news and marketing assets through our new partner portal to help them grow their businesses.”