Leading the way in e-business with a customised e-commerce solution supported by a comprehensive digital marketing campaign.
The Maxol Brand is one of the most familiar and recognized brands in Ireland thanks to a network of 237 distinctive blue and yellow branded service stations and 45 oil distributors with their fleets of blue and yellow painted vehicles. Although the Maxol name was only introduced in 1972, the Company has a long and interesting history dating back to the start of the career of its founder William G. McMullan in1914. Maxol is proud of the fact that today it has a service station and/or distributor in every county in Ireland and indirectly employs an estimated 1,200 people.
The Company, which is Ireland's oldest and foremost independent oil company is entirely Irish owned, and is one of the largest and oldest family owned concerns in the country. The Maxol Group is part of McMullan Bros. Limited and encompasses Maxol Ltd, Maxol Direct Ltd, Maxol Lubricants Ltd. and Estuary Fuel Ltd in the Republic of Ireland and Maxol Oil Ltd. and Maxol Direct (NI) Ltd in Northern Ireland. The Maxol Group markets a comprehensive range of oil and petroleum products to all sectors of the Irish market through its Service Station, Commercial, Home Heating Oil and Lubricants divisions.
The Group which was incorporated in 1920 has grown considerably in recent years organically and through strategic bolt-on acquisitions and has a turnover today in excess of €700m
In June 2007, biznet IIS were re-engaged by Maxol Direct to completely overhaul their online marketing efforts. Initial requirements which were highlighted included a complete redesign and technology upgrade of Maxol Directs existing four year old e-commerce portal. biznet's business analysts were also deployed to access the potential and possibilities of integrating web based orders directly to Maxol Directs ERP System for Order Processing, Stock Management and Customer Communications.
The Maxol Direct project had a very simple and clear top line objective and rationale which could be easily quantified and measured. Increase online business and revenue. This was a clear rationale which could be easily measured immediately after website launch and thereafter.
Associated objectives of the client included:
- Enhance the online presentation of content;
- Ensure customers could easily and quickly receive quotes for oil delivery;
- Create a complete self service online sales environment;
- Offer various communication methods (SMS / Email);
- Ensure that all online sales synchronised effectively with the established ERP system;
- Increase customer retention and develop new markets within Northern Ireland;
Maxol Direct also requested the development of a comprehensive Internet Marketing Strategy which would be tied closely to any off-line marketing efforts and campaigns.
Once engaged by Maxol Direct, a period of extensive requirements gathering and specification was completed. This was vital to ensure that the delivered solution integrated effectively with the 3rd Party ERP system and delivered a user friendly, intuitive user interface for both end user and in house customer service teams who would also use the system for processing telephone orders.
Following the development of a detailed requirements specification document it was apparent that the delivered solution would be extensive, complex and feature rich.
The biznet IIS team suggested Maxol Direct would benefit from:
- Improved website design aesthetic (incorporating and protecting the brand identity);
- Improved website Information Architecture (IA) and presentation of website content;
- Website Accessibility Conformance to WAI Level AA (Browser, Platform, Disability);
- An upgrade of the existing CMS and extension of its capabilities in terms of functions available and the scope of their availability throughout the site;
- E-Commerce Capabilities including integration with the Perito ERP System for Order Processing, Stock Management and Customer Communications;
- Promotions and e-Vouchers Management;
- Order Processing & Reporting;
- SMS / Email Marketing Solution & Campaign Management;
- Search Engine Marketing & Pay Per Click Marketing Campaigns.
The project was divided into key elements and managed accordingly – with appropriate technical resources allocated to each one. In addition to the Content Management System upgrade there were two significant elements of the development project: - addition of e-Commerce capabilities and the integration with the Perito ERP System.
biznet IIS already had extensive knowledge of Maxol Direct’s business processes and customer base. In partnership with Maxol Direct, biznet IIS were able to layout a range of key target audiences. It was important to identify each of these audiences, define specific goals for them and plan all potential communication methods to ensure the greatest return on investment for Maxol Direct.
The vision for the redeveloped website was to deliver a fully functional e-Commerce enabled website which would be established as a significant and self-sufficient element of the already successful Maxol Direct business. This was delivered along with Core aspects of the delivered project included:
- Accessible, Intuitive Interface Design;
- Oil Price Checker;
- Online Ordering and My Account maintenance;
- Full integration of business processes and communications from web to internal ERP system;
- Content (page) subscriptions, SMS & email marketing subscriptions;
- Simplified Content Management throughout site;
- Personalised content;
- Online Careers applications;
Maxol Direct and biznet IIS have agreed that the website launch and subsequent Internet Marketing Campaign has been an undoubted success. Online orders have grown consistently month on month and now account for approximately 20% of Maxol Direct’s total sales. biznet IIS have driven the level of users accessing the site via the search engines from under 15% to 34% in the period November 2008 – April 2009 alone whilst maintaining overall site traffic growth.
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