Case study | Nationwide Building Society | 5 Minute Read

Creating the best financial services website.

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Nationwide needed to refresh their public facing website, respond to mobile device proliferation, deliver a great customer experience and make their content team more efficient... they also wanted to be first to market...

A more demanding, mobile customer

In 2014, 25% of the traffic visiting came from mobile devices. Nationwide’s previous investments in mobile-web solutions were creaking at the seams and failed to offer the same comprehensive experience provided to desktop users. Nationwide was losing out on mobile sales and customer satisfaction was suffering.

With all signs pointing to the strategic importance of mobile, Nationwide made the decision to invest in a new, fully responsive website. Designed from the ground up in partnership with WPP design agency HeathWallace, and underpinned by a new Sitecore CMS implementation from Codehouse, the project aimed to deliver the UK’s first fully responsive Financial Services website across Mobile, Tablet and Desktop.

A million-pound experience led change programme

A large, million-pound programme of change was established, formed of a team of digital experts from both inside the business and outside. Work streams covered the full gamut of deliverables, including user experience, customer journeys, technology architecture, business implementation, training, content creation and data migration. Over the 14 month project, the new website, and new technical architecture began to take shape.

Informed by extensive customer research and insight as well as real-world customer testing, the front-end user experience was developed using an Agile Scrum methodology, in 2-week design and production sprints. 

Unlike the previous ‘hard coded’ HTML website, the new site was designed as a series of flexible and reusable components, enabling the business content teams to assemble pages in minutes instead of hours, requiring no prior knowledge of the underlying code. The development partner, Codehouse, created and integrated source code in a series of fixed Waterfall releases timed to align with each of the agile design Sprints

Major content creation and migration

Alongside the new visual identity, a major content migration exercise took place. In total over 1,500 individual pages were reviewed and either moved into new CMS templates, recreated from scratch, or decommissioned if no longer required. Every page was subject to a comprehensive stakeholder review, often including representatives from each of the Nationwide business teams, with a focus on ensuring the correct digital governance and compliance through legal and FCA regulation, where specific approvals were required before content could be used.

Sitecore content management training was arranged for everyone in the internal production teams, so they would be both familiar with the new system, and that content creation could be more effectively distributed throughout the organisation.

For many years, our website was largely a shop window advertising the latest rates. We wanted to break that mould.

Chris Hulse - Hd. Of Digital Sales - Nationwide Building Society Tweet

Best financial services website

Delivered on time, the Nationwide website has garnered widespread customer and industry praise, not only for its technical achievements, but also for its bold decision to move away from the more conservative design themes commonly present in Financial Services at that time.

Collectively, these achievements contributed to winning the ‘Best Financial Services’ award at the Sitecore awards in 2014.

The site remains in operation today, and continues to demonstrate its relevancy and versatility as a customer experience platform many years after it was originally deployed.

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