Content was stored in a database, which became a bottleneck and led to downtime
Editing and standing up new pages demanded technical support
Limited developer bandwidth led to stale web content and design
Strategic rebranding effort necessitated migrating and managing thousands of web pages
A content platform with deep storage eliminates the need for a database, increasing site stability
A design system helps content authors launch and customize new pages autonomously
An easy-to-use editorial interface allows developers to reallocate time to more technical tasks
Carefully configured content models templatize web pages, supporting edits at a global level
“Contentful eliminates the opportunity cost tied to other content solutions. Instead of engineers focusing their time on processes relating to updating content — coding, testing, deploying — they can return their attention to more valuable, strategic projects.”
“We’ve found kind of a sweet spot. In Contentful, we can give authors that fine-grain, small-scale control of content, but then also easily deploy changes that impact thousands of pages of content across our breadth of stores.”
Being without your phone for a day because you left it on the kitchen counter? Inconvenient. Being without your phone indefinitely because you dropped it in the lake or on your driveway? Utterly unbearable. Most of us couldn’t go a few days without buying a replacement or investing in a repair — and that can be expensive, unless you have protection with a company as reliable and wide-reaching as Asurion.
As the choice wireless insurance company for the largest U.S. service providers, including AT&T and Verizon, Asurion protects and supports nearly 300 million people who purchase coverage for new devices and home tech. Each expects to be able to file a claim online the moment an incident strikes. For this to happen, Asurion’s site needs to be discoverable and reliable — the latter of which came into question after several incidences of downtime and numerous issues of content updates not syncing properly across pages.
Questionable site stability and inconsistencies in content were enough to make Asurion engineers consider other options for content management. It wasn’t until a larger business event, however, that they ran to the CMS marketplace, shopping cart at the ready.
Acquiring and accommodating a new company — and its high search rankings
Pre-Contentful, asurion.com had dual purposes: educate prospective customers and partners on the breadth of company offerings and facilitate claims for protection plans. In 2019, Asurion acquired uBreakiFix, an electronics repair company with over 500 locations. With this acquisition came a digital estate of thousands of well-indexed pages of content with a high organic search ranking. A decision was made in 2021 to rebrand these stores Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions, leading to a new purpose for Asurion’s website: retaining lofty search rankings and getting customers into stores for repairs. To do so successfully, Asurion would have to quickly migrate this content and figure out how to maintain it at scale.
Every store had a page housing store details and several child pages dedicated to different device repairs. ”The child pages are tied to long-tail keywords,” Mike Lipman, Director of Ecommerce Strategy at Asurion, explained. “The goal is to match a wide breadth of localized tech repair content to what customers are searching for, and then building an intuitive digital path to drive visits to the physical retail space.”
The digital demands of this re-branding were high and nudged Asurion to consider more modern, reliable, and easy-to-use content solutions. The company needed to find a way to manage content at scale without scaling its team. As Asurion considered alternatives, three questions remained top of mind: Can it help us migrate and stand up pages quickly and with little development? Will it help us manage these digital assets and their search rankings as they exist now? Does it organize and structure content to support future scaling? With Contentful in front of them, the answer to all three was yes.
Empowering content authors and freeing developers with modularity and governance
Asurion began seeing the value of Contentful shortly after implementation. The first glimpse was seen by content authors who have greater ownership of Asurion assets throughout their entire life cycle. They can do everything from standing new pages up to editing them — without calling on a developer. “Before, our site was out of date in look and certainly content. Our authors didn’t have a lot of control — everything had to be done by engineering, really,” Lipman said. “It was limiting and, as a result, changes to the site were cumbersome and infrequently made — we’ve done a complete 180.”
In addition to new management capabilities, Contentful gives Asurion content authors more control over page layout and styling. Thanks to Contentful’s Forma36 design system, designers can prototype modules in Figma and easily carry them over to Contentful. From there, building a page is as easy as dragging and dropping components onto the page. As one Asurion team member puts it, the Contentful learning curve is “nearly nonexistent.” It took Asurion just five months to design and build out a library of content modules, a global store template, and then migrate its existing content to Contentful.
Asurion acknowledges that not all content should be easily editable by every team member, however. Its content solution needed to empower content creator autonomy while ensuring a level of consistency and quality. For example, mission-critical data such as store details (phone number, address, hours, store name, etc.) had to come in real-time from a single source of truth outside of Contentful. Content authors had to have a way of dynamically injecting this information into the pages without recreating and maintaining a duplicate set of data. To address this, the Asurion team designed an innovative solution that allowed authors to add special variables on any Contentful component. This enabled a consistent and configurable look/feel that seamlessly incorporated real-time information.
Utilizing structured content for large-scale management
Like its content authors and designers, Asurion engineers are also seeing the benefits of Contentful. For them, it comes in the form of less time spent on mundane management tasks and more time to focus on high-value technical projects. The content platform’s structured approach to content is responsible for this. Although Asurion’s store re-branding project significantly increased the number of digital assets that needed to be managed, Asurion has carefully configured their content models in such a way that adding, removing, or editing content can be done at either the macro and micro level.
"We have our models set up so we can manipulate the master template and have changes populate across hundreds of pages — every store page, for example,” Obeyd Khan, one of the company’s lead engineers, shared. “There are also mechanisms in place, however, that allow for personalization at the individual store and child page levels," For example, to update universal store banners to feature a new repair offering now takes one content author just a few minutes. Pre-Contentful, such a change would have had to be done manually by an engineer on a page-by-page basis, which took significant time and resources.
“Engineers can now focus their time on building really cool things, as opposed to building out just pages of content, fixing typos, and rearranging images,” Lipman added.
Beyond saving time and resources, Contentful has brought greater stability to Asurion’s website. The company no longer needs a database dedicated to storing content — which was often the culprit of downtime. Asurion stores and manages content on a single platform with positive results: increased site reliability, less time spent mitigating site errors, and fewer repositories to manage. “It's amazing. We aren’t experiencing any of our former platform issues despite increasing our number of webpages tenfold,” noted Khan.
Looking at localizing search through expanded child pages
With content management pain points addressed, Asurion’s team can attend to projects that’ll drive even more traffic to its site and retail stores. The plan is to run with what’s already working: build out more pages optimized for search. More specifically, Asurion plans to build templates that lean even further info capturing demand for specific device repairs. The idea is to leverage the same concepts that were done for store pages and allow for the creation of thousands of hyper-specific repair pages, all connected to a back-end data source while allowing authors to manage the content at scale. Contentful’s structured content will be key to success here, framing what metadata is needed and ensuring content creators input those items before a new page is able to be published.
In switching out their content management system, Asurion developers and content creators can easily manage content tied to its 11,000 web pages and shift their gaze to supporting new business needs and optimizing digital assets for search.