Case study: LichtBlick

LichtBlick builds a sustainable tech stack for a greener future

LichtBlick is a leading European green energy business that serves more than one million customers in Germany. But the company’s forward-thinking approach towards sustainable energy was not matched by its outdated business operations.

LichtBlick decided to move all its sales and customer service operations to digital with a focus on the needs of mobile users. The company decided to completely overhaul LichtBlick’s entire digital infrastructure to replace its outdated, obstructive systems. A new website was part of that initiative.

“Our website wasn’t really scalable or flexible enough,” says Philip von Pless, product owner for LichtBlick’s websites at that time. “We had too many separate systems, and the whole complex was slow. We had lots of analog processes, and we ran on-premise solutions for our service portal, contract and customer management. Our website was built on a Typo3 CMS, which we had to tweak a lot to serve as an ecommerce solution. We also faced performance problems.”

LichtBlick chose Contentful as the foundation for its new website, and partnered with Hamburg-based agency Jung von Matt TECH to design and assemble their new tech stack. Jung von Matt TECH also helped establish an agile team and workflows to enhance collaboration between the two companies and get the work done fast.

In just eight months, LichtBlick had a new website including a new tariff structure that delivered great business results. In the first full month following the launch, new contracts doubled compared to the same month a year earlier, and per-day sales increased 52 percent.

Both the new mobile site and desktop site are far more effective than the old versions. Conversions of mobile visitors have increased 122 percent, and conversions of desktop visitors are up 33 percent. Page speed has increased by 30 percent, and time on page by 24 percent.

All the numbers show we have chosen the right track. Now we have a scalable base to continue getting more people to adopt green energy. - Philip von Pless, product owner, LichtBlick

A modern infrastructure enables faster development

As they laid out their plans, Philip and his team decided to shift all systems away from on-premise to the cloud. They also wanted the website to be built with an API-first headless CMS. Contentful was the natural choice, and delivered a number of benefits not only to LichtBlick, but to Jung von Matt TECH as well:

  • Faster to build. The ability to add functionality via APIs meant that Jung von Matt TECH could build the new website fast. The team didn’t have to work with complicated CMS template engines or the restrictions that come with a monolithic publishing platform.
  • No maintenance. As a cloud-native digital content platform, Contentful allowed LichtBlick and Jung von Matt TECH to focus on building a successful ecommerce site, rather than spending a lot of energy on building (and maintaining) an infrastructure to support the new site.
  • Content as code. With Contentful, content can be developed and managed with the same processes that are used in software development. You can branch content, version it, proliferate it and roll back as needed. “When you can treat content as code, you compile content and code together in one file, and deliver those pre-compiled contents much faster to the user,” says Aye Cofalka, technical consulting director at Jung von Matt TECH. “This is an advantage only Contentful can deliver, and it was a big factor in the success of LichtBlick’s mobile site.”
  • Fast performance. Contentful’s API-based architecture made it easy for Jung von Matt TECH to build a fast-loading customer experience. “We didn’t have to struggle with any restrictions that come with larger templating engines and enterprise CMS systems,” says Aye. “We could just build a fast front end on top of Contentful.”
  • Freedom from integration issues. Because Contentful integrates with APIs, it can work with almost any technology stack. “Our STK [systems tool kit] is quite diverse, ranging from Node.js to ASP,” says Aye. “Not having to think about integration issues was a huge plus for us.” This freedom allowed Jung von Matt TECH to choose a static site generator based on Hugo, “which is really fast,” says Aye.

Contentful gives you the ability to treat content as code. You compile content and code together in one file, and deliver those pre-compiled contents much faster to the user. This is an advantage only Contentful can deliver, and it was a big factor in the success of LichtBlick’s mobile site. - Aye Cofalka, technical consulting director, Jung von Matt TECH

Building an agile foundation for future growth

Giving marketers the ability to develop and publish content without having to ask developers for help is both an immediate and long-lasting benefit of Contentful. This freedom allowed LichtBlick’s marketing team not only to deliver superb results on launch of the new website, but also to continue trying out new ideas, testing, iterating and learning.

The great results that our marketing department achieved with Contentful have encouraged others in the company to follow our path and innovate products that can be delivered online in a very short time. - Philip von Pless, product owner, LichtBlick

Establishing this path of continuous experimentation and improvement is core to an agile culture, and it will serve LichtBlick well as the company continues to grow in a constantly-evolving green energy market.

Next steps for LichtBlick include an overhaul of their online customer service as well as planning for a series of new digital products and features.

The success of Lichtblick’s new website has affected other departments outside of marketing, says Philip. “They feel the speed, and the power we have to reduce time to market. We’ve created a good basis for acting on user needs and experiences, getting feedback and driving future innovation throughout the company.”

More about Jung von Matt TECH: Jung von Matt TECH is a data-driven and technology-focused boutique within the Jung von Matt group. Jung von Matt is – in terms of awards for both creativity and efficiency – the most successful advertising agency group in German-speaking countries.

Want to learn more?

add-circle arrow-right remove style-two-pin-marker subtract-circle