Black Friday promotions needed to appear on the homepage but required manual coding that could break the site
On-the-fly content changes couldn’t be previewed during high-traffic times, making content prone to error
Changes to Shopify-powered product pages required developer support
Composable content allows non-technical teams to change and launch content without developer support or coding
Content preview capabilities ensure limit errors from going live
Contentful Launch app enables promotional content to be scheduled for publishing in advance
Contentful-powered product pages pull content from Shopify to support quick page and product launches
Technology partners Lilt and Ninetailed support localized, personalized Content
“Contentful unblocks our team. We don't have to spend time setting things up in Contentful, other teams can manage it and are empowered to do so. Instead, we can spend our time improving the site experience, improving the overall conversion of different pages."
“We're really happy that Lilt integrates directly with Contentful. We can push a change, and then the translator will get the request, process it on their end, and then sync it back. We don't have to touch a CSV file or deal with API connections ourselves.”
Black Friday is arguably the biggest day of the year for deal-hungry consumers — and the retailers hoping to earn their business. With shoppers ready to drop cash, the pressure to “get it right” is high. It demands a technological infrastructure that can handle massive fluxes in traffic and transactions. Moreover, it demands the agility and flexibility to deliver targeted deals and eye-catching content that makes customers forget about competitors.
Ruggable is no stranger to this excitement and pressure. Since 2010, the ecommerce company specializing in selling stylish, washable home goods, would spend the days leading up to this “holiday” feverishly planning its promotions. Come Black Friday, Ruggable’s digital teams would have to manually update its Shopify-powered ecommerce site to make the right promotions visible in real time. This process was less than ideal as it left no time for testing or troubleshooting.
“Nerve-racking” is the term both Associate Director of Product Management Daniel Graupensperger and Senior Product Manager Dylan Feiner use to describe the experience.
“To launch promotions, a developer had to go in and manually change anything related, including the copy and design,” Feiner said. “Obviously, that's high-pressure — especially with so many dollars at stake. Push the wrong code and the site could go down.”
With Black Friday 2022 on the horizon, and anxiety within content and engineering growing, Ruggable began exploring new tools that could facilitate publishing time-sensitive promotions and integrate easily with its existing tech stack.
Ripping and replacing platforms for a new approach to Black Friday
Ruggable decided to test out the Contentful Composable Content Platform, creating Black Friday landing pages as an experiment.
Ruggable’s digital teams built out a handful of modular components to support its temporary promotions. It then connected Shopify — its ecommerce platform of choice — to pull in product data. With this library of components and much-needed information readily available, Ruggable’s Content team was able to mix, match, and assemble their desired experience — free of developer support. Their simple timesaver? Search and filtering capabilities in the UI to find just the right modules and content. This capability, which Shopify alone lacked, made content creation and curation more efficient.
As its first Black Friday with Contentful approached, Ruggable teams took the modules they had customized and set precise publication schedules for each using the Contentful Launch app, which allows teams to preview content as it would appear on the frontend and control when it goes live.
“Well before that Friday, we previewed the content changes and then scheduled them for publication, then all we have to do is check the site to ensure it goes live. It worked great,” Graupensperger said.
With promotion-tied content changes scheduled to publish at the moment users began looking for deals, internal teams were able to sit back and watch their creative efforts drive results.
Weaving a content model to accommodate a scaling storefront
Pleased with the outcome of its first project using Contentful, Ruggable set about migrating its entire website to Contentful, using the modules during Black Friday as a starting point.
New to composable content, many Ruggable team members participated in a private Content Modeling Accelerator Workshop provided by Contentful Learning Services. They left with a deep understanding of the content models best suited for their site and began auditing what content they already had.
“Essentially, we created a website builder with Contentful,” Graupensperger said. “We can mix and match sections. We can add to pages that didn't support certain content in the past.” Right now, about 90% of the company’s website has been migrated to Contentful. Over the next few months, Ruggable engineers plan to tackle that last 10%.
Graupensperger and his team envision a site where they have complete flexibility to reuse the modules they love across multiple areas of their site. “We want to take something that we feature on a landing page and include it on the product detail page. That customization, that composability dictated how we structured this, and so far, we’re happy with the results,” he said.
Covering ground in other markets with new integrations
In addition to improving day-to-day creative and technical operations, Contentful is improving the digital experience for Ruggable’s global customers in two ways: localization and personalization. With Contentful, the company has been able to streamline content translations for its existing international online storefronts which cater to the German, U.K., and Australian marketplaces. They’ve also been able to create targeted content for specific customer segments.
Contentful technology partners Lilt and Ninetailed have played a key role in both initiatives. Lilt helps manage content hand-offs between internal team members and freelancers. “We can push a change, and then Lilt gets the request on their end and they sync it on the localized site,” Graupensperger said. “We don't have to touch a CSV or deal with API connections. It's great.”
Ninetailed, on the other hand, powers A/B testing to better ensure content resonates and converts specific customer segments. Graupensperger considers the tool “integral to Ruggable’s business” and credits the tool with helping the company achieve big KPIs without adding additional headcount to do so.
Rolling out an entirely new use case
With a successful Black Friday behind them, Ruggable saw the power of composable content and Contentful. Now, the company is pushing to expand its digital ecosystem using Contentful. Next on the docket is migrating its blog, which currently lives on WordPress. Building out additional localized marketing sites is a second project which will run in the background.
For Ruggable, the right content solution was one that would change operations and improve content delivery on the busiest shopping day of the year. With Contentful, Ruggable achieved that — and so much more. It got an agile ecommerce site, better localized content, and, once its blog is migrated, a single, unified content hub.