“We knew that our digital presence needed to improve, our site was dated and the backend was limiting our ability to create any sort of progress with our digital strategy."Lewis Croft, Marketing Manager, Suzuki Motorcycles Australia
As a household name in motorcycles and an iconic motorsport brand, we were ecstatic to take on the redevelopment of the Suzuki Motorcycles Australia website, a project involving full redesign and replatforming. We were entrusted with the project from start to finish, which allowed us to take control of research, planning, UX, implementation right through to final delivery.
Bikers know the way
We kicked things off by delving into what biking enthusiasts wanted from a website, during conversations with real riders. We discovered that riders knew the product range for bikes was very similar worldwide, so usually did their research on US or European sites, as the amount of information, imagery and content in these larger markets was more extensive and easily available.
We also learned that enthusiasts are just as interested in the technical details of a bike as they are with how it looks.
It was clear – to get potential buyers engaging with the local Australian website over the international sites, we needed to present the bike spec clearly and thoroughly, with loads of juicy images and video to get them excited about the Suzuki range.
Content architecture is King
“We didn’t just want to deliver a website which would meet Suzuki’s initial objectives, we wanted to create a solid platform for us to iterate on over time.” Says Chris Beyer, Chief Technical Officer at V.I. “Making sure the structure of the content and the way this interacted with the front end, and how it could be deployed by Suzuki at will, was at the forefront of our strategy.”
The Suzuki motorcycle range is big – over 50 different models across three main categories and multiple subcategories. Making this vast amount of product information user-friendly and easy to manage on the back end meant careful planning of the content architecture. So we put our heads together in a series of workshops between Suzuki and our UX team to define sitemaps, schemas and a content structure to underpin the new platform.
With the site structure in place, we worked from low-fi wireframes through to high fidelity prototypes to test how the user experience would come to life. We kept the design process streamlined and easy to understand for all stakeholders by using Axure’s responsive prototyping capabilities and then Invision for the final UI.
To deliver a site with a complex, intertwined and vast amount of content we needed a proven technology solution. Suzuki’s vision of using digital to transform their relationship with customers meant we also needed a platform that was not restricted by complicated licensing fees. Drupal was the obvious choice. Its modular architecture, ability to separate the design layer from the content and extensive free library of contributed models made it easy for us to deliver the project in under six months.
AWS Hosting coupled with our bespoke deployment system and content authoring environment has made site administration a breeze for Suzuki staff.
Iterations & improvements
Since launching the initial site we have worked with Suzuki to deliver regular iterations and improvements. We have optimised the way offers are presented, developed a lead and reporting function, created a dynamic brochure tool to reduce the need for printed collateral at a dealership level, and a stock locator so users can check if their chosen model is in stock at their closest dealership.
Our goal was to deliver Suzuki a sound platform which would be easy to administer, would drive more traffic, more enquiry and would provide a rock-solid base to build on over time. A year on, the results are in. Suzuki has deployed content over 530 times since launch – that’s around two deployments per working day. We have launched seven major feature iterations and organic traffic has increased by 25% since launch.
"Kyle, Chris and the V.I. team have continued to exceed our expectations with each new release."Matt Reilly, Digital Marketing Co-ordinator, Suzuki Motorcycles Australia