A Digital Transformation: How Metra Evolved Its Online Presence


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Learn how Metra's legacy site was transformed into a robust, scalable, eCommerce-enabled digital destination that targets the needs of customers. We will focus on multi-channel, personalization and mobile, eCommerce Integration, email and social media as well as real-time notification integration across multiple web experiences.

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A Digital Transformation: How Metra Evolved Its Online Presence

  2. 2. Who is Acquity Group? Acquity Group is the world’s leading multi-channel commerce and digital marketing company, creating award-winning digital experiences for global brands. Our multi-disciplinary approach creates brand-unique experiences that build unbreakable customer relationships. »  A provider of end-to-end digital strategy, design and technology solutions since 2001 »  Headquartered in Chicago with regional offices throughout the US; supporting clients on a global scale »  Privately held and profitable since opening our doors »  A trusted partner to more than 475 clients on thousands of projects 2
  3. 3. Agenda »  Who is Metra »  Metra’s Change Agent »  Program Goals »  100 Days – Concept to Completion »  Measuring Success & Next Steps
  4. 4. Who is Metra? Metra oversees all commuter rail operations in the 3,700 square mile Northeastern Illinois region. The Metra system is comprised of 11 separate lines radiating out from Chicago’s Loop, and serves more than 100 communities at 240 rail stations. 702 Trains each weekday 322,100 Weekday passengers 85,039,600 Annual passenger trips 4
  5. 5. Original Site from 1994 …change was needed
  6. 6. Drivers for Change Site Assessment Yes No Scalable Able to change content Dynamic system schedule Personalization Rider alerts Commerce Last Updated in 1994
  7. 7. Four Program Goals – Supported by Day Reasons for using Day CQ5: Easy to use for non-technical authors Scale: Handle burst traffic Deliver to multiple channels Manage multiple web sites Rich, flexible APIs for integration
  8. 8. GOAL #1: INFORM Provide timely and accurate information to Metra Riders, Business Partners and the general public.
  9. 9. Inform Multi-Channel Publishing for Rider Alerts ge s il M essa Ema Mobile & SMS* *SMS integration not yet deployed 9
  10. 10. Inform Civic Crisis Event Civic Crisis Events are major events that impact the population at large »  All registered users receive the alert across all channels »  Web site is taken over, crisis information is displayed on all pages »  Information entered once »  Crisis procedures are the same as the daily advisory procedures 10
  11. 11. GOAL #2: Schedule Easy to update schedule information
  12. 12. Schedule Schedule Updating in Day Schedule data stored in data templates for each train number »  Metra’s scheduling system didn’t meet the needs of the Web Site »  By using Day Metra can edit: »  Days of the week train runs »  Train Number »  Bikes per train »  Stop times and stations »  Stop Sequence »  Stop info
  13. 13. Schedule Schedule Updating in Day »  Why Day? »  Data is distributed across multiple legacy systems »  Content Architecture »  Ease of Use »  Easy content authoring »  Scale – caching maps and schedules »  Easy to add seasonal and holiday updates
  14. 14. GOAL #3: Sell Increase On-line Ticket Sales
  15. 15. Sell Integrated eCommerce Architecture Day CQ5 »  Drives the presentation tier »  Manages the creation and distribution of information across all channels »  Ticket zone information is part of the schedule »  Leverages account data in Blue Martini for personalizing content Blue Martini (My Metra) »  Holds user account information and personalization »  Handles “shopping cart” functionality »  Holds SKU information Why Day? Flexible runtimes for easy integration
  16. 16. Sell Purchasing Tickets and Pricing Metra has only 29 SKUs but they have 11 lines servicing over 160 stations with over 700 trains per day making thousands of daily stops. »  Determining what train to take can be a challenge. CQ5 is used to manage schedule data and display this complex information helping the 82 million annual riders find the right schedule. »  Blue Martini is the system of record for pricing information.
  17. 17. GOAL #4: Personalize Personalization options
  18. 18. Personalize Personalization Metra users have the ability to create personalized schedule, recurring ticket orders and alerting through the use of the My Metra account From mobile devices, the site is personalized based on your location to show the nearest station and next departure times
  19. 19. Personalize My Metra My Metra Ties Together: »  CQ5, Blue Martini, Exact Target, email and Mobile. This is accomplished by extending user account functionality and allows users to manage: »  Account »  Personalization »  Email Distribution Management »  Subscription Purchase Management
  20. 20. Personalize Exact Target Integration »  Exact target provides secure and compliant email distribution. »  When an alert is created it is pushed out to subscribed users via Exact Target
  21. 21. Personalize Twitter Integration All eleven Metra lines have Twitter accounts. When alerts are created for line the alerts are pushed out to Twitter.
  22. 22. Personalize Personalized Web Experience »  Users create custom schedules in their My Metra accounts. »  Personalized schedules are displayed on the Home Page 22
  23. 23. Concept to Completion in 100 days. 23
  25. 25. Summary: Why Day Software for Metrarail.com »  Multi-channel Delivery: Email, Social Media & Mobile »  Personalization »  eCommerce Integration »  Real-time notification integration across multiple web experiences »  Speed to Market: Site launched in 100 DAYS
  26. 26. My Metra - Post Launch Reality »  99.9995% Uptime »  My Metra – 25% of regular riders have My Metra accounts. »  Advisories and Alerts are currently used to communicate service delays, holiday schedule changes, severe weather warnings and special services. »  Average email volume 60,000 per month. »  The platform has been extended to business partners and vendors
  27. 27. My Metra for Business Personalized B2B and Partner Content »  My Metra functionality has been extended to business partners allowing partners to access, download and monitor IFB and RFP opportunities. »  Alerts are sent to registered users when new opportunities are posted and current opportunities are modified or awarded.
  28. 28. Benefits and Return Increase in website activity 40,000 unique visitors per day Peak site traffic 80,000 unique visitors per day Improved web channel satisfaction 200% increase in online ticketing Ability to communicate quickly 60,000 alerts per month »  Improved rider-satisfaction and new rider-satisfaction »  Positive response from the riders and press »  Reduced cost of administering the purchasing process »  Improved purchasing visibility
  29. 29. Advertising – MyMetra, Mobile, Web, Email Metra recognizes that the digital channel offers opportunities to generate revenues »  Personalized and Targeted advertising »  Mobile coupons and promotions »  Location based advertising Text: “ACQUITY” to: 28490