Mobile visits to redcross.org.uk had grown year on year, peaking at 90 times more traffic from mobiles during the Japan Earthquake appeal in 2011. But, although the site could be viewed on mobile phones, it wasn’t optimised for different devices, which seriously affected user experience.
There was also an aspiration to deliver highly localised information, such as details about a user’s nearest British Red Cross shop.
Margaret O’Donnell, Head of Digital for British Red Cross, explained, “The most common call our information phone line receives is people asking where their local British Red Cross shop is. By improving how we deliver this information online we can reduce calls and users can access that info on their phones quickly when they’re out and about.”
A team from Eduserv were tasked with optimising the main website to ensure that visitors had a seamless experience regardless of their technology. A strong mobile strategy was vital for British Red Cross, particularly given its status as the second most socially-active charity in the UK.
By introducing device detection, the main website could be fully optimised for mobile use. The new app-like nature of the site makes it easy to carry out various actions, such as finding a service or staying up to date with an appeal.
To avoid any unnecessary delays, visitors are now taken directly to a mobile site, rather than via a desktop version first.
All mobile content is managed through the same Sitecore CMS as the desktop site, which makes it easy to edit by non-technical staff. Authors can choose to update one site individually or both simultaneously. Margaret says, “Only needing to edit content once for both sites makes it efficient to manage and ensures users get a consistent message.”
The introduction of GPS helps users to quickly find British Red Cross shops, services or events. It also enables the charity to coordinate marketing campaigns around local services.
The enhancements to the mobile user experience have resulted in an increased footfall to local shops, along with a reduced demand for the call centre. In addition, quicker loading speeds have contributed to an increase in donations.