When it comes to clean energy, one of the best-performing countries in the world is Germany. In fact, clean energy powers 47% of the country’s electricity. And by 2030 around 65% of Germany’s total electricity demand is set to be powered by renewables.
Renewable energy continues its oil-free drive across the country as wind power makes up 27.2% of all energy, 10.5% from solar power, and 9.4% from biomass.
One of the largest energy companies in Germany is LichtBlick, which has over 600,000 customers across the country. So when it decided to go all in on digital when it came to its customer service and sales operations – with a particular focus on the mobile experience – the company decided to completely renovate its digital infrastructure.
“Our website wasn’t really scalable or flexible enough,” said Philip von Pless, product owner for LichtBlick’s websites. “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.”
As the tool of innovation, LichtBlick grabbed the content management system Contentful, which would lay the new foundations of its digital infrastructure.
Within just eight months, the energy company launched its brand new site as well as a new tariff structure. And within the first couple of months, the amount of new contracts doubled when compared to the same time the year before. And daily sales rose by 52%.
Things are even better for its new desktop website as well as the new mobile site. The conversion rate for its desktop website increased 33% while its mobile conversion rate shot up 122%.
Its Core Web Vitals were also refreshed and quickened; its page speed increased by 30% while time on page stretched by 24%.
“All the numbers show we have chosen the right track,” emphasised Philip. “Now we have a scalable base to continue getting more people to adopt green energy.”
To the cloud
The team at LichtBlick took the decision to shift its systems from on-site premises and release them to the cloud. In addition, the website had to be built with an API-first approach.
That was when Contentful was determined to be the best platform for the right digital solutions. It was a natural fit after all, as it provided LichtBlick a number of vital functions:
- Contentful integrates with APIs so it works with almost any tech stack. “Our STK is quite diverse,” added Aye Cofalka, technical consulting director at the consultancy that worked with LichtBlick, “ranging from Node.js to ASP. Not having to think about integration issues was a huge plus for us.”
- Contentful’s API architecture makes it easy to build fast, and build fast pages. “We didn’t have to struggle with any restrictions that come with larger templating engines and enterprise CMS systems,” added Aye. “We could just build a fast front end on top of Contentful.”
- Content can be developed within Contentful more freely. “When you can treat content as code,” said Aye, “you compile content and code together in one file, and deliver those pre-compiled contents much faster to the user.”
- Because Contentful is cloud-native, it lets LichtBlick focus on constructing a powerful website instead of putting time and energy into infrastructure issues.
- Again, with Contentful’s API approach, the ability to enhance functionality is faster. So the team doesn’t have to do work on complicated content management systems.
“Contentful gives you the ability to treat content as code,” said Aye. “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.”
Being able to develop and publish content without needing the help of a developer is a huge benefit both in the short term and long term. This new dose of liberty allowed the marketing team at LichtBlick to concentrate on results elsewhere, testing out new ideas, iterations, etc.
“The great results that our marketing department achieved with Contentful have encouraged others in the company to follow our path,” said Philip, “and innovate products that can be delivered online in a very short time.”
This pathway to experimentation now is part of the culture, serving the company as it continues to grow in the ever-increasing market of green energy.
LichtBlick’s success on its new and improved website has had knock-on effects in other areas. “They feel the speed,” exclaimed Philip, “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.”