A True Omni-channel Experience From Bricks to Clicks

KeyMusic Links Offline and Online Music World with New Website on Episerver

When you buy a musical instrument, you want to touch it, experience it, play it. Still, the Internet often plays an important part in the purchasing process. Those interested in buying an instrument may want to ask like-minded people about their experiences and browse guitars to find the best instrument to meet their needs. A year ago, music shop KeyMusic launched a multichannel experience on Episerver to address these needs; a combination of inspirational content and a powerful web shop that functions as a catalyst for the physical shop.

Musical Instrument Shop KeyMusic started with an impressive shop in Sint Niklaas in Belgium. “It is housed in an old cinema and has a huge wow factor,” Richard Landman, marketing manager at KeyMusic, tells us. “You get a real kick when you enter the main hall! The hall is filled with guitars, and there are drum sets and all sorts of other instruments everywhere. You have a world of music at your feet.” 

From Three Brands to One 

KeyMusic was known as Rock Palace in the Netherlands. Another brand was added to the chain in 2013 with the acquisition of the Music Feedback shop. That is when the organization decided it was time for a change, as running three brands in silo just wasn’t efficient. In addition, the older websites were no longer up-to-date. The underlying system was built in-house and did not meet modern requirements. So both the brands and the websites were combined into one: KeyMusic, with the website www.keymusic.com

“We were a bunch of newbies when we started the project,” Landman admits. “We had no experience with enterprise software. The entire project was extremely complicated. This is why, during the initial stage, software business Arlanet helped us with the architecture and implementation of Episerver Commerce and CMS -- the underlying system that we are now using. Otherwise we would have been completely stuck. We did decide that we would never become 100 percent dependent on a third party, though. Arlanet helped us get things going, and now our own programmers can get most things done. This way we can respond quickly if anything goes wrong.” 

Taking E-Commerce to the Next Level 

KeyMusic’s Episerver implementation also features a full e-commerce module. E-commerce is an important component for KeyMusic, bringing the brand into the digital age and its business to consumers – right in their living rooms “. Landman says KeyMusic is looking forward to leveraging the content and commerce capabilities that are closely linked in the latest version of Episerver – a key reason the company selected Episerver as its digital platform of choice. “This may not be immediately visible to visitors, but they will eventually be offered smarter pages, meaning they get the right information at the right time.” 

“The CMS is very powerful,” Landman continues. “Everything is in content blocks that are easy to shift. “Commerce and content are still separate at certain points, but in 2015 we will transfer to a system that manages everything.” Eventually, everything will be combined and become searchable using Episerver Find

The merging of the brands and websites was completed in 2014, which is also when the website went live. Improvements are already visible; the new website is much faster, and better equipped to deal with the higher volume. The site has better navigation and the structure has been optimized. The proof is in the metrics: the bounce rate has dropped from 60 to 40 percent. Now, visitors spend about 4.5 minutes on the website, visiting 4.85 pages on average. The website receives 450,000 visits a month. 

The new website also makes it easy to inspire and run targeted promotions for KeyMusic customers and prospects. There are a number of themed pages and landing pages with informative and educational content. Visitors can find tips to improve their guitar playing, for instance. The site also offers sale guides to help visitors with their product selections, such as how do you choose the right acoustic guitar? There is information about the anatomy, history, and styles to cater to a wide variety of customer interests. Visitors can completely immerse themselves in the world of musical instruments through this value added content. 

Integrating Website with Marketing Automation

Using a best-of-breed approach, KeyMusic’s email traffic and marketing campaigns are handled by Copernica, which comes with standard integration with Episerver Commerce. This allows customers, orders, and shopping baskets to be automated to support the delivery of personalized emails based on customer interactions. Processes ensure the correct mails are sent to the customer in the right language and at the right time. This enables KeyMusic to combine the power of email and the web to provide a great customer experience.

A True Omnichannel Experience

“We consider the online channel to be an additional branch. Of course, it is becoming an increasingly important channel, but there should still be a balance between online and offline,” Landman says. “Customers should still be able to touch, hear and play instruments. For some products, such as headphones, the physical aspect is less important, but you have to be able to feel, try and compare a thousand-Euro acoustic guitar. And that is what our physical shop is ideal for.” 

To ensure a smooth end-to-end customer experience, a link between on- and offline now exists. The shopping software – customer relationship management (CRM) – and the content management system (CMS) have been integrated into one single system. According to Landman, it took a lot of time and energy, but it is already well on its way to paying for itself. Visitors can immediately see if something is available in the shop and automatically receive an SMS when an order has come in. They can also order an instrument online for store pickup or vice versa. 

Landman added: “The outlet department is an especially impressive piece of integration. The shopping system automatically indicates if a product becomes off-season. Then the product is automatically transferred to the ‘outlet’ department and it is displayed as such on the website. In addition, it will also tell visitors where the musical instrument is available. Episerver also sends a message to an external partner via an automated feed. This intermediary places the instrument for sale on marketplaces such as Marktplaats and Tweedehands.nl. If a consumer is interested, they can see on those particular websites where the shop is and how to get there. And then everything has come full circle.” 

The Future Online 

With a strong commitment to its customer experience, KeyMusic has ambitious plan to continue building out its website. A lot of hard work remains to be done, especially with regard to search engine optimization on Google. “It’s not always easy, but the themed pages are doing really well. We score very high on generic keywords, but less on specific ones. That’s why we will continue to tinker with the pages.” The shops have also been included in this development. The branches have been photographed in 3D by Google, so you can get a virtual tour, for example. This makes the website a catalyst for offline traffic. 

The programmers are continuing to develop the website in an agile way. “We have a new release every week. Sometimes a small one, sometimes a more significant one. We recently introduced a product review system; where customers, using a star system, can rate products,” Landman explains. Salespeople are also starting to use tablets so they can refer to the website in-store. This way, the offline channel will also become a catalyst for the online channel.

KeyMusic is looking forward to leveraging the content and commerce capabilities. This may not be immediately visible to visitors, but they will eventually be offered smarter pages, meaning they get the right information at the right time

Richard Landman, Founder of KeyMusic



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