The first Ziggo customers may have already noticed something. Since a few months, the ziggo.nl site also contains a link to ‘Vodafone Mobile’. The link leads them to a Vodafone page where they can buy sim-only subscriptions and handsets with a subscription. Combined with the added advantages of also being a Ziggo customer, like discount on their Ziggo package, free additional TV channels or more data.
One system, two shops
"We are increasingly integrating the e-commerce systems behind our web shops," says VodafoneZiggo’s Danny Zulkarnain. "The link to Vodafone on ziggo.nl is one of the first visible effects of that." To a large extent, the Vodafone and Ziggo shops each still have their own system, he explains. "But it’s much more efficient to have one underlying system – for us and for the customer. It will enable us to sell both Vodafone and Ziggo products in both shops. Plus, we will know in the blink of an eye if a customer already bought a specific product. This enables us to come up with a suitable Ziggo or Vodafone offer. In this way, we can provide customised service." The idea behind a combined shop is also interesting from a strategic point of view, according to Danny. "We know that customers who have been with us longer, are more loyal. One way to create more commitment, is by offering more. A greater variety in products or special advantages."
Not only the back-end of the shops is addressed by the two teams. They also improve the design and user-friendliness of the visible part of the web shops. "Each team has a product owner, three front-end developers, a quality tester and a designer," says Danny, who manages the team responsible for the part of the Vodafone and Ziggo shop where customers check out. "Both web shops will change in design – but not in the same way, even though they will use the same underlying system in future. They will eventually both offer products of both brands, but will keep their separate Ziggo and Vodafone look and feel. We are now introducing additional Vodafone products on the Ziggo site and vice versa, step by step." At a certain point in time, the front-end of the shops will be finished. And then? Danny: "We will go live in a controlled fashion. Part of the customers will end up on the new site. Another part on the old one. We compare their behaviour, monitor what they like and implement improvements. In that way, we keep optimising our web shops."
Into one’s own hands
It is new that VodafoneZiggo develops the front-end of the shops itself. Danny: "We are not outsourcing this part to a third party. It enables us to implement changes in our products or offers in the web shops a lot faster." To ensure all products are available in both shops and customers are serviced in the best possible way, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, he explains. "We need to feed the system with every possible customer situation. Part of our customers, for example, still have old products or packages. Different rules apply to them. When you combine the old portfolio with the new, you get a thousand and one different customer situations." In addition, the team keeps running tests to make things as convenient as possible for customers entering the new website. Each customer should be able to quickly find the product he is looking for while also being provided with suitable offers, says Danny. "If everything goes according to plan, this should have been achieved for both shops by early next year. Naturally, we will keep refining. But we are now laying the foundation for the future, web shops with which we further improve our service to the customer."