Helping to construct the world.

Sunbelt Rentals transforms its sales model into a multichannel B2B experience with Adobe Experience Cloud.



Employees: 21,000

Fort Mill, South Carolina

Publicis Sapient



Increase in the number of ecommerce site updates


Adobe Commerce

Adobe Experience Manager Sites

Adobe Experience Manager Assets

Adobe Marketo Engage

Adobe Target

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Transform business from a person-to-person sales model to a multichannel model that includes digital self-service

Measure effectiveness of marketing efforts and optimize communications to deliver stronger leads to sales

Grow ecommerce capabilities with a goal of 10% of annual revenue from digital

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Improved site performance with 3X faster page load times

Accelerate time to market with content created in hours instead of weeks

6X more frequent updates to ecommerce site and mobile app

2X abandoned cart conversion, contributing up to $2.4 million in additional annual revenue

Bryan Gassler was thrilled to bring his extensive B2B ecommerce expertise to the construction world when he became the Vice President of eCommerce at Sunbelt Rentals in 2021. Although customer insights and relationships were vital in the industry, digital experiences were still in their infancy and presented a significant opportunity.

Sunbelt Rentals is the second largest equipment rental company in North America, offering more than 550,000 pieces of construction and specialty equipment and tools — such as lighting, generators, scissor lifts, excavators, forklifts, and much more — to organizations across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

“Our industry is built on relationships and direct sales,” says Gassler. “When customers need a rental, they talk to our sales teams who find them exactly what they want. And with only three major players in the U.S., there hasn’t been a lot of market pressure to innovate. But new generations are rising in the sector, and they expect to have the same self-service ecommerce experience that they’re used to in many other industries today. The pervasiveness of ecommerce is helping to drive change in the construction and maintenance rental equipment market.”

Making the case for digital transformation

Gassler and his team recognized the importance of getting ahead of the curve and implementing a modern digital experience for customers. The first step was raising internal support by creating a digital manifesto, which detailed customer expectations and how to address them. As leadership began to see the contribution of digital experiences in aiding the overall rental lifecycle, the idea of digital transformation became a reality.

With momentum building, Gassler pushed for a full ecommerce experience and brought Tyler Stafford onto the team, who has over 15 years of experience in bringing ecommerce to life. Stafford helped set a goal to create an informative, easy-to-navigate commerce site where customers can research solutions and reserve tools at any time — even while using a mobile device on a construction site or on the shop floor of a warehouse requiring equipment to enhance its operations.

By expanding its Adobe Experience Cloud footprint with Adobe Commerce and Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service, Sunbelt Rentals built a solid platform aimed at turning its traditional person-to-person sales model into a scalable and modern multichannel experience.

“Adobe has the most comprehensive out-of-the-box applications for everything we need to create multichannel digital experiences now and into the future,” says Stafford, Senior Director of Product Management at Sunbelt Rentals. “We’re creating a blueprint for change showing how digital experiences can reach a growing market.”

“Authors create content in hours instead of weeks, without needing support from developers or IT resources. This drives a much faster time to market for content, giving customers the experience they expect.”

Tyler Stafford

Senior Director of Product Management, Sunbelt Rentals

Fast, up-to-date digital experiences

The company’s new digital strategy puts the customer at the center. The new website focuses on what customers want and need, such as a fast and responsive online storefront, up-to-date information, and intuitive navigation that helps them find what they’re looking for quickly. With Experience Manager Sites, site performance is accelerated with page load times up to three times faster and reusable templates and Experience Fragments help content teams create web pages quickly and consistently.

With Experience Manager Assets, Sunbelt Rentals consolidated three digital asset management (DAM) systems to create a central hub to store content and take advantage of reusable components applied across the web or mobile app.

“Authors create content in hours instead of weeks, without needing support from developers or IT resources,” says Stafford. “This drives a much faster time to market for content, giving customers the experience they expect.”

With less time needed to support content creation, Sunbelt Rentals engineers had the bandwidth to rethink their processes. Gassler and Stafford promoted an Agile development mindset based around quick sprints for faster and more frequent release cycles. While the company previously only released a couple of website updates a year, it now releases updates about once a month. And with support from partner Publicis Sapient, in just 120 days Sunbelt Rentals created an MLP (minimum loveable product), with the delivery of its new mobile app. The company can also respond to more customer feedback. Rather than focusing only on critical website and app fixes, developers now generally address all customer requests within two release cycles.

“In our business, a lot of people work in the field, not in offices, so it was important to be extremely mobile friendly,” says Stafford. “Dynamic Media functionality in Experience Manager is particularly important as it automatically optimizes visuals for any size screen without needing to spend time creating and managing endless variations.”

Powering self-service digital rentals

The new Sunbelt Rentals website combines the high-performance front-end of Experience Manager Sites with Commerce powering B2B-friendly ecommerce. Publicis Sapient also helped Sunbelt Rentals establish a headless Commerce architecture. Product listing pages and product detail pages use headless components, layering consistent visuals and formatting over information pulled directly from Commerce such as product specifications, availability, and rates.

“Adobe Commerce is the backend for our entire ecommerce engine, from storing our catalog to handling order and cart management,” says Gassler. “Combined with the improved content experience, we’re confident we can meet our goal of generating 10% of our annual revenue through ecommerce.”

“Using Marketo Engage we doubled abandoned cart conversion with our Abandoned Cart Nurture campaign, which we project will contribute up to $2.4 million in additional revenue in a year.”

Bryan Gassler

Vice President of eCommerce, Sunbelt Rentals

Sunbelt Rentals can also now support its rental business model with a customized checkout experience, including multi-country and multi-language capabilities. Customers can make a rental reservation, select a pickup location or request delivery to the worksite.

The apps are deployed as cloud-native implementations, adding even more flexibility and agility to the environment. Internal teams no longer need to dedicate resources to maintaining apps, and the cloud environment also adds scalability to help ensure that the company’s site will stay online no matter the traffic.

Sunbelt Rentals partner Perficient worked with the company to connect Adobe Marketo Engage to Commerce to seamlessly engage with customers as they shop. The company’s Abandoned Cart Nurture campaign follows up with customers when they fail to complete a purchase.

“Using Marketo Engage we doubled abandoned cart conversion with our Abandoned Cart Nurture campaign, which we project will contribute up to $2.4 million in additional revenue in a year,” says Gassler.

Creating customer-centric experiences

Sunbelt Rentals plans to continue building the modern digital experiences that today’s customers want. To that end, marketing automation is helping to remove silos between sales and marketing. Using the smart campaign functionality to manage data hygiene workflows helped to increase marketable records by 21% and improve normalized data within the system by 28.4%. The Abandoned Cart Nurture campaign benefited from this normalization to personalize emails and inventory based on location, so customers only see products that are in stock and available to them.

By harnessing the full power of marketing automation and commerce, Sunbelt Rentals can better understand buyers’ behavior and nurture them through their buying journey. Meanwhile, sales reps gain a clearer view of customer data, including both online and offline order history, which helps them better support customers. The company will start to use these insights with Adobe Target to personalize web experiences for all customers and help them find what they need faster.

“We believe that digital experiences and ecommerce will become even more important in the future, and with Adobe, we have a partner that will grow with us,” says Stafford. “Adobe Experience Cloud is a comprehensive solution that combines content, assets, marketing, and commerce to create more ideal rental experiences for all of our customers.”

Content as a Service - Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 14:35 (no-lazy)

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