Building on 100 years of customer experience.
Coles helps customers find what they need faster by consolidating brands with Adobe Experience Manager.
Create a more seamless customer experience by consolidated brand websites under one banner
Support sustainability by reducing printed mailings and making more information available online
Understand the full customer journey, even across multiple Coles brands
Halved the time to publish a new recipe
Empowered content creators to publish and update content without relying on developers
Increased website engagement with 55% more page views and 52% more visits year-over-year
Increased sales with more customers engaging with the Coles brand and visiting the e-commerce site
GJ Coles opened his first Coles store in Australia in 1914. He believed that for the business to succeed, he had to ensure that his team members were happy and that he had the community’s respect. More than 100 years later and with over 800 Coles Supermarkets across Australia, Coles is still known as a retailer that Australians can trust.
Today Coles has multiple businesses that deliver strong customer service with commitments to sustainability and corporate responsibility aimed at doing the best for the community. In addition to its supermarkets, Coles Express fuel and convenience retailers provide a place for people to fill up and grab a snack. Coles even offers a variety of lifestyle brands where Australians can find insurance, credit cards, personal loans, and mobile services.
One thing that has changed for Coles is that huge impact that digital has on its business. As the company’s digital footprint grows, creating a fantastic digital experience for customers becomes a higher priority. Consumers regularly visit the Coles websites to learn more about services, check out the latest deals, and look up store hours. The Coles weekly catalogue is now available digitally, eliminating the cost and paper associated with printing and mailing weekly specials to millions of Australians.
But the website experience was inconsistent, with separate sites for each of the Coles brands, with different designs, and navigation. Customers often jumped between multiple sites, and having such different experiences made it more difficult to develop broader brand loyalty and for people to find the information they wanted.
For the web teams at Coles, having multiple websites also made it hard to apply consistent tagging, understand customer journeys, and reuse assets across brands. The existing content management system (CMS) had been customized over time, limiting its ease of use. Marketers or content creators would often need help from developers to set up landing pages or change content, which increased time to market.
Coles decided to bring all of its brand websites onto a single enterprise CMS. The company was already using Adobe Experience Cloud—including Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, and Adobe Target—to understand customer journeys and test personalisation. Adobe Experience Manager Sites was the perfect addition, combining ease of use and rich functionality to deliver the experiences that modern consumers expect.
“With faster time to market, content creators can develop and deliver even more content to satisfy customers’ growing appetite for information.”
Head of Digital Marketing, Coles
Increasing engagement with a consistent web brand
Coles decided to work with a system integrator who could help get value from the new CMS as quickly as possible. The company chose Deloitte Digital for its Deloitte AX Accelerator framework, which builds upon years of know-how to fast-track implementation for Adobe Experience Cloud applications. Deloitte Digital worked with Coles through multiple sprints, breaking down new web designs and building out all templates, assets, and navigation for the experience.
“Coles is known in Australia for its customer experiences,” says Richard Lockrey, Director at Deloitte Digital. “Customer experience should inform any digital design, and we built a fresh user experience that relied heavily on customer testing and feedback to get it just right.”
With Adobe Experience Manager Sites, Coles brings its major brands under one umbrella. Shared logos, images, templates, and other assets help maintain a consistent look and feel across brands. The consistency leads to a seamless experience even when customers switch between brands, allowing them to find the information that they need much more quickly and easily.
For content creators, Adobe Experience Manager Sites is simple to use. With straightforward drag and drop operations, marketers can build and update a branded campaign landing page without relying on developers. The result is faster time to market.
“Before Adobe Experience Manager, it might have taken more than an hour to create and publish a recipe, but now it takes 30 minutes max,” says Eve Ireland, head of digital marketing at Coles. “With faster time to market, content creators can develop and deliver even more content to satisfy customers’ growing appetite for information.”
Coles delivers a variety of digital content to keep people inspired, informed, and engaged. The digital catalogue helps shoppers find the best deals at their local Coles markets. The recipe section inspires people to try out fun new recipes for dinner and provides shopping lists of ingredients. Health tips and articles celebrate people and events in the community.
The increase in web content has led to much more engagement with the brand. In six months, Coles saw year-over-year page views increase by 55%, visits by 52%, and time spent on site by 11%. The popularity of the content led to strong brand association and pushed more customers to the e-commerce site to shop for new products online.
Sharing updates during the pandemic
The move to Adobe Experience Manager came at just the right time for Coles. The pandemic and associated lockdowns in Australia had a dramatic impact on Coles stores. People relied on the website to learn about daily changes to store hours, where and when different groups of people could shop, product purchase limits for essentials such as toilet paper, and last-minute store closures if a location needed deep cleaning due to possible exposure.
While Coles team members initially worked day and night to keep the websites updated, Adobe Experience Manager changed things completely. Teams could make changes much faster, keeping information fresh with less effort. Coles spun up a new landing page in record time to share fast-changing COVID-19 updates from one location.
“Adobe Experience Manager helped us share the latest COVID-19 information with the public,” says Ireland. “We could establish ourselves as a brand that people could trust to always have accurate and reliable information.”
“With Adobe Experience Manager, we have a reliable, powerful, and easy-to-use CMS that helps us quickly deliver the experiences our customers want.”
Head of Digital Marketing, Coles
Looking to the future of digital
Coles now has the robust CMS it needs to expand digital experiences. The company plans to provide even more personalized experiences, such as recipes and specials curated for each user. Coles has also started piloting digital signage in stores using Adobe Experience Manager Screens, which will help the company get even more reuse of digital assets.
“Whether we’re talking with our customers online or off, digital plays a big role in how we deliver content,” says Ireland. “With Adobe Experience Manager, we have a reliable, powerful, and easy-to-use CMS that helps us quickly deliver the experiences our customers want.”