Great Wolf Resort partners with Xcelacore to build testing automation platform.



Great Wolf Lodge

Case Study

Great Wolf Resort partners with Xcelacore to build test automation platform.

Background

Great Wolf Resorts Inc. (GWR) is the parent company of Great Wolf Lodge, North America’s largest family of indoor water park resorts. Great Wolf Lodge offers popular, award-winning vacation experiences that celebrate relaxed, uninterrupted time with family and create unforgettable memories.  With GWR’s growth into new markets, their investment into technology was expanding.  As part of this effort, GWR was looking to increase their application development team’s work velocity.  They approached Xcelacore to help them develop test automation platform to increase their team’s efficiency and confidently release new features and enhancements.

Test Automation Platform

Xcelacore assembled a two-person QA team that is working to develop a test automation platform for using Behat, BrowserStack and Selenium.  This will significantly reduce the overall time for regression testing and will improve application quality and team velocity.  The framework is being developed to support integration with multiple email service provider as well multilingual website testing.

Testimonials

“I’ve worked with a lot of offshore partners and so far working with your team has been one of my best experiences.  The communication with the team has been great, and although I haven’t dug into the code at the surface, it appears to be working.  The team has a very positive attitude which is also great.  I greatly appreciate your involvement in the project as well, and I am sure that’s a key component of this.  Thanks again and have a great day.”

– Chad L Ross | Director of Web Development, Great Wolf Lodge

 

David C Cook brand Disciplr partners with Xcelacore to build a new digital platform on Microsoft Azure.



Disciplr

Case Study

David C Cook brand Disciplr partners with Xcelacore to build a new digital platform on Microsoft Azure.

Background

Disciplr, a David C Cook company specializes in providing digital interactive Christian ministry content for children.  The company was formed by its parent David C Cook to capitalize on increasing demand for Christian curriculum content delivered and managed in a robust digital environment.  Disciplr was in the process of building a new digital platform that will be the foundation to its core content offerings.  Disciplr engaged Xcelacore to consult on architecture assessment and document the current platform. Additionally, Disciplr also needed to increase development footprint and build an automated testing platform.

Technology Assessment

This was a 4-week effort where Xcelacore’s team spent week 1 with the Disciplr team to understand the current and future application functionality and did a code walkthrough.  The next 3 weeks were spent on code analysis, identifying gaps and recommendations.  Based on Xcelacore’s recommendations, Disciplr asked to help them with the execution.

Test Automation Platform

Xcelacore assembled a two-person QA team that developed a test automation platform for Disciplr using Selenium.  This has significantly reduced the overall time for regression testing and has improved application quality and team velocity.

Application Development

At first, Disciplr asked to supplement their team with two. Net Azure developers.  Based on the quality and skills of those developers, Disciplr asked Xcelacore to completely take over the entire development of their application.

Now the team works closely with Disciplr product owner to plan, develop, and release application enhancements.  This application is hosted on Microsoft Azure cloud and is based on MVC framework and .Net Core platform utilizing Azure SQL, Azure Search, Azure Blob Storage, and other services.

Disciplr Home page

Ubid.com was undertaking a new platform redesign and re-launch of their website for ecommerce business and engaged Xcelacore for the delivery.


ubid new site

uBid.com

Ubid.com was undertaking a new platform redesign and re-launch of their website for ecommerce business and engaged Xcelacore for the delivery.

The Challenge

Ubid was undertaking a new platform redesign and re-launch of their website to rebuild their ecommerce business. They needed help in managing the technology transition to the new platform and also marketing help to launch and grow the customer base.

Xcelacore Solution

First, we evaluated the current state of technology and marketing to come up with an integrated strategy to help transition to this new platform and ensure a successful launch. The strategy included: technology consulting on back-end data migration, comprehensive marketing strategy on customer retention and growth and end-user communication. We also managed their social media and email marketing. An additional strategy was put in place to engage the current customers through social media, revamped email strategy as well as re-engaging their dormant customer base through special offers.

The Result

The client saw a 30-40% increase in revenues within 1 month of working with Xcelacore!. Using us as their technology and marketing arm resulted in a 50% savings!

Yumm Street Case Study – Marketplace built on Magento


Yumm Street

Yumm Street Case Study – Marketplace built on Magento

Case Study

Startup Yumm Street Engages Xcelacore to build new marketplace that connects home chefs and small food businesses to buyers in online marketplace built on Magento platform.  

Background

Yumm Street is a start-up founded by Gowri Shetty and Shareh Ghani.  The two concepted and envisioned a marketplace for the cottage chefs industry, where home chefs and smaller food businesses can promote and sell their products online.  

As part of this vision,  Ms. Shetty and Mr. Ghani needed a technology solution that would effectively create the marketplace.  The founders engaged Xcelacore to help architect the solution.  

The Project

After an intensive deep dive into the business requirements and user expectations with key stakeholders, Xcelacore proposed a solution based on Magento platform which included a third party plugin that would allow vendors to self manage and market products on the site as well vendor store information and payments within a secure admin panel.  

Figure A  shows the vision of the Yumm Street marketplace leveraging Magento.

magento marketplace

Figure B is another view of the various users within the magento Marketplace.  

magneto marketplace users

The Process

At its core, Xcelacore’s primary goal is to strategically solve business and marketing challenges with technology solutions. To achieve that, Xcelacore executives invest intensive time into clearly defining problems, expectations, and outcomes with key stakeholders.

The Features

After a thorough exploration into user data, stakeholder input, and business requirements, the following feature requirements were created:

  • Visually stunning and full featured ecommerce site that attracts food buyers
    • Easy checkout process
    • Rich product pages
    • Ability to shop by food, regions
    • Visually appealing home page with shop by food category section
  • Vendor portal
    • Easy registration process
    • Integration with Paypal for payments
    • Ability to add, edit products
    • Manage product inventory
    • Manage orders including printing of shipping labels
  • Mobile responsive site

The Result

Xcelacore worked with the Yumm street team to design, implement and test a fully functional marketplace

Home page

Yumm Street Technology Solution

Questions

www.xcelacore.com

 

Migrating on Premise SQL Server to the Azure Cloud



Welcome to XTrends latest blog.

Title: Migrating on Premise SQL Server to the Azure Cloud

Today, we talk about moving an on premise SQL server database from your server to the cloud. Your boss might think that it’s easy to just pick up the old server data and upload it to the cloud. In reality, the project requires strategy, planning and technical experience.

To start, let’s do a quick overview on many of the benefits of moving to cloud. There are a wide range of benefits that provide a great overall ROI (Rate of Investment). Listed below are some.

  • Maintenance: Database day to day management becomes much easier when a third-party is responsible to service it
  • Advanced features: Today’s cloud service providers can provide the best database services already available on their platform
  • Scalability: Easily scale up or down on storage based on data requirements
  • Ubiquity: Replication is a thing from the past. The cloud is “everywhere” which eliminates the need to replicate data to reach users by location

For the project to be successful, organization is very important. Let’s plan the project timeline, infrastructure and requirements.

The Technology

For this project, we will assume moving On Premise SQL Server to Azure cloud. The project planning for moving to AWS or another cloud provider will be similar but of course the technology tasks will be different.

The first task is to test compatibility to the target cloud platform. Compatibility issues are the main causes of database problems when migrating. There are various tools and methods to test for compatibility. This particular process is outside the scope of this blog but I encourage the developers to properly research this process before proceeding.

The next task is to plan the project. There are two main ways to migrate SQL Server to Azure. The first is simpler but may require significant downtime for the existing database.

Figure 1 shows a process document recommended by Microsoft for this procedure.

Migrating on Premise SQL Server to the Azure Cloud

SQL Server Migration

The 2nd option is more complex but is required if you can’t bring your production database down while performing the migration. This method uses transactional replication as a migration solution. The source database must meet the requirements for transactional replication and be compatible for Azure SQL Database. The typical workflow for this type of migration is following.

  1. Set up Distribution
  2. Create Publication
  3. Create Subscription

The Project plan

While many companies are adept at using Agile methodology for software delivery, sometimes the practice is lost when doing infrastructure and web operation projects similar to this one. We recommend combining this project with overall software Sprints. It helps with communication, planning and effort.

Sprint 1 (2 weeks)

  • Prepare source environment
  • Test compatibility
  • Compile list of coding changes
  • Backup database

Sprint 2 (2 weeks)

  • Make coding changes
  • Test and Test again
  • Go-Live

***more sprints maybe required for code changes, testing based on the application and the migration method as discussed above.

Summary

Have you been tasked to plan a migrate a on premise SQL server to Azure cloud? This blog provides a high-level summary of how to go about successfully delivering this project.

I hope this helps you get started in the project planning. Please do not hesitate to reach out to info@xcelacore.com for specific questions.

 

Top Five Reasons Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Need ERP and CRM to Drive Business



Top Five Reasons Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Need ERP and CRM to Drive Business

It’s remarkable the impact of technology on business. Put differently, it’s remarkable what happens when small businesses don’t  utilize technology in today’s world. The impact of technology on small and mid-size businesses has never been so obvious as it is now, particularly when you consider the myriad payment options, customer contact points, and even simple communication. Even the most traditional of businesses can see significant increases in their efficiencies, profits, customer acquisition and retention by utilizing things like ERP, CRM, e-commerce, and digital marketing utilities.

But how do you as a small-to-medium sized business owner decide what technologies you need, and what could you do without? Here’s a list of the Top Five Reasons you, as the owner of a small- to mid-sized business, should consider ERP and CRM systems to drive your business.

 

  1. Good Technology for Small- to Medium-Sized Business Makes Your Staff Better

The old adage is that “information is power.” Without the drama of evil empires, the basis of the statement is true. Your staff can serve a customer better when they have a customer’s order history, payment history, account information, and likes/dislikes more readily at their fingertips. When a customer is treated with the deference of being a long-standing and loyal customer, their satisfaction is affirmed and they’ll more likely remain loyal.

What’s more, how many times have you tried to remember your account information for a particular retailer? That unique password amongst dozens. Unless you’re super human, it’s a hassle and a barrier to a purchase. If your staff – either on a customer service issue or a new sale – can make the account information easy, then you’re that much closer to revenue.

Good technology also gets you closer to getting paid. The easier, faster, you make it for customers to pay, the more likely they will be to pay on-time.

The top four reasons good technology makes your staff better are:

  • Find customer information more easily, faster, and more accurately
  • A customer’s legacy information (sales history and service record) is more easily accessed
  • Your customer doesn’t have to be the expert in their own account
  • Billing faster means getting paid faster

 

  1. When You’re Faster You Serve Your Customers Better

It’s almost cliché these days that when someone asks, “how are you?”, the answer inevitably is “busy.” Of course, everyone is busy these days. If you’re not busy, you’re not living and working to the fullest. But what if your business helps save your customer time? Isn’t that going to the very heart of what they say they need most? Time?

Good technology doesn’t replace or change human behavior. What it does do is make a human behavior easier or faster. Think about it. Facebook didn’t invent a new human behavior. People connected through telephone, email, social events, and snail mail before. What Facebook does is makes it easier and faster to share news and messages to larger groups of people, and for them to respond in a faster and easier way.

So what does this mean for your business? Technology can make the way your customers do business with you faster and easier. It won’t change what they do. But in the end, good technology satisfies the customer because they walk away saying, “that was easy.” And for a small or mid-sized business, that’s a win.

What are the ways technology can make you faster? Here are the top three:

  • Technology identifies customer behavior faster so people can be better at knowing what your customer wants. For instance, a CRM knows what your customer buys and can make recommendations like, “Here is your most recent order. Would you like to buy this again?” In addition, it stores their payment information so check-out is much faster.
  • Ordering is easier, confirmation is faster, communication is constant and helpful. Real-time transactions are the expectation anymore. Order confirmations, receipts, shipping confirmations and updates, and delivery confirmation are all things we’ve come to expect in real-time. When you have an integrated ERP and CRM, real-time communications are possible without a heavy burden on your staff.
  • Information is transferrable – no one person “owns” customer information so everyone can be helpful. When a customer takes the time and contacts your company, what they don’t want to hear is that someone else is the only one who can help them and they’ll have to wait for that person to call them back. When technology allows each team member access to a customer’s information, they’re empowered to help that customer when they need. That increases satisfaction which means that customer will have a higher likelihood of staying loyal to your company.

 

  1. Timely Equals Profitable

As a general rule, the longer you make a customer wait the less likely it becomes that they’ll complete their order. Time is key, so being timely directly relates to profitability.

Imagine this scenario. A couple has season tickets to a theater in a trendy neighborhood. In addition to the theater, there are several restaurants and bars. As the couple begins going to that season’s productions, they make a reservation at a particular restaurant that’s just down the block from the theater. It’s an up-scale restaurant that also has valet parking. The next month, because they enjoyed their meals and the convenient proximity to the theater, they make a reservation at the same restaurant. The third month, much to the delight and surprise of the couple, a few days before the show they receive an email from the restaurant suggesting a reservation and makes an offer of a complimentary dessert with their reservation. Because it’s surprising and useful, the couple makes the reservation and decides that it’s now their custom to eat at the restaurant before each show. In addition, the couple now receives a personalized note from the general manager after each meal thanking them for their visit.

How does it work? The restaurant uses a CRM system that recognizes the name from a reservation, and the pattern with which they make reservations. Once the CRM establishes the pattern (a visit every third Thursday, for instance), the system uses an automated marketing flow to suggest repeat behavior, plus an incentive. The result? The couple confirmed their behavior by receiving timely, relevant, and useful information.

So what are the top three ways that technology helps small businesses be timely and therefore more profitable?

  • Before they order – Recognizing when people order means you can make their lives easier. Easier means they’re more likely to order from you rather than someone else.
  • When they order – Time is money, for everybody. If you make the process of ordering faster, easier, and more convenient, then you’re much more likely to win the customer and keep the customer.
  • After they order – Communicate with value. Thank them for their businesses. Give them the documents they need (confirmation, invoice, shipping information, customer service) so that it is easy for them to do what they need to do.

 

  1. Know Your Customer

You know the cliché. It’s in every power mogul’s playbook. They walk into a restaurant and the maître de falls over themselves, dropping the customer’s name, and doing everything they can to ensure their satisfaction. Practical? No. Necessary? Not really. But when the customer feels like they’re known as a valuable customer they feel differently about your company. That’s one of the benefits of a smaller company – you have the chance to get to know your customers on a personal level.

Reality is, big companies want to retain this aspect of being small. They want to recognize their customers. How they buy. When they buy. What they buy. That’s why there are loyalty programs that not only reward the customer for their patronage, but also feed information into their systems so that their sales and service folks can have a better idea who the customer is, even when they don’t.

But is it really practical, even for small businesses, to know that much about each of their customers? Not without technology to help.

That begs the question then, what should you try to know about your customers? Here’s a starter list of the top data points you’d want to know about your customers:

  • Is it their first time ordering?
  • How long have they been a customer?
  • How did they become a customer? Or, how did they find out about you?
  • Do they buy from you in more than one way? (online, phone and in-store?)
  • How often do they order?
  • What do they buy?
  • How do they buy? (account, credit card, invoice?)

The answers to these questions can be at your sales people’s and service team’s fingertips with the right ERP and CRM systems.

 

  1. Not Having Technology Costs More than Paying for the Right Technology

The reality of today’s marketplace – whether B2B or B2C – is that people expect buying to be easy. That’s a combination of both the “what” and the “how”. There’s a measured value in the experience, in addition to the message. If you suggest a targeted, value-driven message to the right customer and then offer an easy method of purchase, the customer sees greater value than a simple price savings equation.  Check out this article in the Harvard Business Review for a deeper dive into how this is explained.

The simple fact remains that if everything in your company is manual in a digital world, you’ll have to try and compensate for that lack of technology with more and more people. Or, you simply surrender your position to a competitor. This is the opportunity cost of not making an investment into the right technology.

Here are six examples of how not investing into the right technology might cost you money you didn’t realize?

  • If ordering is hard or takes too much time, they’ll go somewhere else
  • If your competition knows more about them as a customer and serves as such, then you’ll likely lose the customer
  • If it takes more time to manually invoice and collect money, you lose money. In addition, if you pay a full salary for something technology could do for you in less time, you also lose money
  • If you don’t see and act on patterns in ordering, you could be losing money in both inventory management and sales
  • If your competition moves faster than you, you lose money

 

The Sum of the Parts

Here is a great comparison chart of the top ERP systems for small business. Some combine both ERP (operations and financial systems) with CRM (customer relationship management and marketing automation.)

You may find that you would be better served by having an independent CRM solution, in which case here’s a great list of software options to choose from:

If you’re in a place where you don’t feel comfortable evaluating your position or opportunity with technology, then let us help. Contact us and you’ll get a free digital assessment of your company’s –and your competitors’ – presence online and an assessment of your company’s technology opportunity. It’s no obligation and free, so drop us a line today.

Top 6 Tips for Success in the Digital World



Top 6 Tips for Success in the Digital World

Digital Mobile Solution

 

Introduction

 

As a small business, you have enough challenges keeping your head above water and focusing on how to grow. Navigating the digital world can be complex if you don’t understand the various channels and what you should focus on to get the most bang for your buck.  Even if you do understand the technologies, how do you find enough time in the day to do it all?  In this paper we will give you a concise list of things you can easily do to boost your business by leveraging the power of digital with web, social, and mobile.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, businesses that make use of the web expect to grow 40% faster than those that don’t.  And according to Google, 97% of consumers go online to look for local products, yet only 37% of US small businesses have an online presence.  Increasingly, the web is important, but so is making use of social media and mobile technology to engage  with your potential customers.

If digital technologies like web, social media and mobile are so important, then why don’t all small businesses make use of them?  There are several reasons that include perceived cost associated with doing it, not having enough time, or believing that it’s just too complicated.  Lucky for you, there is plenty of help to address the complexities of digital while also managing your time challenges.  There are marketing services companies that cater to small business needs.  It’s also less expensive than you think, especially if you can pay for it with the increased sales that you can enjoy.

So let’s get to it – here are our top tips for digital success.  

Responsive Design

 

1.  Have an online presence with a responsive design

Since consumers are going online to search for businesses, unless you have a website you will not be found!  Consumers will go to your competitors if they are easier to find.  A couple of other things to consider are optimizing your site for relevant keywords that consumers may be searching on and making sure you have a responsive design. By having the right information and content on your website, you will help your company be found when consumers are searching.  

A responsive design simply means that your site is optimized for viewing and interaction across different types of devices (computer, tablet, mobile).  The site will be easy to navigate, read, and interact with, taking into account the different screen sizes that your web site can be accessed from.  Also consider the user experience.  They want to be able to access the information in as few clicks as possible.  So, put yourself in the user’s shoes when designing your website – easy to navigate equals better engagement for you.  Clunky or disorganized websites will result in potentially lost sales opportunities or your user exiting the site.

 

Google Ad

  1. Get your business on Google

Getting your business listed on Google is another important step to getting found online.  Google My Business helps you get listed on Google and also provides key information such as business overview, hours of operation, phone number, and address.  For users using their mobile, they can use Maps to get directions and click to call.  Consumers can also leave ratings and reviews of your business.

 

  1. Advertise online to drive traffic

These days, advertising online has also become important to drive new customers to your business.  It’s fairly easy to set up an advertising CPC campaign on Google.  With Google Adwords, you can specify whether you want your ad to be local and what specifically you want to advertise.  Google provides tools to help you decide which keywords to advertise, setting up budgets, and managing the whole campaign.  And the good part is that you only pay if someone clicks on your ad.  There can be potentially many more people that see your ad and read it, but you don’t pay unless they click.  It’s important to track how much business is resulting from your advertising budget and make regular adjustments as needed to get the most out of it.  

  1. Use social media to connect with your customers

The top social media platforms you should consider are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, and Pinterest.  You don’t have to be on all of the social media channels, but the ones that make the most sense for your audience.  It gives you an opportunity to build loyalty with your customers and connect with them outside of your normal business interaction.  It also provides an avenue for you to then share what’s new with your business, advertise specials, and foster a loyal customer base that will keep coming back.

 

use mobile

  1. Use Mobile

We already talked about a responsive design that helps you interact with customers that are on different devices such as tablets.  That will also help you for customers using mobile.  Increasingly, consumers are using their phones to make purchases, search for local businesses, and using click to contact the businesses directly.

People are also spending more and more time on their mobile compared to other devices.  Their mobile is always within reach.  If it makes sense for your business, you should also consider mobile advertising, such as SMS, MMS, or banner.

  1. Use analytics to understand and improve

Now that you are online, advertising, and getting found by your customers, you need to understand if the money you are spending is giving you a return on your investment. Analytics will help you track and review data that is relevant to your business.  Best of all, Google Analytics is free!  You can track every click, measure every dollar, and get insights on the type of device that your customers are connecting with (mobile vs. desktop).  And by looking at how many conversions you have, the dollars of business that translated into, and how much you spent on advertising, you can tie it all together to ensure it is paying back.  You can also tell if your activities on social media are driving traffic to your website.  

Summary

Now you have the 6 top tips for succeeding in the digital world.  Perhaps you were already doing some but not all, now is a chance to dive into the rest of the digital initiatives.  Some of these tips are free to implement (Google My Business for example), so it won’t cost you a cent.  It will take an investment in time, but increasingly digital is the way to reach your target customers.  And if you can’t do it all yourself, there is plenty of help out there without breaking the bank.

Contact us at hello@xcelacore.com or 312-487-1208.

477 East Butterfield Road, Lombard, IL 60148

 

UCLA Extension Engages Xcelacore to Improve Site Enrollment Through Search Revamp and Site O



Ucla Extension

Case Study

UCLA Extension Engages Xcelacore to Improve Site Enrollment Through Search Revamp and Site Optimization

Background

UCLA has one of higher education’s elite brands. For nearly a century, the school has produced some of business’ elite, science’s laureates, music and film’s innovators, and sports elite. The UCLA Extension is the university’s global continuing education arm, and the path for thousands of students to start or explore new careers in some of the most intriguing and high-growth fields.

As UCLA Extension grows, so too does the demand for its online presence. Two areas where they knew they needed focused solutions were in online enrollment conversions and search. To truly grow and improve its online experience, UCLA Extension sought the expertise, strategic planning, and implementation of both crucial projects from Xcelacore.

The Search Revamp Project

After an intensive deep dive into the business requirements and user expectations with key stakeholders, Xcelacore proposed a highly reliable, scalable and fault-tolerant search solution utilizing Solr/Apache Lucene.  This cloud-based system provides distributed indexing, replication and load-balanced querying, automated failover, and recovery.

The process

At its core, Xcelacore’s primary goal is to strategically solve business and marketing challenges with technology solutions. To achieve that, Xcelacore executives invest intensive time into clearly defining problems, expectations, and outcomes with key stakeholders. In addition, Xcelacore delves into analytics and consumer information to fully inform the requirements and have the greatest impact on performance.

Although Xcelacore works on more than technology solutions, we utilize an Agile Development Process. At its core, this means that the delivery of a project is broken down into specific time periods (typically two weeks), with specific deliverables. In addition, this methodology provides our clients with a clear method of monitoring delivery of projects, finances, and quality against the overall project expectations.

For this project, Xcelacore used Agile methodology for all phases of the project including requirements gathering, development,  performance, usability, and integration testing.

 

The features

After a thorough exploration into user data, stakeholder input, and business requirements, the following feature requirements were created:

  • Improve search functionality & capabilities including branded and user friendly UX/UI
  • Ability to create custom search terms that are unique to their own industry
  • Highly responsive, reliable, scalable and fault tolerant search solution
  • Auto suggest search terms while user types in the search box
  • Ability to apply multiple filters
  • Search courses by Title, Description, course numbers, instructor name and more
  • Spell checking using Solr and suggestion like “Did you mean …?”
  • Mobile optimized search results page with ability to easily apply additional filters

 

 The Result

Xcelacore researched, defined, implemented, and delivered a highly functional, variable search engine that dramatically improved the course discovery process for prospective students.

 Testimonial

“Xcelacore does great work with integrity.”

– Radhika Seshan | COO and Associate Dean

“At the project kick-off meeting, Xcelacore partner mentioned the new search will be a game changer for UCLA Extension, I am very excited to say that they have delivered on their promise.”

– Wayne Smutz, Ph.D. | Dean

 

The Site Optimization Project

With a switch from a homegrown platform to a third-party SaaS solution earlier in 2016, UCLA Extension saw a measurable drop in online enrollment during the second quarter. Was it due in part to the platform switch? Or, were there breaks in the user experience that were causing fewer enrollments? Again, UCLA Extension turned to Xcelacore to define the problem and offer solutions.

The Process

Xcelacore employed two paths for helping to define the potential problem and offer solutions. One, Xcelacore professionals dove into the site analytics to define breaks in behavior before the platform switch and after. Although the experience between the two platforms wasn’t parallel, a pattern of behavior began to emerge based on the deep-dive into analytics. Second, Xcelacore utilized drew on more than 20 years of e-commerce and online experience to identify breaks in the intuitive UI/UX path which were then underscored by behaviors gleaned from the analytics.

Xcelacore provided a step-by-step page analysis and recommendation for optimizing each step in the enrollment process, with the ultimate objective of increasing conversions.

The Features and Results

Based on the recommendations, UCLA Extension was able to positively impact the conversion path by implementing the following:

  • Shortened the enrollment process by three pages
  • Optimized navigation by refactoring home page and course pages based on user behaviors
  • Optimized content based on user behaviors, including course and program discovery
  • SEO including page titling and tagging for increased organic traffic