In 2010, True Value and Engage launched a new, enhanced TruSite platform using DotNetNuke (DNN). The project had a simple guiding principle - maintain consistent brand standards while allowing retailers to make their site personal. By leveraging a number of features inherent to DNN and extending the platform, True Value is able to provide retailers the tools to create and manage their own feature-rich content. Additionally, the True Value marketing department is able to provide a robust set of starter content to ensure brand standards and keep content current and relevant for all retailers.
From the onset of the project, True Value stressed the importance of maintaining an upgrade path for the core DotNetNuke framework. This allows them to benefit from the ongoing work in the DNN community. These requirements were easily satisfied by leveraging the extensibility of the framework to meet the robust needs of TruSite. Additionally, True Value utilized many of the features core to DNN to allow us to focus on the requirements that were truly unique to TruSite.
By integrating with True Value's retailer extranet, TruSite offers retailers a seamless, single sign-on solution. Retailers access their TruSite with a familiar login and are able to manage their site from the same place they receive new updates from True Value. Better yet, store information is directly pulled into the retailers' sites by integrating with True Value’s member information database. Retailers are able to quickly verify their contact information, update program involvement and even validate their address in Google maps.
Focus on User Experience
True Value emphasized the importance of their retailers' user experience from the start of the project. Knowing that the success of this program would be determined by the adoption of their retailers, the site had to be intuitive and interesting. The TruSite Builder uses a consistent set of administrative tools and modern technologies (modal pop-ups, rotating content, interactive maps) to allow retailers to manage content without having to know the first thing about web development.
The core features of DotNetNuke allowed True Value to quickly add to the rich features of the system while customizing to meet the specific requirements of TruSite. By enhancing the features of file management, retailers manage images on their site with an easy, point-and-click image carousel. Furthermore, TruSite integrates an existing image management application allowing retailers to upload, resize, and crop their images for use on their site. Both file upload and file management are native features to DNN, but by extending these features True Value was able to provide tools that better met their requirements.
The marketing department further enhanced the image carousel by pairing content with images. This allows retailers to inherit well-crafted messaging with the professionally designed, web-ready images then tailor the message to uniquely reflect their store’s promotions.
Multi-Portal Environment Strategy
Maintaining consistent branding across all of the True Value retailer sites was one of the main project objectives. Using the benefits of multi-portal capabilities within DotNetNuke, True Value maintains shared image libraries while allowing each retailer the isolation of their own website. Since each site operates separately, retailers can personalize their site with their unique content or simply use the marketing departments robust set of design assets that are shared to all sites.
True Value finds other great advantages using DotNetNuke, depending on template capabilities to quickly on-board retailers into TruSite. TruSite uses site templates to establish the initial page structure and maintain brand standards with a single, centralized style guide. From a maintenance stand-point, the TruSite system maintains a single upgrade path for its custom extensions allowing the IT department to efficiently respond to enhancement requests and new features. From custom modules to style sheets, all retailers share a single code base.
Since all 3,000+ member store sites are on a common platform (DNN), enabling a mobile device experience was seamless for retailers. All content is now optimized for the small screen device, leaving some functionality to the native device to handle, such as email and maps. Store owners are thrilled with their new mobile sites and Engage is excited to be part of this on-going success as we continue leveraging True Value's technology investment in DotNetNuke.