How do you unify a fragmented story from diverse users?

Volvo needs no introduction. It is known for its unwavering quality, which they want to exude across all touchpoints, including the online ones. To have every website fit seamlessly with Volvo’s style and make managing the website easier, Volvo called on iO. Our team created a centrally controlled, user-friendly platform that respects the branding strategy.
iO header volvo




Accessible platform for any type of user


Centrally controlled, user-friendly platform that respects the current branding

A chaotic story created by diverse users

Volvo relies on various dealers who all have their own Volvo websites. Each dealer gets free rein in managing their website and marketing. But the group of dealers was so diverse in terms of needs, strategy and approach that the online Volvo story became chaotic and unclear. Something that can interfere with the user experience and SEO rankings. Time for the iO team to bring order to chaos.

Diverse needs to be met

The original platform wasn’t giving users what they needed. The smaller dealers found the platform to be too complex, the larger players weren’t able to implement their marketing strategies due to a lack of features.

Moreover, Volvo wants to exude a straightforward brand story: the same look and feel across all touchpoints. With the old platform, every user did whatever they wanted and the content was rarely pushed by Volvo. To create a well-organised story that fits within Volvo’s branding, iO set up a centrally controlled platform that helps every user get ahead.

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A co-creative story

Our iO experts went straight to the user, compiling a diverse testing panel of Volvo dealers and letting them do the talking. The consensus? The new platform needed to be user-friendly, so even the dealers without a marketing team or technical know-how would be able to manage their website. In addition to that, it needed enough features to allow users to implement their complete marketing strategies.

We also worked closely with the Volvo team to bring their ideas to life. They were involved in designing the information architecture, building the page templates and creating the menu structure.

A platform customised to every user

The new platform was outlined and set up by a team of UX and development experts to meet all expectations. Every website is now linked to the volvocars domain. Volvo now controls part of the content, so even a dealer who doesn’t manage their website represents Volvo correctly. For instance, every menu shows the three most important calls to action and every website shows the available models. All in the Volvo style, of course.

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Besides the general content, there is also room for individuality. Users can choose a menu item (like an important service), add pages and show personal messages (like annual leave announcements) on their websites.

More importantly, they can personalise the general content. During the pandemic, for instance, Volvo provided a general COVID message that could be published straight away or adjusted by the dealer.

Training & newsletters

Managing a website can be challenging, which is why we decided to lend the dealers a hand. The first step? Extensive training to help any dealer, with or without technical knowledge, understand the new platform. Also, Volvo provides regular newsletters containing tips and tricks to announce or explain new features.

Platform and design

The new platform was completely set up in Drupal but was designed with an interface that’s very similar to the one WordPress has. This way, the Volvo dealers aren’t just getting the extreme user-friendliness and personalisation that Drupal offers. They’re also getting the simplicity of WordPress.

In addition to that, the platform was given page templates to meet every user’s needs. 14 Volvo-styled templates, to be used and filled in with whatever works best for the dealer.

3 countries, 1 smooth collaboration

Flexible and scalable

On top of being user-friendly, the new platform is flexible and scalable. To this day, we take care of maintenance and updates for the platform. We’ve also introduced the platform in France after it was so well-received in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Later on in the process, we also linked Volvo Cars to Volvo Selekt, Volvo’s secondhand brand. The nearly new cars of every dealer are now linked to the main website of Volvo Selekt, where the consumer can filter on location or model.

SEO value

Strong information architecture in the website and extra SEO options help all dealers and Volvo get ahead. The websites connected to the central domain that tell the Volvo story are easier to find. More importantly, every dealer generally takes the top spot in Google search results for their location thanks to local SEO.

Getting the car rolling

Now that everyone can manage the website and dealers can do their own thing without getting frustrated, we can get the ball (or car) rolling. A better findability results in a higher chance of conversion and therefore a higher chance of larger revenue. Demonstrating the value of a user-friendly platform once again!

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