Case Study

Apex Tool Group

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25 %

increase in sales

52 %

reduction in bouncerate

21 %

increase in organic new users



Apex Tool Group wanted to enhance the user experience across its websites.


The company’s previous site was outdated and not user-friendly.

Our Solution

Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Search


Apex Tool Group saw a 25% increase in sales, thanks to the site’s new “where-to-buy” feature, improved design, and performance improvements.

  • Number of organic search new users grew by 21%
  • Bouncerate reduced by 52%
  • Average session duration increased by 22%
  • 61% reduction in average page load time 
  • 92% reduction in average page download time

The Client

Apex Tool Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of professional hand and power tools. 

The Situation

In 2021, Apex saw a massive spike in online sales and wanted a long-term digital solution to build out its GEARWRENCH websites. The company wanted to enhance the user experience across sites by leveraging compelling information and shortening purchase paths. Simultaneously, it wanted the flexibility to showcase its entire portfolio of tools in a visually enticing way that was easy to understand and navigate. 

The Challenge

As Apex is not a direct-to-consumer brand, building a site that met the company’s objectives was challenging. The website is a vehicle for Apex to provide information about its products and where they can be purchased, whether online, at big box retail outlets, or at a local hardware store. But Apex’s previous site was outdated and not user-friendly. Site speed was well below standard, and search functionality didn’t work properly. The team struggled to keep the products on the website in sync with the product information management (PIM) system. Additionally, the site lacked basic SEO, and building custom pages/content could take up to two weeks.

The Solution

Apex partnered with global communications agency VMLY&R to create a global solution that would resonate well with its customers and internal stakeholders. VMLY&R spoke one-to-one with key Apex stakeholders, mechanics, mobile truck operators, and customers to understand the needs and use of the website.  

VMLY&R rebuilt the site within the Drupal CMS using a customized GEARWRENCH theme and building a component library to standardize the user experience. By doing this, the discoverability team could leverage the power of Drupal core and its contributed modules to immediately increase the site’s SEO value. During this rebuild, the team made it possible for Apex to quickly and easily import the latest list of products and images into the website.

Using Acquia Cloud, VMLY&R’s developers were able to immediately deploy a new working site with predefined components and a reusable workflow that allowed them to instantly publish updates, getting them into the hands of Apex stakeholders for feedback. Once the first Apex site was live, VMLY&R deployed variations of it in a multisite environment, bringing more brands live using the same codebase and configuration. This allows Apex to expand its brand portfolio's digital presence without having to reinvent the wheel in hosting, staffing, and development. 

Working together, the teams leveraged Acquia Search to create a product and content search feature that delivers faster, more accurate results than ever before. With Acquia Search’s power and flexibility, Apex can deliver the results customers need to find the right solutions for their projects.

The Results

Immediately after launching the new websites, GEARWRENCH achieved:

  • 25% increase in sales, thanks to the site’s new “where-to-buy” feature, improved design, and performance improvements
  • 21% growth in the number of organic search new users
  • Bouncerate reduction of 52%
  • Average session duration increase of 22%
  • 61% reduction in average page load time 
  • 92% reduction in average page download time

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