With more than 300 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Bowlero Corporation is the largest owner and operator of bowling centers in the world and spans four different brands - Bowlero, Bowlmor, AMF and Brunswick Zone. The company's U.S. centers represent 7% of the country's 4,200 commercial bowling centers.
While Bowlero brands were creating industry-leading experiences at the center level, their online presence wasn’t keeping up with the standards and expectations of today’s consumers. The sites’ overall look-and-feel was outdated and lacked consistent, intuitive design elements, making it difficult for users to find what they were looking for.
Beyond visual elements, the entire online experience was gate-kept through a poorly functioning location tool, which prevented customers from easily accessing relevant information if they entered through one of the sites’ non-localized pages—like the homepage or parties page.
Issues were most noticeable in Bowlero’s online booking tool—which was neither responsive nor user-centric. And complicating things further, each site’s e-commerce flow lived in a separate environment altogether, meaning that in addition to managing the four brand sites, Bowlero staffers also had to manage four separate e-commerce environments, causing issues with content updates and maintenance. And because none of the sites used a CMS, Bowlero relied heavily on their web agency partners for small updates including copy changes—updates could only be pushed weekly and were often delayed. When Bowlero Corporation reached a tipping point with the ongoing limitations of their websites, they decided to overhaul their entire digital experience.
Bowlero’s primary challenge was to support all 300+ centers at the brand and local levels across all lines of business while accommodating the unique features for each center, yet still sharing components across brands. The company also wanted to boost e-commerce conversions and create a way that they could manage thousands of specials, promotions and alerts for all their centers—from a single area.
The same was true for campaign landing pages and microsites. It was important for Bowlero to have the ability to create and support new pages on the same platform as a means to eliminate microsites and consolidate their online presence. The intent was to increase performance through SEO and improve the quality and consistency of analytics to better measure customer engagement.
With multiple brands across markets, Bowlero wanted to take advantage of cross-promotion opportunities—specifically, driving customers to another local brand center in the event that their time and date preferences proved unavailable at their first choice. But the company’s disjointed web platforms, tedious content updates, and unintuitive booking experience kept visitors from easily getting the info they needed, with an 82% drop-off rate due to pricing information requiring a name and email address to view.
After gathering feedback from customer reviews, online focus groups, customer surveys, center-level associates, media insights, primary research, and A/B testing, Bowlero worked with Avantia to transform its brand websites. The teams made changes to the user flow and content, and conducted user tests for key areas of the site, like the online booking tool. Avantia and Bowlero’s IT teams worked together to integrate the backend systems that supported the websites’ transactional elements for event booking and leagues.
Bowlero’s IT and marketing teams collaborated on crafting the site’s new user experience, creating solutions that overcame technical constraints in supporting systems. Avantia worked directly with third-party vendors for credit card processing, mail marketing and retargeting, center data feeds, analytics and live chat integrations to fully round out all features identified in Bowlero’s site redesign requirements.
Avantia also trained Bowlero’s content editors on how to use the sites’ new custom functionality to manage content. Since many of Bowlero’s content editors already had experience in using Drupal from the previous sites, the teams were able to have content editors working productively in the new sites without having to make wholesale changes to internal processes that might come with an entirely new system with new conventions and ways of working.
The Acquia Cloud Platform and Content Hub empowered content editors to become more nimble, allowing them to manage all content in one instance across all brands from this new implementation of the brand sites.
Bowlero’s customers are clearly taking notice of the site changes, as evidenced by their increased use of the site, improved online booking conversion rates, lead generation and overall improved customer experience. In the five months since the site launch, metrics show:
- A 79% increase in conversion rate year-over-year
- An increase of 27% in online reservation volume year-over-year
- An increase of 33% in online booking revenue
- 39% growth in revenue per event when comparing package events booked online to a la carte events booked online
- Because pricing information is readily available, the drop-off rate has decreased from 82% to 28%
- The company’s time-to-market has decreased exponentially; content updates that previously took weeks now occur in a matter of seconds
- Organic site traffic has seen a 20% increase year-over-year in Q1-Q2 traffic
- Mobile traffic has increased by about 10% across all sites