Zone

London

Stannah

Transforming the UK stairlift industry through digital


The Story

Stannah’s ambition to distil its traditional offline purchase journey into a 20-minute digital experience was made all the more urgent by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stannah is a world leader in commercial and domestic lifting products, including personal stairlifts. It’s one of the UK’s leading engineering companies and has been an independent family-run business since the 1860s. It now operates in more than 40 countries and has subsidiaries in 11 countries, including France, Italy and the USA.

Stannah wanted to launch an innovative digital product that allows customers to buy stairlifts online from the safety and convenience of their own home. By offering a digital experience, Stannah aims to grow its user base and market share by appealing to an increasingly digital-savvy customer base, especially as they are often the generation placing orders on behalf of loved ones.

Digital also gives Stannah the ability to target regions that have been traditionally more difficult to service under its existing model.


We have more quotations in the market right now than ever before. This is where Zone’s approach came into its own – with a laser focus on the customer and our existing business during an intense discovery phase, and continuous customer testing and validation through launch that allowed us to be dynamic in the changes we could make.

Sam Stannah, Head of Strategic Projects, Stannah

The Challenge

Creating a digital platform that could recreate the personal experience of an in-person sales visit.

Stannah had a traditional sales process that has been central to its success for generations. However, customers increasingly demanded an online option, which was accelerated by the new demands of 2020 during the pandemic. Sending salespeople into vulnerable customers’ homes became challenging and less desirable for both the customer and for Stannah.

Buying a stairlift was also a complex process. Stannah was looking to create a seamless, fast, customer-centric digital experience that is easy, enjoyable and empowering for customers to use while also ensuring that they have gathered enough technical information to provide an accurate quote. Furthermore, Stannah wanted to ensure that a digital product will replicate the reassurance and humanity of a salesperson to customers in crisis.

A stairlift is a big-purchase item, and unlike most comparable cost purchases, it tends to provoke a negative mindset in customers. Stannah’s customers deal with a huge emotional upheaval when buying a stairlift, because for most people, it is accepting that they will not be any physically better than they are now. Stannah wanted to normalise the purchase and emphasise the life-improving qualities of a stairlift by ensuring the online configuration experience is positive and empowering.


On the day of launch we were nervously waiting for the concept that we had spent so long ideating, researching, designing and developing to prove itself. Having sold over 750,000 stairlifts across the world using the same offline sales channel for more than 40 years, to achieve just one sale online would have been a big deal for not just our business, but also our industry. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long, and the first sale came through just 82 minutes after our launch. Since then, we have seen a healthy growth in orders through the platform that not just proves the concept of an ‘online stairlift sale’ to Stannah but is becoming a fast-growing source of profitable growth.

Sam Stannah, Head of Strategic Projects, Stannah

What We did

We conducted a four-week accelerator to diagnose the problem and build a testable prototype, identifying several areas of challenge:

  • How to reassure and empower a relatively tech-naive customer segment about the robustness of the online experience without complicating or lengthening the journey
  • How to communicate the idea of paying a deposit, which is necessary from a business perspective but can cause anxiety in a customer segment that often mistrusts interactions when they can’t talk to a person
  • Building confidence in the approach and de-risking for an untested proposition
  • Understanding Stannah’s technical landscape and data so we could proceed to delivery at pace

Before launch, we saw 25% as a target conversion – thinking that this was a realistic expectation for a relatively complex journey from a buyer’s perspective. However, we are now seeing an 55% conversion through the journey. This means we have more quotations in the market right now than ever before. This is where Zone’s approach came into its own – with a laser focus on the customer and our existing business during an intense discovery phase, and continuous customer testing and validation through launch that allowed us to be dynamic in the changes we could make.

Sam Stannah, Head of Strategic Projects, Stannah

The Results

A 12-week sprint to design, build and launch an MVP that transforms the stairlift purchase journey from weeks to 20 minutes – and received its first sale within 82 minutes of launch.

To ensure the proposition would land and deliver maximum business value, Zone kept users at the heart of everything. We conducted frequent research and testing with real prospective customers, iterating on those learnings throughout the 12-week MVP sprint.

The overall look and feel of the product had been specially designed to support vulnerable customers to feel positive and empowered. Every element of the content, including language, tone of voice and visual design, had been tested with real users to ensure the proposition is clear and helpful to a diverse customer base. The journey had been designed to enable customers to find and purchase a stairlift tailored to their needs and home.

Customers are asked specific information about their home (the type of staircase and how many turns, for example), and can then choose from over 30 upholstery options, so their stairlift’s fabric, colour and trim perfectly complements their home décor. They can then select a timeframe for an appointment with a Stannah expert whenever is convenient for them and place an order with a 10% deposit.

As a consequence of our collaborative work, Stannah transformed several areas of its business, including streamlining its pricing model, changing how the company talks about its products, and evolving its approach to content to favour customer benefit over product features.

The team at Stannah are delighted with the results. The first online sale was achieved within 82 minutes of launch, and they are seeing month-on-month volume grow at over 50% during a period of lockdown that has seen offline growth stall. What’s more, almost 80% of customers are upgrading from the base model and 71% are choosing one of Stannah’s new upholstery patterns or materials which is testament to the visual design and ease of use of the new product.

82
First online purchase within 82 minutes of launch
50%+
Month-on-month volume growth
79%
Of customers now upgrading from the base model

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Stannah

Transforming the UK stairlift industry through digital

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02036978600 [email protected]