Fiat Group Automobiles SpA is Italy’s largest automotive manufacturer and one of the larger auto producers worldwide, with offices in every continent. Its corporate website, www.fiat.com, as well as the brand websites - Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Fiat Professional, Abarth, Maserati, Chrysler and Jeep - are available in approximately 50 languages.
After assessing the web performance of its international websites, Fiat found that end users in certain countries, such as Japan, experienced poor web performance and abandonment rates were quite high.
“The website is one of the main points of contact with our customers,” explains Daniele Vigna, Program Manager at Fiat. “In fact, it is one of the key ways we collect information and deliver our brand image. Web content delivery should maintain the same high quality standards of our brand promise”.
What’s more, with the mobile boom, more and more users navigate Fiat’s websites through smartphones or tablets. It goes without saying that mobile performance must deliver a highly satisfying web experience regardless of how users access Fiat’s sites.
In addition, Fiat’s global reach is supported by a huge network of dealers and authorized service stations located in almost every country, having access to an international web-based CRM application, called Fiat Link. In order to guarantee the same easiness of access to the Fiat Link portal throughout the network, FIAT needed to accelerate the portal’s content delivery so to improve the efficiency of all commercial activities.
Fiat needed to satisfy two requirements to reach its goal:
“Fiat’s collaboration with Akamai began in 2007 and, as the years went by, Akamai became a key partner. In the last few years, seeing advancements in multimedia technology as well as new users’ behaviors, we felt the need to devise a new visual experience strategy by improving the quality of our online content. We needed to introduce richer, multimedia content and to do so we required the assistance of the top experts of the industry: Akamai among them”, explains Vigna.
Fiat implemented therefore the Akamai Dynamic Site Accelerator (DSA) Secure solution, as it accelerates the delivery of applications and dynamic content in a proven, totally secure environment.
After implementing Akamai DSA, the performance of all Fiat websites improved dramatically. For instance, page load times on the Alfa Romeo website have been improved by 195% on average global level, and by as much as 281% in individual cases (such as India). Moreover, thanks to Akamai DSA, the page display time has improved by 66%, with a consequent reduction of the abandonment rate.
Fiat now uses the DSA solution to accelerate the content of all domains associated with www.fiat.com, as well as for the many domains associated with Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands.
In just one year, Fiat has seen more and more users access its site via mobile devices. In fact, for www.fiat.it, as many as 12% of total visits took place via a mobile device.
To ensure an optimal web experience for those mobile devices, Fiat took advantage of Akamai’s Mobile Detection and Redirect product.
Akamai’s Intelligent Platform intercepts a customer’s request for the Fiat website, detects whether the request is coming from a smartphone or tablet device and quickly directs the user to a site optimized for mobile browsing. In this way, Akamai improves the web experience for the visitors, reducing the loading time of the site while making it easier for Fiat to manage the detection of mobile devices. This allows the company to stay focused on its core business instead of worrying about mobile site performance.
Fiat’s sales and support portal, Fiat Link, supports about 21,000 users per month across 40 countries worldwide. The portal is part of a project which aim is to offer high-quality services that help Fiat retain customers through their relationship with dealers. In order to improve the performance of Fiat Link, Akamai suggested the Akamai Web Application Accelerator (WAA) solution, which allows easy access to business critical web applications. Fiat has seen WAA deliver web performance improvements of 25-30% in Europe and 300-400% in Brazil and China. “Based on these results, we plan to roll out WAA in all the countries served by Fiat Link,” explains Vigna.
Thanks to Akamai, Fiat has dramatically improved the delivery of its own brand image across the digital channel, guaranteeing a seamless navigation experience from both desktops and mobile devices, anywhere in the world. At the same time, Akamai also helped smooth sales and assistance processes, increasing the quality and the efficiency of customer service.
“With Akamai, we can offer customers worldwide a seamless online experience, allowing us to effectively export the excellence of the FIAT brand abroad. Akamai’s technology plays a major role in helping us develop our online channel. We look forward to future collaboration with this valued partner,” concludes Vigna.
Fiat S.p.A. is the major automotive manufacturer in Italy. The Group, whose global reach increased thanks to its partnership with Chrysler, designs, produces and sells cars for the mass market under the Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Fiat Professional and Abarth brands and luxury cars under the Ferrari and Maserati brands. Fiat’s portfolio has recently been expanded to include the Jeep and Chrysler brands, with models now being distributed in Europe through the FGA network, which counts more than 1,000 dealers. Fiat S.p.A. is also active in the components sector, through Magneti Marelli, Teksid and Fiat Powertrain, and the production systems sector, through Comau.