Belron® Leverages the Yext Knowledge Engine to Localize Its Global Brand
Belron® International is the world’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement group. Founded in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century, the company now operates in 30+ countries across five continents — ensuring that all of its customers receive the highest-quality service.
“We repair or replace vehicle glass for the average consumer,” states Nitin Manhar Dhamelia, Group Omni-Search Best Practice Manager. “That is the core line of our business. We are probably the world’s largest purchaser of glass after Toyota. In addition, we partner with insurers, and we also do large amounts of fleet work. Everything we do revolves around repairing or replacing vehicle glass.”
When Dhamelia joined Belron®, the company was trialling what would essentially become less effective digital search initiatives to provide its customers with consistent, searchable information about its many locations, online. “We have 2,400 brick-and-mortar locations across the globe,” explains Dhamelia. “Then, we have a whole network of mobile vans, which can drive from a physical branch to a customer’s home or workplace, which exponentially increases our reach. On top of that, we have modular branches, which look like a smart-shop micro-store, designed to serve customers who need hardware right then and there. Trying to manage all that information across the vast range of fragmented online platforms, was a real problem.”
Belron® Creates a Consistent Online Presence Using the Yext Knowledge Engine
Belron® uses Yext Listings and Pages to manage its local online presence. The Yext Knowledge Engine enables brands like Belron® to manage the digital knowledge about their people, places, and products across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems, and the entire Knowledge Network — over 100 maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo. Pages from Yext are built according to SEO best practices for worldwide content delivery with maximum reliability and performance.
“Thanks to the Yext Knowledge Engine,” Dhamelia says, “our businesses are able to scale, manage, and also personalize their regional digital knowledge. Now, our customers can always find the right information about us online, and they can make the decision to either visit one of our branches or to have us visit their home or workplace.”
Belron® gives each marketing team at the country level the ability to make updates in the Yext Knowledge Manager. “We have a mantra of ‘nationally led, globally supported for many of our digital initiatives,” explains Dhamelia. “We have training sessions region by region for Yext. They learn that they can do things like update holiday hours en masse very easily for their local markets. It works so much better, and allows each of the businesses to proactively adapt digital location projects for the nuances of local markets. This is something that no one at a central level could ever do as effectively — not at the speed at which digital has made the world work these days.”
Market Spotlight: Carglass® Germany
In Germany, one of Belron®’s key markets, the Yext Knowledge Engine allowed for the update of tens of thousands of instances of its physical branch addresses, phone numbers, website URLs and photos as well as optimized listing data numbering a thousand brand-aligned business descriptions.
In the first six months since launch of the Carglass® Germany strand of this initiative – led by Stephan Buergel – these improvements resulted in additional search impressions for its listings in excess of a quarter of a million. The German brand saw millions of search views and Map views on Google.de for its branch listings during this period. Surprisingly, 80+% of these searches were for unbranded search terms.
In the first four months since launching its Yext Pages, Carglass® Germany saw an impressive growth in impressions of its local pages in search. In combination with a well thought out UX strategy using both Carglass® Germany and Belron® International learnings, call-to-action click through rate was well above the industry average – all of which ultimately contributed to an increase in online bookings driven by local intent.
Dhamelia sees digital knowledge as a critical component to Belron®’s search strategy. “As a business that supplies a distress purchase service,” he says, “it’s all about being in the shoes of the customer. That is our ultimate goal. Location itself lets us achieve that. We are there when they need us to be. That is what customers can expect from us.”