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Customer Stories

Thursday, July 27th 2023

Andersen Windows’ digital transformation with Sitecore and Vercel

How this door and window enterprise achieved a better user experience, peak site performance, and more.

Founded in 1903, Andersen Windows started out by floating log booms down the St. Croix River to build artisan window frames. Fast forward to 2023, and they’re still harnessing the latest and greatest technology to better serve their customers while earning $3.4B in annual revenue.

Their team recently transformed their monolithic tech stack to a composable one—comprised of Sitecore, Next.js, and Vercel—with the help of Sitecore agency partner Horizontal Digital. Even in the early stages of their digital transformation journey, Andersen is positively tracking efficiency and performance gains—while looking forward to continuous optimization.

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The motivation to go headless

The international window and door enterprise currently has two websites: B2B Andersen Windows and B2C Renewal by Andersen. In 2021, they worked with Horizontal Digital to improve the UX of their B2B site, and they received great user feedback and increased conversions. After that success, they were ready to take the next step in their digital transformation and increase conversion rates even more. Using Sitecore, Next.js, and Vercel, they aimed to:

  • Deliver an omnichannel experience. Providing a personalized, omnichannel experience is vital for Andersen Windows, but their monolithic platform just couldn’t keep up. By switching to Vercel, they’d be able to provide fast personalized experiences across platforms without sacrificing speed. 
  • Boost site performance. Milliseconds make millions in the world of retail, and Andersen Windows was all too aware of this fact. As such, they were eager to find a fix for their poor site performance. By delivering their sites at the edge with Vercel Edge Middleware, their team would be able to quickly and dynamically render personalized pages. 
  • Improve developer efficiency. Each of Andersen Windows’ sites used to be on a different instance of Sitecore, so they couldn’t share components across sites. They knew they’d be able to build faster and more efficiently sharing a single instance of Sitecore in a headless ecosystem. Switching to Next.js would also speed up onboarding time for any new devs they hire—accelerating time to market even more.

Getting the green light: cross-functional buy in 

Technology modernization begins with leadership, so getting their support was step one for Andersen Windows’ Enterprise Product Owner Drew Geving. While the benefits to their developers were clear—increased productivity, better site performance, and easier troubleshooting—they needed to showcase its business value to C-level team members and display that they had a plan for the transition. 

Working with Horizontal Digital helped clarify the plan: Adopt a headless ecosystem for both of Andersen Windows’ sites, and any new ones to come. They’d ensure this transition was manageable with an incremental approach. The teams transformed the Andersen Windows site first, and would later upgrade the Renewal at Andersen website. This approach also provided the data needed to further present the case for a broader digital transformation.

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Major ROI and increased conversions were just some of the benefits of a composable stack Geving highlighted to earn leadership’s support. Once those were actualized through the modernization of Andersen Window’s B2B site, leadership was as excited as the tech partners spearheading the project to expand it further.

My team at Andersen was the first to go agile, and now we’re the first to have a headless application. Now other teams—like our internal DevOps and security teams— are seeing what new capabilities are being added for the broader IT team and are gaining interest.

Drew GevingEnterprise Product Owner at Andersen Windows

The impact of Vercel, Next.js, and Sitecore 

Adopting a composable stack with Vercel was a game changer for Andersen Windows’ site performance. One key area they noticed improvements in was their Google Core Web Vitals. Rather than spend individual dev time boosting each metric, they rely on Next.js to improve them all. This helps them rank even higher on Google—bringing in new customers and revenue. 

As soon as we looked into Vercel, it was a no-brainer. These guys invented Next.js—they know what they're doing. When we learned more about that, the ROI became obvious.

Drew GevingEnterprise Product Owner at Andersen Windows

They’re able to provide an omnichannel experience to each site visitor, which has already positively impacted conversion rates and ROI. Their sites are fast enough to keep them competitive, and their confident their team can build quickly using just one Sitecore instance. Plus with the lower development costs, Andersen Windows’ devs can spend more time on feature development and creating exceptional digital experiences. 

The team’s site resiliency got a boost, too. Regardless of whether servers or downstream providers go down, the site stays cached on Vercel’s Edge Network. That peace of mind is huge for Andersen Windows’ dev team, and it’s something leadership can feel good about as well. 

Geving and team are excited to see more results from their digital transformation. “We have baseline metrics and can’t wait to see the improvements. Two years into the project, and we’re all excited to see what’s next.” 

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