Lack of effective digital commerce

The Australian Red Cross needed to create a modern e-commerce experience that supported fundraising.  

Digital communication

It was time for the Australian Red Cross to move away from their legacy on-premise CMS to better communicate and engage with customers. 

Generic customer experience

Without unified data, the Australian Red Cross wasn’t creating personalized experiences that truly spoke to their customers.  

Customized Commerce

The Australian Red Cross built a custom commerce experience to guide users to convert based on individual preferences and behaviors.  

Content Management

The CMS allowed the charity to create, manage, and optimize digital content across multiple web properties. 

Data Platform

The Australian Red Cross used ODP to consolidate customer data and power their app, enabling personalized experiences and innovative strategies.


Web Experimentation

The charity introduced Web Experimentation as a way to further optimize CRO, and increase revenue and donations.  


Founded in 1914 the Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization helping millions of people in times of crisis. The charity saves lives and supports people before and after disaster strikes and works to alleviate suffering during wars and conflict. Australian Red Cross focuses on humanitarian aid and community services for local communities in Australia and the Asia Pacific. 

Prior to implementing Optimizely, the Australian Red Cross faced challenges in optimizing their digital content, streamlining online transactions, and leveraging user data effectively. 

Traditionally, Australian Red Cross generated 98% of its shopping revenue from 180 bricks-and-mortar shops selling pre-loved items. COVID lockdown arrived at the start of the discovery phase, which changed the course of what Australian Red Cross needed to achieve. With lockdown and social distancing restrictions, it became clear that making an online premier destination for the shopper was more important than ever. They needed to create a bespoke e-commerce platform, launched in time for Christmas.  

Beyond the urgent need for adaptation, the organization required an overall digital transformation - and wanted to transition from an on-premise CMS (Kentico) to a cloud-based system. They recognized the need to create an overall improved digital instance to better communicate and engage with present and future generations. Their initial focus was on fundraising, a crucial aspect for supporting various programs.

Additional challenges included integrating diverse web platforms such as Web, CMS, marketing automation, personalization engines, and CRM integrations, From the data side, the charity also needed to address siloed donor data and outdated data architecture, and manual handling of supporter communications causing inefficiencies and privacy risks.


To help define the best solution for both the stakeholders and the staff at the Red Cross, Optimizely and the client’s preferred Optimizely partner LEVO went on a discovery mission to define and point the extended Australian Red Cross family in the right direction through a series of workshops aligning priorities for the organization.  

Their initial project goals were to enhance the commerce experience for users, create, manage, and optimize digital content seamlessly across multiple web properties, and harness user data to personalize engagement. 

The platform of choice was Optimizely One – including Customized Commerce, described by the Australian Red Cross as a ''4-in-1'' e-commerce platform. Optimizely Customized Commerce enabled the charitable organization to better understand monetary contributions from visitors that span across, donations, retail purchases and other payment transfers. Australian Red Cross implemented one instance to easily manage this aspect of operations and their content with Optimizely's best-in-class CMS capabilities.


With the support and experience of LEVO, Australian Red Cross streamlined 4 separate e-commerce platforms into one, central platform. The Optimizely Customized Commerce enabled for intuitive purchasing experiences that intelligently guides the visitor. Australian Red Cross further embraced being at the forefront of digital change by adopting other standout features including Product Recommendations. The advent of AI, plus the new capability of selling digitally demonstrates the appetite, shift, and ambition of Australia Red Cross to future-proof their commitment to its community. 

The charity recognized it was essential to see and understand how a single stakeholder may have several different identities (for example, volunteer, shopper, donor) when interacting digitally with the Red Cross. The team created MyRedCross, a central unified platform for all stakeholders that meets the digital requirements of today’s and future generations of digital users. MyRedCross was built to provide customers with a single portal to interact with the website, and provide the charity’s employees with a 360-degree view of the customer on how they interact with the website.  

During their digital transformation, the team implemented ODP to fully unify customer views based on digital interactions, aggregating transactional and behavioral data. This facilitated personalized marketing automation campaigns, optimizing fundraising revenue and enhancing donor engagement. The platform's key functionality provided a deeper understanding of customer behavior, allowing the organization to suggest relevant donation amounts based on history. The organization's focus on predictive personalization using ODP, Visitor Groups, and a custom Machine Learning model exemplifies their commitment to delivering tailored recommendations to donors. 

As a charity, Australian Red Cross needs to spend every dollar wisely to maximize positive impact. With efficiency in spend in mind, they adopted Web Experimentation to further iterate on their personalization efforts.

Personalization at scale is the goal to enable data-driven experiences, automation of processes, data integrity and compliance, drive engagement and conversion, and create ‘always on’ marketing campaigns.

Brett Wilson
CIO, Australian Red Cross


Opting for a new DXP marked a significant digital culture change for the nonprofit as they invested in a new, more engaging way of interacting with its community. With the adoption of Optimizely One, including  Customized Commerce, CMS, Web Experimentation and Optimizely Data Platform (ODP), they successfully addressed issues and witnessed substantial improvements in their digital performance, while driving momentum and future innovation.   

The integration of commerce resulted in a 37% increase in average order value and an astounding 2800% increase in revenue within the same timeframe. Additionally, the Red Cross achieved an impressive 83% increase in conversion rate, showcasing the impact of their optimization efforts. And, by leveraging Optimizely's Content Cloud, the Red Cross now efficiently manages their digital content strategy, leading to a remarkable 1300% increase in users between March and September 2021. 

a store front with signs

The Australian Red Cross's innovative mobile app, powered by ODP, allowed them to track user experiences and trigger reminder communications, leading to a surge in telethon donation volumes, and a peak load of 24,000 concurrent visitors to their donations page during their telethon. Their focus on personalization resulted in sustained engagement and increased support, aligning with their core values. Australian Red Cross’s success with ODP positions the organization to implement marketing automation later, fostering revenue diversification through dynamic content, multivariate testing, and personalized experiences.

Optimizely allowed us to deploy and be operational fast. This speed helped us to create momentum internally which further accelerated the project. We are immensely proud of what we could achieve for Australian Red Cross and its humanitarians in such a short space of time and look forward to continuing to expand this story.

Cale Maxwell
COO, Levo Digital Pty Ltd

Consolidating back-end data processes in a secure infrastructure and automating a range of administrative functions such as volunteer on-boarding have sped up processes freeing manual resources to focus on other more valuable activities. The Red Cross has seen some obvious quick win benefits by moving to a platform-as-a-service, noting that four channels have now been consolidated into one.  

The speed of implementation of the entire project has made the organization see what’s possible and increased the appetite for even more participation and innovation going forward. Pleased with the success of Optimizely One, Australian Red Cross recently implemented Web Experimentation, for which they’ve already seen promising initial results.  

We keep buying more modules from Optimizely because we see the benefit pretty quickly. The experimentation is a really interesting one because it gave us immediate returns from a fairly straightforward implementation effort.

Michael Vinter
Platform Owner for Digital Experience, Australian Red Cross

This award is presented to the Optimizely customer who delivers exceptional e-commerce solutions to help their customers buy products and services seamlessly, allowing them to engage intuitively with the brand. 


This award is presented to the Optimizely customer who delivers exceptional ecommerce solutions to help their customers buy products and services seamlessly, allowing them to engage intuitively with the brand.



Charity and non-profits



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Australia, New Zealand
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