Case Study: HIA

Transforming HIA’s Sense of Belonging into a Digital Experience

HIA Project Snapshot

HIA (Housing Industry Association) is the largest residential building organisation in Australia with over 23,000 members. The company services a national industry for all professionals representing the whole spectrum of the industry. HIA is in the process of expanding its traditionally face-to-face membership model by expanding the digital experience and services it offers online. As digital natives become the norm, companies are looking at new digital service offerings to match expectations and create seamless digital experiences.

HIA partnered with Switch to support their digital transformation journey and to challenge their thinking about digital strategy, customer engagement and website design. Centered around key objectives of delivering hyper-personalised experiences, data at the heart of decisioning, eCommerce and marketing automation whilst being cloud first.

  • Sitecore XP 9.2
  • Sitecore Commerce 9.2
  • Sitecore XM
  • Design - Information Architecture (IA), Customer Experience (CX)
  • Digital Strategy
  • UX/UI Design
  • Cloud Hosting (Microsoft Azure PaaS)
  • Award Winning Digital Transformation
HIA Website Responsive Showcase

Customer Success

Ben Brooker, General Manager of Digital discusses how HIA is developing customer focused digital services to transform it's membership model, drive innovation and restructure the way they do business now and into the future.


Create a cohesive digital experience to guide new and existing members through the HIA journey

HIA’s Information Architecture had evolved organically and disparity over years resulting in a confused digital UX and a lack of personalised and targeted customer experience. Additionally, the association also comprises 15+ internal business units all with digital requirements that support members on the website.

HIA's member base is increasingly digitally mature; the next generation of customers place importance on online tools and services. Whereas, existing loyal members rely on picking up the phone and calling their local HIA representative. The obstacle faced was to transform HIA, guide individuals through this journey, whilst not alienating the existing or new.

Visit the HIA website

Segmentation, Personas and Information Architecture Work for HIA Exploring and understanding the Segments and Personas that HIA serve.

Selection of mobile designs generated for HIA Selection of mobile designs generated for HIA

Capture and translate rich customer insights into a great user experience using Sitecore

Helping HIA understand how digital could support the evolution of their membership model through the improvement of the overall digital experience - we immersed ourselves within the business, facilitated several workshops with HIA; built a deeper understanding of their vision, goals and digital landscape. We then evaluated customers' perceptions and their understanding of HIA using qualitative surveys.

Armed with insights and knowledge, we formulated a digital strategy centered around four key transformation goals - Raise and capitalise on awareness, Increase sense of belonging, grow revenue and build an efficient digital operating model.

The Sitecore XP solution (including Commerce (XC), XM and personalisation) implemented enabled scalable content management, rich data insights, automation and personalised digital experiences enabling HIA to realise digital future.

Visit the HIA website

HIA’s digital transformation journey also included an evolution of their onboarding and membership model, an overhaul of their e-commerce platform and CPD structure and the creation of an engaging and informative digital resource library.

  • Digital Resource Library

    Created a DRL with interactive and categorised content that engages customers on popular topics and encourages conversion to become a full HIA member.

  • Events, Awards & Training

    Created a cohesive platform with a curated brand story displaying content from all business units through a simple, single tool helping customers navigate between the events, training and award portals.

  • Commerce Solution

    Created a simple and integrated commerce platform across all HIA digital assets, supporting cross and upsell opportunities as a result of the improved DRL. The solution enables access to resources that were previously only available through phone queries.

  • CPD

    Revamped HIA’s content strategy to allow members to easily track CPD points earned, generate reports and view all CPD content. This allows for a streamlined experience so builders and other professionals can maintain their license.

  • Manage Employees

    Simplified user management UX that supports HIA’s membership structure. Created a simple fee structure and a single point of contact for account management. Included processes to add, edit and remove employees in the central account.

  • Onboarding

    Created a list component prompting users to explore the website and learn about the features available. Added additional steps allowing users to choose their interests, to create a more personalised experience.

  • Tradepass

    Modernise and reimplement core features of HIA’s existing Tradepass platform, a ‘Contractor Management’ Solution that assists builders and contractors to manage administrative tasks.


Innovative led solutions to engage existing customers and further grow new market share.

The overall impact of the project was an improved customer experience, providing not just excellent digital service but a great customer experience in its entirety. The development of new workflows, systems and useful online tools enabling self-driven problem solving (i.e. intuitive self-help desk/FAQs), created avenues for customers to interact with HIA outside of business hours. This resulted in reduced call centre traffic and reliance on human resources, an increase in loyalty, the opportunity to focus on growing the customer base, lower overheads and manual processes by automating certain tasks, and increased business efficiencies.

HIA is achieving its digital acceleration towards a new hyper-personalised digital future for members. HIA's customer centric business proposition and solution evolution including the addition of conversational AI powered by Cognigy's Cognigy.AI platform is propelling them and their members into a new digital era.

Key Stats

  • 10% increase in membership sign-ups
  • 40% increase in customer goal completions
  • 800% increase in upselling and cross-selling
  • 370% increase in new business and upselling leads
  • 10% fall in customer service calls

Award Winning Digital Experience

“When digital transformation is involved from an organisation, as long standing and traditional as ours, it wasn't an easy decision. We went through a rigorous tender process. We ended up selecting Switch because they were absolutely the stand-out.

Switch were able to articulate the strategy and articulate delivery, and able to articulate how they've taken other businesses through this journey.

It wasn't just about the technical know-how in the background, but they had the account management structures up front to be able to give us that reassurance that we’re making the right decision.”

Ben Brooker, General Manager, Digital, HIA
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The Challenge

HIA was looking for innovative ways to engage with their existing customers and further grow new market share. The digital strategy was a key driver to deepen the connection with HIA and their member base through relevant and targeted digitisation, services, benefits and communication.

HIA’s objectives were broken down into three customer goals:

  • Increase Sense of Belonging & Loyalty - deepen the connection that existing members and non-members have with HIA as a “trusted advisor” they can rely on for advice and not just another service provider.
  • Build an Efficient Digital Operating Model - create a platform where HIA customers are able to self-service their queries online via the website.
  • Raise and Capitalise on Awareness - help users understand HIA’s value proposition, who they stand for, and reveal the full product offering and breadth of features, increasing both retention and transactional revenue.

The Solution

The overarching theme was to create the foundations and guidelines to enable HIA to realise their digital future. The solution to achieve HIA’s goals consisted of:

  • A foundation site with a plethora of reusable, flexible components
  • A content strategy and taxonomy which allows content editors to surface relevant content as well as the ability to cross and up-sell across all areas
  • A backlog of concepts and ideas that can be built upon to meet HIA‘s objectives for the years to come
  • A digital style guide to govern a consistent user experience across any digital platforms and enhancements made in future iterations
  • A platform where HIA are able to sell ad space to sponsors and personalise content based on member profiles
  • A consolidated database for all digital customer data that shares data across all sites, personalisation and analytical reporting

The Digital Strategy aims to make HIA more aligned and proactive in its digital approach by establishing foundations and enabling HIA’s digital team to self-sustain and craft usable, personable digital experiences for their customers.

The Result

Built into the strategy, HIA are able to better leverage customer data and insights in order to keep an eye on trends. Continually optimising the approach and experience, with the opportunity to pivot if the need arises.

The customer data also supports the creation of a cohesive digital brand and experience; creating personalised, targeted content for their users as the industry evolves resulting in greater customer loyalty and future-proofing the business.

Understanding The Customer

To commence our partnership and digital transformation with HIA, we had to gain a better understanding of their customers. To achieve this, we undertook a series of workshops, research and customer interviews, resulting in a greater understanding of how HIA facilitate and serve their customers in the residential building industry.

Segmentation, Personas and Information Architecture Work for HIA


The Challenge

To create a Digital Resource Library (DRL) to sort the wealth of information available on the site. The users must be able to easily navigate through the library to find resources that engage them on popular topics and encourage them to join as full HIA members.

With an improved DRL comes the need to improve the integrated commerce platform to support customers purchasing these resources as a result of these digital assets being readily and easily accessible.

The Solution

The digital resource library was designed with content filters and categories in order to create a more seamless and intuitive user experience. The DRL consists of a combination of free and paid content and links to previously siloed content. If a site user is viewing a training course inside the DRL for example, they are also shown related content, such as articles and events.

Working across these digital assets is the integrated commerce platform. Supporting the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell content from increased site traffic as a result of the improved DRL. The new commerce solution enables digital access to a number of resources that were previously only available through a customer service phone query.

The Result

The new Digital Resource Library positions HIA as a solutions provider and an industry leader by showcasing a depth of knowledge that spans across a multitude of specialities and fields of expertise.

The commerce solution complements the Digital Resource library by providing a platform that supports cross and upsell opportunities within the HIA experience.

The DRL and commerce solution work alongside each other in converting HIA to embrace digital-first thinking and reinforces that HIA is a knowledgeable asset across the residential building industry.

Digital Brand Application

To realise the digital transformation, our UX & Design team explored multiple ways of applying and refreshing HIA’s brand for digital. Our UX & Design team produced a series of moodboards and concepts before landing on one approach, where we then generated a Digital Style Guide to govern and maintain the brand for the future roadmap.

Digital style guide, colour exploration and wireframes for HIA


The Challenge

Building a commerce solution was an integral part of the core HIA experience, where customers purchase products within the context of consuming information around their goals. HIA commerce products include templates, safety products and purchasing physical contracts.

The challenge was to build a new integrated custom commerce solution to create a more seamless transaction process to grow revenue and facilitate return customers. The commerce platform needed to be completely rebuilt and needed to integrate with HIA’s backend application to bring products into the commerce solution and push transaction details back for a consistent order fulfilment process.

Another feature that presented a unique challenge was HIA’s Tradepass platform which was an existing ‘Contractor Management’ Solution that assists builders and contractors to manage administrative tasks. The feature required a full reimplementation of its core functionalities, and additional business rules were added to ensure a better user experience and a seamless integration with the HIA's CRM, leveraged by their custom in-house built middleware.

The Solution

HIA’s new Sitecore XP solution (including Commerce (XC) and personalisation) is a single platform across B2B, B2E and B2C that connects all data and delivers scalable content management, rich data insights, automation and personalised digital experiences.

Sitecore’s commerce solution supports omnichannel experience and creates these customer experiences with headless architecture and unique fulfilment strategies across all interfaces.

The personalisation capabilities enabled tailored experiences as required by new business rules which set up variables across membership status, pricing and content.

The Result

A simple and integrated platform that works across HIA’s digital assets and supports the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell content online, enabling access to a number of resources that were previously only delivered in-store or through a customer service phone query.

3rd Party System Integrations

HIA utilise multiple platforms to manage their wide varitey of services, such as regular Events, annual Awards, registering Training Courses and more. Our Technical team worked closely with HIA’s IT department to collaborate on creating at platform which integrated seamlessly with Sitecore. Allowing for automated imports which streamlined content population and workflows for HIA.

Screenshots of systems we integrated with


The Challenge

HIA’s program of work was split up into three phases in order to design a successful digital transformation roadmap and to understand how we could add value through our capabilities and Sitecore technologies.

The three phases included:

  1. Discovery & Strategy - This phase allowed a deep dive to learn about HIA, their customers, understanding their pain points, identifying opportunities for improvement to build out a tailored strategy.
  2. Enablement - Modernising existing technology while adding value through the introduction of new capabilities such as Sitecore Commerce, advanced tracking and personalisation features.
  3. Enhancement - Continuous optimisation, delivering on new online functionalities and the integration of solutions between the backend systems and the new HIA website.

In addition to this HIA were also in the process of their own internal project overhauling their CRM system. Switch and HIA worked together to retest and refactor all the integration points between the new website and the interfaces with their new CRM system, ensuring that the features previously delivered would continue to work whilst working on the implementation of their digital transformation roadmap.

The Solution

In order to deliver on the multi-faceted HIA project, it was imperative to be proactive in our approach whilst prioritising what was important in a collaborative and engaging way.

Our multidisciplinary team worked together using an action priority matrix where “quick wins” were often combined with larger pieces of work in order to continuously deliver enhancements across various areas of the solution.

To establish clear communication and transparency across the teams and all stakeholders a number of ceremonies were executed:

  • Design and Build Showcases
  • Backlog Grooming Sessions
  • Sprint Planning
  • Steer Co Meetings
  • Regular Standups

Continuous engagement with all stakeholders guaranteed maximum flexibility, the ability to address changes in an agile fashion and ensured open and informed discussions.

The Result

The new HIA website and successful digital transformation is a result of collaborative and proactive digital teams who regularly engage in open dialogue and use advanced program management methodologies to deliver an award-winning customer experience.

Project Governance

To create and maintain project governance for a large member-oriented organisation such as HIA, Switch maintained regular stream of communication through various ceremonies at multiple levels. Including regular project reporting, steering committee and executive summaries and multiple WIP meetings. This enabled our project team to easily report in to senior, executive stakeholders.

Diagrams representing how we managed a roadmap and backlog with HIA

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