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MoneySavingExpert

xDesign increases user engagement on mobile by 300% with AWS Cognito

Summary

MoneySavingExpert (or MSE) is renowned for its consumer advocacy, top-tier financial guides, and its support for over 17 million UK households. With over 10 million Monthly Active Users (MAU), MoneySavingExpert.com has historically served as the gateway to the company’s product offerings, bolstering its nationwide brand recognition. The website hosts various 'Clubs’ - products in the MSE estate like Credit Club (a credit score checker) and Cheap Energy Club (an energy comparison site) that foster deeper engagement with users by providing them with valuable financial information. MSE approached xDesign with a new challenge: to transform its product suite into a connected experience centred around an editorial membership model. This transformation would entail the launch of a cross-platform mobile app and the consolidation of its product offerings. The new digital stream would provide the foundation for MSE’s editorial membership model, enabling the company to engage with users by offering an unprecedented level of personalisation through novel new channels - such as personalised in-app push notifications tailored to users. To measure success, MSE set a target of achieving 1 million downloads and 300,000 MAU for the new stream within its first year of launch, while also improving user engagement metrics compared to its MoneySavingExpert.com offering. All of these targets were met by early Q4 of Year 1.

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The challenge | Balancing growth and user experience

MSE possessed vast untapped growth potential. Its highly engaged user base was willing to invest time in solving financial challenges, yet the platform did not offer streamlined journeys for problem-solving. xDesign’s mission was to revolutionise its user engagement strategies, creating new avenues for users to interact with the company’s products and achieve their financial goals. A significant challenge for MSE was the gradual expansion of its product portfolio in response to market demands. While this approach had yielded considerable success, amassing 7 million club users, it had also resulted in a complex technical infrastructure and left users with multiple login credentials across its platforms. The xDesign’s team’s primary objective was to address this growth challenge, and one of its key solutions was to provide a unified experience. The introduction of a new mobile app served as the foundation for merging the logged-in experience for MSE’s users, consolidating over 7 million users into a single, cohesive "MyMSE" account experience. This unification marked a significant step forward in enhancing user engagement and streamlining the platform’s financial journeys.

The solution | Unifying MSE’s user journey for success

xDesign’s initial focus was to unify logins across the MSE product suite with the overarching goals of increasing logged-in sessions, expanding the total addressable market, and seamlessly connecting all of MSE's club users with its MoneySavingExpert.com offering. To achieve this, the xDesign team devised a strategy to provide each user with a single login credential for access to all MSE products. The first pivotal step involved implementing a unified account service within AWS Cognito. This unified service served as the backbone for enabling a single sign-in experience, simplifying user access to all MSE products with a single login credential. The key to this integration was the seamless coordination of AWS Cognito and Lambda triggers. With every user login, a Lambda function triggered a series of actions. This process included sending the user's email and token to another service and utilising the output from that service. In essence, this orchestration allowed for the smooth transition of users from various disparate services into the new unified account service. It was a sophisticated yet behind-the-scenes mechanism that significantly improved the user experience by eliminating the need for multiple login credentials and streamlining the access process across MSE products. The new single sign-on service also encompassed the creation of an account deletion mechanism to ensure compliance with GDPR and other regulatory requirements. xDesign deployed deletion Lambdas to guarantee the removal of personal information from all downstream services

The results | 300% increase in user engagement on mobile

The outcome of these efforts was the establishment of a cohesive login service spanning the entirety of MSE, effectively uniting its entire club user base onto a single platform, bolstered by the company’s newly launched mobile app. The launch of the unified account platform in June marked a major milestone, resulting in the migration of over 3 million users to this new platform. This migration had a ripple effect, notably boosting the performance of other product centres, with the newly introduced MSE app experiencing a 30% surge in Monthly Active Users within its first month post-launch. This strategic initiative paved the way for further advancements, as it provided a core platform for the entire MSE product ecosystem. This foundational shift enabled MSE to enhance its data strategy significantly by integrating user data from multiple products. The key benefit was a vastly improved user journey, exemplified by a 300% increase in user engagement within the new mobile app. This surge in engagement was made possible by the enhanced personalisation driven by user data gathered from previously disconnected clubs. Moreover, the creation of a central user service opened doors for the introduction of new MSE products to capitalise on this unified service. This not only laid the groundwork for strategic growth but also contributed to the enhancement of the MSE’s overall technology infrastructure.

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