I’ve been presented with a unique scenario where a customer of mine wants to link a user journey across several websites that they own.
Each website has a unique brand and style guide which are in no way connected to one another (sometimes plain text hyperlinks are provided where necessary).
Following is an example (I’ve made up the following to protect the privacy of my customer):
Site 1 is related to letting people compare different fruit available for purchase. It also lists limited information about the various stores selling the fruit. The stores can be compared (price, location, customer satisfaction, quality of produce).
Site 2 is related to a registration company that you must sign up with in order to purchase fruit. When you sign up to you get a customer number. You cannot purchase fruit without a customer number. There is a whole business function around managing customer numbers and the history of customers.
Site 3 is related to a company that provides loans for the purchase of fruit. Only select fruit providers are allowed to offer loans to customers. There is a whole business function around managing the loans, and the fruit providers that are approved to offer loans.
Site 4 is related to helping fruit purchases decide what they can do with their fruit. There is a whole business function that creates content around what benefits certain fruit has.
Ive explained that to the customer, they don’t necessarily care (we’ve discovered this through research) that all 4 sites are different business functions and would like to register to purchase fruit, compare fruit to purchase, apply for fruit loans, and view information about what they can do with the fruit on one site - they want one seamless experience and don’t want to be redirected back and forth between different sites to complete one journey (obvious, and fair enough).
They are not willing to combine.
I believe there are certain stakeholders within each business function preventing these sites being combined into 1. They each don’t want to lose their brand (even though it is of little significance to the customer), and are worried they won’t be able to maintain each of their own sites content if it is all on one (I’ve explained this can all be achieved via a CMS with each business having access restricted to content that it is responsible for).
So what can we do? If someone lands on Site 1 (consumer compare), is redirected to site 2 to register, and then back to site 1 to compare, and then possibly to site 3 to register for a loan that is a horrible experience.
Hoping someone may have some thoughts, comments, questions or suggestions to assist...
Thanks for the answers everyone, definitely helped me in coming up with a solution.
The way we are headed is looking to present some dynamic bars at the bottom of each site that appears if you are redirected from another site within our world. I.e. we will detect the referral and present a bar that may say "Done with the registration process? Click here to continue shopping for fruit"