Univé deploys Elastic Cloud to transform website search experience for customers


  • 20
    day reduction in developer time
  • 87%
    reduction in zero result searches
  • 50%
    reduction in search results page bounce rate

Reduced maintenance and development time

Univé saved 20 days of developer time compared to deploying the solution on-premise by moving to Elastic Cloud.

Optimized website search experience

Univé lowered zero result searches by 87% using Elastic Enterprise Search’s web crawler and search API.

Improved customer conversions and retention

Univé halved the search results bounce rate increasing customer click throughs, conversions, and retention with Elastic Enterprise Search.

Dutch insurance company boosts accuracy and relevance of website search results to better serve customers while saving time and costs with a move to Elastic Cloud.

Univé is a non-profit insurance company based in the Netherlands. Originally founded in 1794, it has grown to become one of the country’s largest insurance providers with 2,800 employees, 1.6 million customers, and 4 million policies for home, car, and other coverage.

Univé is a pioneer of insurance services with a multichannel distribution network. They have sold policies online since the late 1990s and today, its website acts as the foundation of its marketing, sales, and customer relationship strategies. Customers and prospects search the website to find information and documents, from new policies to existing insurance paperwork. Contrary to their competitors, Univé also has more than 100 shops all over the country, meaning customers can benefit from personal advice with a mediator in a Univé branded shop in every city.

Our website content is essential to the success of the business. From new product launches and special offers to blogs and notifications for customers, it’s crucial that website visitors can quickly find the information that is most relevant to them.

– Sander van Mier, Business Information Analyst, Univé

Finding a cost-efficient solution to keep up with the digital expansion

In the past, site search at Univé was powered by an on-premise search database, which stored web pages, PDF files, and other documents. But adding database content was a time consuming and manual process. As a result, new content was sometimes delayed or even lost. Maintenance was also a drain on resources. Every month in-house developers spent up to three days adding new features or resolving technical issues. As the volume of Univé’s digital content expanded, these challenges also grew and the IT department began to investigate alternatives to the on-premise solution.

“We had several criteria for a new search platform, but most of all we wanted to transfer responsibility for installation, development, and maintenance to a partner organization, reduce burdens on our in-house team, and lower costs compared to an on-premise solution,” said van Mier.

Univé sought the advice of its long-time IT partner, Atos, which recommended Elastic Enterprise Search deployed as an Elastic Cloud SaaS solution. Atos also advised using Elastic’s built-in dashboard tool for data analytics and visualization.

Increasing efficiency, lowering costs by moving to the cloud

As a result of deploying Elastic Cloud, Univé saved on average 20 days of developer time in a period of 2-3 months compared with developing and deploying the solution on-premise and reduced day-to-day maintenance time by 95%.

Univé benefits from the Elastic Cloud in two key ways. From a technical support standpoint, it no longer has to worry about the day-to-day running of an on-premise deployment. Additionally, the company can offload functional support to Atos, which works with Elastic to ensure that the latest features are available and optimized to Univé’s exact needs.

– Mark Niemeijer, Head of MS BTN Global Delivery Tooling Services, Atos

Improving search indexing and accuracy

Univé uses Elastic Enterprise Search to track and analyze website searches and then applies the data to continuously optimize search performance. For example, end users often enter search terms that are relevant to their needs but aren’t recognized by the search database. Univé can now track these ‘no result’ searches and add unrecognized search terms to its synonym library. Over time, this increases the accuracy and relevance of results and enhances the overall user experience.

The Elastic Enterprise Search web crawler also helps improve search results by indexing documents and adding page titles, descriptions, keywords, and URLs to the search database.

Using Elastic Enterprise Search, we can now index new web content without the need for manual programming. When we add new pages or subdomains, we no longer need to worry about the search configuration. The software does it automatically.

– Sander van Mier, Business Information Analyst, Univé

Univé takes advantage of Elastic’s search API to fine-tune search results and alter the weight attributed to specific search fields. Known as relevance tuning, this helps return results that most accurately match a user’s intended search.

Van Mier emphasizes the benefits of working with Atos as its technology partner, particularly due to their Elastic Cloud expertise.

We’ve worked with other suppliers in the past but didn’t get the proactive advice that we needed for our search platform. With Atos, we are always on top of search, especially when it comes to the Elastic roadmap and the availability of the latest versions and features.

– Sander van Mier, Business Information Analyst, Univé

Optimizing the website experience, driving business results

Ultimately, improved search means more efficient internal operations for Univé and a better website experience for customers.

The real impact of Elastic Enterprise Search is that website visitors can continue to use the same search terms as before, but the results are now far more accurate. For both new customer conversions and improving the experience of existing policy holders, Elastic plays a central role in delivering an optimal website experience.

– Sander van Mier, Business Information Analyst, Univé

In the first six months after the Elastic Enterprise search deployment, Univé saw an 87% reduction in ‘no results’ searches. Customers were also more engaged. Within the first month, the top five search results bounce rate almost halved. In the future, Univé expects to enhance search personalization by implementing custom tagging and adding the Elastic autocomplete feature. Van Mier and his team are also looking forward to the planned PDF document indexing functionality.

With Elastic, website search results are more accurate and relevant to our customers. In time we expect this will contribute to core business KPIs including a reduction in customer acquisition costs and an increase in lifetime customer value.

– Sander van Mier, Business Information Analyst, Univé