Penn Veterinary Supply (Penn Vet) is a family-owned business that began in 1981. It has three locations – a home office in Pennsylvania, and distribution locations in Florida and Michigan. It is a business-to-business operation that distributes the pet care supplies and equipment found in veterinarian’s offices and establishments in the eastern third of the United States. Penn Vet conducts the majority of their business digitally and needed to provide an experience that was more intuitive and easier to use for their customers. The old website was very dated and needed a fresh look and a more modern user interface. Customers were having trouble finding products they needed and couldn’t easily access their account information — and Penn Vet couldn’t scale the business.
Penn Vet was generating 80% of new customers through its e-commerce channel, but 75% of orders were still coming in via call-in sales and sales rep-entered orders. This needed to change in order to improve business workflow. Some of those call-in orders stemmed from an inability to offer a variety of manufacturer-mandated product promotions on the old site without needing a human in the loop.
Another significant challenge was maintaining the old site. When products were updated in the ERP system, a person had to be notified to manually update the same product on the ecommerce channel, causing duplication of work and a high risk for errors.
HCL Business Partner, Asponte Technology, worked with Penn Vet through every step of the digital experience modernization project. The project started with a design-thinking workshop that defined user personas, created journey maps, outlined requirements for site functionality, and established initial user experience guidance that jumpstarted the overall project.
Design and development of the new site was completed in phases using agile development. This offered a great opportunity to focus each phase on a specific purpose or function of the website and build the site as if they were completing a story.
The Asponte and Penn Vet team started with the homepage, worked through finding products, adding them to a cart, checking out an order, and then creating the remaining value add features. Asponte leveraged out-of-the-box features in the HCL Digital Experience platform whenever possible and created custom java portlets to supplement any gaps in functionality required.
The new digital experience channel for Penn Vet is as full-service as calling a sales representative. The site offers ordering capabilities, order tracking, user preference-based notifications, equipment and replacement part management, loyalty program tracking, bill pay, user management, and product returns.
This is all running on HCL Digital Experience which has allowed Penn Vet to seamlessly bring together in one place its product catalog, with >12K categorized products, and its ERP system. This provides a personalized experience with knowledge of the customer’s purchase history and more — and one that is intuitive for customers. It also makes the product information readily available for sales representatives so they can better guide their customers through to purchase.
In addition to purchase history analytics there are many other personalization options throughout the site such as saving favorite product promotions, creating shopping lists, and choosing how products display in search results. Unica, which is integrated with DX, is the place where all product promotions are entered. It helps serve as the engine to show promotions only to eligible customers. This gives them a seamless DX experience for viewing products, seeing promotions related to them, and being prompted to complete promotions if they have items in their cart on promo, but haven’t satisfied all of the promotion criteria when they reached the shopping cart. This has helped to increase customer satisfaction, improve conversion rates and encourage return visits to the website. Penn Vet can now scale up its operation by servicing many site visitors simultaneously or asynchronously with efficiency and ease.
Thanks to the integration of Web Content Manager and their ERP system, to share content information and updates, Penn Vet is now able to publish new products to its website in minutes. In fact, with the integration between DX and their ERP, many product updates happen automatically once a product is published to the website and doesn’t require content author interaction anymore to keep the ERP and website in sync.
Additionally, content owners can use the easy drag-and-drop tools to modify product information and website look and feel and make it available to customers immediately.
The site has seen great success in the first year since the redesign. Asponte is continually developing new enhancements and functionalities based on feedback from Penn Vet and its customers.
Penn Vet also has a much greater ability to keep content on the site up-to-date with the drag-and-drop page components and can offer a greater expanse of resources for customers to leverage with blogs, marketing resources, and online forms.
To learn more about how Penn Vet is delivering sophisticated, personalized digital customer experiences for better patient care,watch the webinar.
Our customers can now order products, receive manufacturer promotions, track orders & history and easily submit returns. Thanks to our teamwork with Asponte and DX, as the backbone of our transformed site, we now have distinct edge over our competition.
Modernizing Medical Supply Distribution with Powerful Self Service
Penn Veterinary Supply is a family-owned veterinary supplies distributor founded in 1981 who serve licensed veterinary facilities in the Eastern United States. It has a catalog of 12,000+ products, 3 distribution warehouses, and more than 8,000 active customer accounts.
About the business partner
Asponte Technology provides award winning custom development and infrastructure services, software sales, cloud hosting, and value add digital solutions.