Aspen Case Study Logo

A DIGITAL STRATEGY TO REFLECT A BRAND'S CORE VALUES

How Guidance redesigned and re-platformed the Aspen Medical Products site for direct ecommerce sales to health care providers.
5 minute read

Who Should Read This?

This case study will be especially relevant for those interested in the following topics:

  • B2B ECOMMERCE
  • Product Taxonomy
  • Ecommerce Re-platforming
  • Healthcare
  • Customer Education
  • Multi-Language UX Design
  • Site Redesign
  • Magento Cloud
  • Third-Party Technology Integrations

THE CHALLENGE

Aspen looked to Guidance for help implementing their vision for the future – to go beyond a content-only website and a direct phone ordering sales system, to a new and robust B2B ecommerce experience, focused on the customer journey, with better visitor engagement because of its contemporary design and reimagined product presentations.

THE BRAND

Delivering breakthrough designs and breaking the mold in spinal bracing has been Aspen's inspiration for 25 years. As an important partner in a patient’s recovery, they understand the critical nature of what they do. They invest significantly in research and development, and innovations are at the heart of the Aspen experience. They pride themselves on serving and leading the spinal bracing industry with products that improve patient outcomes and advance the standard of care.

PARTNERS IN ECOMMERCE SUCCESS

For more than two decades, Aspen Medical Products has been at the forefront of spinal bracing solutions for therapeutic motion restriction. They find tremendous fulfillment in their work, creating products that "make a real difference in people's lives," and describe the company and its employees as "a team of originals who are inspired by doing things worth doing."

Guidance experienced this commitment and drive firsthand as we worked with Aspen's leadership employees across the organization, including their marketing and IT departments. As our engagement began, the company was in the midst of a rebranding process that would reflect the quality of its transformative products and their investment in continuous innovation.

One of the goals of Guidance's work with Aspen was to translate that rebranding from offline materials to the online space. Redesigning the website also meant reorganizing and reimagining the valuable content they had available. And because Aspen recognized the critical importance of ecommerce to accelerate their growth, they enlisted Guidance to help them sell their products online to their B2B audience – including doctors, hospitals, and emergency service care providers.

EXPANDING A REBRANDING

Guidance's brand discovery took Aspen's existing website and collateral materials under consideration but paid its closest attention to the rebranding efforts that were already underway. Aspen's primary audience is healthcare providers, so it was important to maintain the feel of an industry website. At the same time, patients also come to the Aspen website to research product options that they can later discuss with their healthcare providers.

From an emotional, brand connection standpoint, these two audiences have very different needs. Aspen's site needed to be sufficiently modern and professional, to demonstrate their superior medical products to a discriminating industry audience. It also needed to be welcoming and supportive for the patient and caregiver audience. As sophisticated consumers with access to more information than ever before, people perform their own research – for themselves or their loved ones – to find the right healthcare solutions.

Guidance solves for both audiences by emphasizing large photography and video to create an approachable and friendly site. With established brand colors, fonts, and button styles, we evolved the color palette and defined a hierarchy for a visual language to communicate a seamless user experience for both audiences.

Aspen Case Study
Aspen Case Study

The user interface is approachable and polished, catering to the expectations and needs of both of Aspen’s target demographics.

DEFINING THE USER JOURNEYS

When two audiences each have overlapping goals, the user journeys you create for them will often cross paths. But establishing the signposts for both audiences at the start of their journeys is key, to continue the metaphor.

During the project timeline, Aspen's marketing department was working to group their information and solutions into three "Application" categories: Acute Restriction, Pain Therapy, and Active Influence. These three categories became the centerpieces of the website, and Guidance activates the user journeys by encouraging site visitors to immediately self-select as a "Healthcare Provider" or as a "Patient or Caregiver."

Those self-selections bring the respective audiences to sub-landing pages speaking directly to each audience. The goal of each page is the same: to direct the audience into the product selection area of the site. The means of doing it is different. For patients and caregivers, fewer options are presented, and are shown with lifestyle images, diagnostic headlines, and explanatory text. For healthcare providers, more categories are presented, with functional headlines, no explanatory text, and with technical drawings of products instead of lifestyle images. Yet both lead to the same product area.

Aspen - Design

B2C BEST PRACTICES ON A B2B SITE

Because Aspen's new website functions as an ecommerce website, Guidance treats the pages for each Aspen product – all B2B products, as they are only sold directly to healthcare providers – as we would on a B2C site, with a product detail page (PDP). The PDPs are places where the user journeys for both audiences converge, so Guidance ensures that both audiences have clearly indicated means to continue on their separate paths.

Because both audiences converge on the PDPs, each PDP features both lifestyle imagery and close-up images of the products themselves. Downloadable documents are generally designed for the professional audience but are suitable reading for the informed consumer, and each page has FAQ sections specific to each audience.

The products themselves are also classified in a revamped product taxonomy into one of the three Application categories. Clicking from an Application page such as "Pain Therapy" takes the visitor straight to a subset of products within their website specific to that Application.

Aspen - PDP -Case Study
Aspen - PDP - Case Study

PDPs feature a wealth of product-specific content for both B2C and B2B audiences.

IMPROVED EDUCATIONAL CONTENT SURFACING

Individual PDPs on Aspen's website each contain a variety of downloads. But if that's the only place where you could find educational information about Aspen's products, it would make for a difficult user experience – regardless of the audience. Working with Aspen to ensure that their site would be a source of education as well as a B2B ecommerce site, Guidance gathers and organizes product resources and brace modification information into one distinct section of the site.

One of Aspen's strongest assets is its collection of videos, created for both audiences. To take full advantage of their YouTube channel and the dozens of videos they've uploaded to it, Guidance designed a video landing page and provided caption titling that corresponds with the category segmentations in their products section.

Aspen Educational - Case Study

ACCOMMODATING MULTIPLE LANGUAGES

Among the unique UX challenges for this project was the need for page templates to natively accommodate multiple languages. One of those languages is German, which in some cases features words and phrases that are much longer than their English counterparts. The other language is Chinese, which generally presented the opposite scenario – text lengths shorter than the English version. This is another area of the project where Guidance's close collaboration with multiple teams at Aspen leads to a successful implementation of the site in all three languages.

Aspen Multi-language - Case Study
Aspen Multi-language - Case Study

The Aspen homepage shown here in German, and in Chinese languages.

MIGRATING TO MAGENTO COMMERCE CLOUD

In addition to rebranding Aspen's web presence and rearchitecting the user experience and user interface design, Guidance performed a re-platforming for Aspen. Understanding the need to implement an ecommerce solution to realize their goals for the future, Aspen selected the Magento Commerce B2B Cloud platform. They were converting from a content-only Joomla environment, and the Guidance team collaborated closely with Aspen's IT department to bring the re-platforming to fruition. Aspen's marketing department was also involved in the process, as part of the challenge was to ensure the implementation also addressed UX concerns around the volume of assets they had, and how to effectively serve up that content.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

"Guidance has transformed our business by bringing digital B2B into the forefront of our customer experience."
- Jen Maas, Aspen Medical

BALANCING B2B AND B2C VISITOR NEEDS

From the public facing perspective, Aspen's website needs to address a B2C audience researching solutions for themselves or loved ones. However, since only B2B clients can place orders for Aspen's products, the ecommerce functionality – including pricing, order quantities, payment methods, and shipping options – should only be accessible to logged-in B2B clients. Guidance uses a combination of extensions and custom development solutions to adapt the Magento implementation for this purpose. This customization also includes enhancements to client management features, including bulk ordering and pricing tiers; credit limits for clients; and access for multiple users ordering on behalf of a single client.

TRANSITIONING CLIENTS TO ONLINE ORDERING

Because Aspen's client base is B2B – including doctors, hospital systems, and emergency care service providers – access to ordering functionality needs to be limited to the healthcare provider audience. In order to achieve a fully automated, frictionless purchase process, Guidance worked closely with Aspen to establish the workflow by which authorized users could request a login ID, access their order history online, and place new orders. Additionally, Aspen's own sales representatives now have the ability to place orders for their clients through the Magento platform, leading to greater effectiveness and efficiency.

Aspen Case Study

IMPLEMENTING ADDITIONAL ECOMMERCE SOLUTIONS

Because Aspen didn't previously have an ecommerce platform, Guidance needed to bring additional technology services into the mix to make the system complete. This included implementing Authorize.net for their payment gateway; ShipperHQ for their shipping rate management software; and Avalara for automated tax compliance. All three of these services have existing integrations with Magento, to create a complete ecommerce solution.

However, there was one element to Aspen's integration that didn't already have a solution for connecting with Magento. Aspen uses IQMS as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, which performs critical functions related to their business operations and manufacturing. With the functionality and flexibility of Magento's code deployment tools, Guidance developed a custom Magento API integration for Aspen.

Aspen Magento - Case Study

ENABLING SALES TEAM SUCCESS

As a result of this strategic ongoing partnership, Aspen now has an ecommerce platform with two clear customer journeys; three distinct Application categories (Acute Restriction, Pain Therapy, and Active Influence); and a newly established taxonomy to organize the products themselves. This enables the Aspen sales team to use the website as a robust product catalog for its customers. They can also add pricing tiers, flexible payment terms, and other elements into the ecommerce system to create a customized experience for their clients – who can handle their own ordering at any time that's convenient for them, instead of relying on the asynchronous direct phone ordering systems of the past. It's a complete analog to digital transformation of their sales process, and it's just the start of a remarkable partnership.

Results

Guidance delivered a redesign and first-of-its-kind re-platforming for a brand that prides itself on innovating its way to better outcomes. Partnering with Aspen's marketing and IT departments throughout the project led to an enthusiastic adoption of the new ecommerce system by their client base and sales team.

Aspen Stat Case Study one-stat-image-mobile

Since the launch of the site, Aspen has been able to transition half of their offline sales to their online B2B sales channel.

Summary

Aspen partnered with Guidance for a multi-track project to accelerate their growth as a B2B provider of high-quality spinal bracing solutions. The creative track translated an in-progress rebranding strategy into a completely redesigned website. The new site also drew from B2C best practices for educational content and product taxonomies.

Concurrently, Guidance performed a re-platforming from Joomla to Magento's Commerce Cloud. Collaborating with Aspen's sophisticated IT team, Guidance implemented a streamlined web-based order process and helped improve the efficiency of Aspen's sales teams.

The result is a professional, modern, clean site, undergirded by solid and scalable ecommerce technology. It's a digital evolution that reflects Aspen's culture and vision.

SERVICES

  • UI Design
  • User Experience Strategy
  • Visual Design Strategy
  • Onsite Training
  • UX Multi-language Adjustments
  • Strategic Ongoing Partnership

TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

  • Magento Commerce Cloud
  • Magento Commerce B2B
  • Avalara Tax Automation
  • Shipper HQ
  • ERP Custom Integrations - IQMS
  • Authorize.net

Find out how Guidance can create solutions for you!

CONTACT GUIDANCE