Adding a digital commerce solution to the application stack
American Psychiatric Association Publishing (APA Publishing), a division of the American Psychiatric Association, offers authoritative, up-to-date, and affordable information geared toward psychiatrists, other mental health professionals, psychiatric residents, medical students, and the general public.
Serving as a full-service publishing house for the association and also independent publications, APA Publishing staff includes editorial, production, marketing, and business experts devoted to publishing for the field of psychiatry and mental health.
After implementing new CRM and ERP systems in 2018, APA Publishing sought a partner to build a new digital commerce site on the Kentico platform that would leverage business rules such as prices, shipping, special rates managed by the ERP system, and customer data processed by CRM to provide an attractive digital commerce experience meeting the end-users needs and wants.
The over-arching objective of the new appi.org site was to allow users of different membership levels to purchase books and journal subscriptions at prices based on their membership type.
Also, the new digital commerce solution had to allow users to log in to their profiles and purchase by using the SAML single sign-on with the CRM logins, facilitate the creation of new users and provide them with the ability to keep their information up to date.
The site needed to meet PCI compliance, handle credit card payments, and the content was intended to be loaded into the CMS via structured files upload.
The project requirements and flexibility that suited APA Publishing’s business needs made Kentico with MVC development model the ideal technology platform.
The challenge: Real-time integration with low-maintenance and self-service
The key challenges for this project were to deliver a fully integrated commerce solution to showcase products from the APA Publishing’s back office that are available for purchase and return sales back in real-time. Low-maintenance, consistent experience regardless of browser or device, and tools and skills to manage the content were other requirements.
Customized shopping experience on the Kentico platform
Kentico and the MVC approach made it straightforward to develop a responsive solution with a high level of caching that works across all devices. Kentico’s ability to write custom classes allowed i3 Digital to build a customized shopping experience while still leveraging all the benefits of the Kentico platform.
Automated product import
i3 Digital utilized the Kentico API suite and Scheduled Tasks to build an automated product import module that enabled the display of APA Publishing’s back-office product catalog in Kentico using Products, Product Variants, and Product Options features.
Widgets to create and personalize content
Delivering a suite of widgets and content personalization variants has simplified the creation of content on the website and provided APA Publishing with personalization capabilities. i3 Digital built Search Indexes for searching products based on business rules to determine the product variants that should be displayed.
Single sign-on authentication
Building on top of the existing Kentico authentication to integrate the CRM system was a challenge. However, being able to create a corresponding basic Kentico user account and map orders and addresses allowed i3 Digital to retain all the commerce functionality and ensured that they did not develop anything bespoke which would reduce Kentico’s digital marketing capabilities.
The ability to capture and target visitors
Kentico’s customer data platform (CDP), digital marketing features, and content personalization provided APA Publishing the ability to capture and target visitors signing up to the site. Consent management and data protection capabilities ensure that APA Publishing’s new commerce website is fully GDPR compliant.
The highly customizable nature of Kentico enabled i3 Digital to deliver a digital commerce solution for APA Publishing, thus meeting the key objectives of the projects:
- Integration with Salesforce as an identity provider for Single Sign-On.
- Automated Product Import Module using Kentico’s Scheduled Tasks.
- APA products displayed in Kentico using Products, Product Variants, and Product Options.
- Custom Shopping Cart and Checkout Process integrated with Naviga Global Publishing Platform (ERP system) via RESTful API
- Payment Card Tokenization and Payment Integration using Braintree.
With the event logging module, APA Publishing is able to troubleshoot potential issues and determine where the issue originated: within the website or within one of the integrated systems.
Initial results after the launch of the website
APA Publishing’s new commerce website is modern, responsive, attractive, user-friendly, and delivered on a highly secure platform. The customized commerce functionality is now able to better serve their 38,500 members, who span across 100 countries globally. In the first month of going online, the site received 46,133 unique visitors with an order value ranging from $189 to $271.45
“The project requirements included several complex challenges that Kentico and Microsoft MVC were able to meet. Kentico’s highly customizable nature made it possible to design a system that integrated with several of our external platforms and managed a diverse and robust commerce system. APA Publishing is now able to meet customers’ demand for books, subscriptions, and online products within the same platform.“
Sreeni Reddy - Director, Information Technology - American Psychiatric Association
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