November 16, 2015, 3:24 PM

The American Academy of Pediatrics cures its e-commerce site

After cutting the number of clicks to purchase to three from 17, the AAP’s online sales surged 20%.

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A relaunched e-commerce site has cured some online ills at the American Academy of Pediatrics, a professional organization with more than 64,000 members.

The AAP’s e-commerce site, shop.AAP.org, relaunched in May 2015, and has already led to a 20% year-over-year increase in online revenue for the association’s fiscal first quarter, Robert Katchen, director of information technology, said at a conference last week.

The relaunched site has several new features and more personalized content, enabling the AAP to more efficiently distribute its e-books, manuals and other resources to pediatric physicians and related healthcare specialists and medical students, Katchen said during a presentation at Episerver Ascend, a conference hosted by e-commerce and content management technology provider Episerver.

But one improvement that stands out, he added, is the ability to find and purchase a product within three clicks, down from the 17 that physicians had struggled through under the AAP’s prior e-commerce site. Katchen said he often wondered how physicians and other customers ever completed their buying on the site. “17 clicks—I don’t know how they ever did it,” he said.

Indeed, many visits to the old site resulted in abandoned web pages and lost sales, he added.

The AAP relaunched Shop.AAP.org on Episerver Digital Experience Cloud, software developed on Microsoft .Net technology. The site, designed and built with web development firm Adage Technologies, was built with responsive design, which enables content to automatically render properly on any mobile device using one codebase. The site also uses EpiserverFind, an add-on software module that enables website users to search for content among organized groups of products.

The EPiServer e-commerce software integrates well with the AAP’s Abila net Forum association management software from Abila Inc. for managing such operations as customer records, fundraising events and financial accounting, Katchen said. It also integrates with a product information management system from In River, which helps to keep the AAP’s product descriptions accurate and up-to-date across its website and marketing campaigns.

The combination of technology behind the new e-commerce site has made it possible for the AAP to now provide consistent product information across its web and mobile web pages and marketing campaigns, while also offering a single, persistent shopping cart across all its product categories Katchen said. Under the old side, buyers had to use a separate shopping cart for each product category. Now Oonline customers—whether on a desktop or mobile device—can order products across multiple categories—including e-books, paperbacks, online courses and event tickets—and pay for them in a single cart.

The improved e-commerce site has resulted in several year-over-year improvements in performance for the quarter ended Sept. 30, including the following increases: the number of site visitors, up 353%; session time, up 304%, number of page views, up 400%. The site’s bounce rate, meanwhile, is down 8%.

Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer. Follow B2BecNews editor Paul Demery on Twitter @Demery.

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