A Refreshing Approach

Vernacare A Refreshing Approach

Vernacare are a global supplier of healthcare essentials with an increasing product portfolio. The coronavirus pandemic had led to increased demand for their products, and coupled with some recent acquisitions they needed a web solution that showcased their ever-growing range of products to their global partners, as well as overhauling the look and feel of the current website, which was starting to age and lacked the extensibility for adding more product ranges.


  • Construction



  • Web Design
  • Web Development

The Challenge

To help Vernacare meet those new goals, Absolute Control was proposed as a content management system that would help them to quickly and easily publish content, manage a large product inventory, and group and organise them by sub-brands and categories. Our Absolute Control CMS platform has been developed alongside the PHP-based Laravel ecosystem, one of the largest and most popular open-source web development frameworks in use today.

With a range of over 1500 products, consisting of 37 sub-brands and spread across 9 key industry specialities, one of our main challenges was desiging a site that was easy and intuitive to navigate for users from a diverse range of healthcare professions, each with unique needs.

We spent time getting to know the entire Vernacare product range, identifying key characteristics of each product, and looking for shared values and other key product criteria. Using Absolute Control allows us to define each product's particular characteristics on a granular level, meaning that we form the product model to suit Vernacare's exact requirements. A common obstacle with many off-the-shelf e-commerce and content management systems is to structure your product data to exactly what you need. This can be trivial if your inventory contains products that share a lot of the same properties. But the Vernacare product catalogue contains a wide array of healthcare products, which would continue to grow as they acquired new businesses, so the flexibility available with Absolute Control with key. With a product inventory this large, it's also important to remember that changes can happen regularly, therefore within the Absolute Control administration, we were able to supply a clean and easy-to-use interface to edit products.

The Delivery

Once we had the product inventory in place, we were able to create data relationships that allowed them to be grouped into categories, specialties, and brands. How we wanted the user journey to work was to essentially have “landing” pages for particular specialties or brands, which users would land on organically as a result of a web search. This would then provide them with an introduction to the range of products available within their particular speciality. These landing pages were not just going to be product listings, each one could be custom-built to provide a more effective introduction to the Vernacare product ranges and their application. This is where Absolute Control’s module system came into play. Most of our websites are designed and built on a modular basis. We design and develop several key modules which act as the building blocks for a page. These could be things like hero banners or content layouts and structures to common UI elements like calls to action, or the latest news articles. So this allows each page to be built, and customised individually, as well as making it easy to introduce changes over time. This modular approach was used on all of the pages on the Vernacare site to maximise flexibility and also to optimise the amount of content on each page.

The site also needed to include over 100 of Vernacare’s global distributors, again we were able to leverage Absolute Control’s flexibility to allow us to compose the distributor model in a way that made them easily categorisable, but also maintains up to date information about the distributor’s contacts and the brands that they carried. We also built a comprehensive News Hub, which allows Vernacare to upload News Stories, Blog Posts, Events, Case Studies, and White Papers all to a central hub and also tag them to relevant product categories or specialties so we can cross-promote content across various sections easily.

The front end of the Vernacare website was also given an overhaul, using elements of the existing Vernacare brand. We wanted to improve the user experience, making navigation pathways through the site easier, so with elements of the brand alongside some customised instances of common user interface elements such as product filters and navigation breadcrumbs, which were tailored to suit the Vernacare product ranges and also breaking down product info into clear data points. The site is fully searchable allowing both vendors and new customers to find products and digest key product information. The site is also used by the internal staff to find product information quicker, so we built few features to make this search easier. Although the traffic to the Vernacare website was predominantly from desktops, the site was built with a mobile-first approach to ensure that the experience for mobile users wasn’t diminished.

The Results

The challenges faced by Vernacare are the same as many businesses that have to be more innovative and competitive in order to keep up with their competitors. By keeping the site flexible, easy to use, and engaging, Vernacare is able to stay ahead of the curve.