Caring at its most rewarding

We are Discounts Caring at its most rewarding

We Are Discounts (previously Brinc Ltd) offers discounts to health service employees.

Launched in 2001, Health Service Discounts (previously NHS Discounts) is now the largest NHS employee benefits provider, currently boasting a user base of over 1 million and attracting more than 25,000 new members every month. We Are Discounts maintain close partnerships with more than 400 NHS organisations to bring NHS staff discounts with 170 selected brand partnerships, including Apple, Amazon, Virgin Holidays, EE and many more.

We Are Discounts decided their current website didn’t give them the freedom to continuously make improvements to the site and make changes to allow them to react to their increasing membership. It was also decided that the site needed to evolve, both functionally and visually, to meet the needs of a growing mobile user base, and needed to be brought into line with other competitors in the affiliate marketing sector. The new site would also need to continue to improve member acquisition and provide a low-friction user experience for users looking to redeem offers. We Are Discounts were also looking for a solution that would enable them to scale by introducing new affinity sites, based on their existing partnership data, opening up the offers platform to new markets.

Visit website

Sector

Service

Deliverables

  • Digital Strategy
  • Web Development

The Challenge

The client had evolved an internal Offer Administration System which is built in a .NET environment and stores data in a Microsoft SQL Server database. This system is used by the We Are Discounts team to administer their offers and users as well as other business-critical tasks. The client wanted the website to be highly configurable, providing them with options to adjust how the offers were displayed, how they were grouped and even customising the overall page structure to help maximise conversions.

Absolute’s solution would need to be deeply integrated with the Offer Administration System in a way that wouldn’t disrupt internal processes and allow the client to continue administering offers and updating the website. Overall, site performance was also earmarked for improvement, meaning that the site had to be built to feel fast and fluid, bringing an improved user experience and delivering significant SEO benefits. The client had also conducted extensive user interface research in their market sector and had a visual style and conventions that they wished to implement on the new site, but that was flexible enough to expand to future affinities.

Absolute Control was chosen as the platform because of its deep integration capabilities, with a strong track record of integrating with third-party resources, and bringing with it cutting edge open-source web technologies. Absolute Control is a Content Management Solution built on the progressive Laravel PHP framework. We collaborated with We Are Discounts and the developers of the Offer Administration System, and an API (Application Protocol Interface) was developed to connect the Offer Administration and Absolute Control. It enabled us to craft a highly configurable, bespoke back-end to meet all the client’s requirements.

The Delivery

Absolute Control was engineered around the requirements that we had identified. We created a suite of functional, configurable components, designed with a clean back-end administration experience. This allows We Are Discounts to manage all aspects of their sites within one simple, consistent interface.

By using the API connection with the Offer Administration System, we were able to migrate the members and membership data and integrate it into a new and improved user authentication in Absolute Control. Members can complete their own profile and the member’s profile can also be expanded over time to allow We Are Discounts to capture more data about their members and serve them the most relevant offers.

We used the member data in the system to introduce personalisation which allowed We Are Discounts to develop user profiles further and serve personalised content to members. The client wanted this personalised content to be used within Absolute Control and also across their other marketing solutions. We worked in partnership with Jetlore to provide personalisation models such as “Recently Visited” and “You May Also Be Interested In…” which has helped increase engagement.

Absolute Control was also developed to give the client more insight into how visitors were using the site to help further optimise conversions. This was delivered by integrating third-party tools such as Google Tag Manager and AddThis alongside our own bespoke insight tools. We are able to record impression data and calculate ROI for each offer that appears on the site. This data is available to be utilised by external tools to generate useful insights into user behaviour. We also integrated Optimizely which allows the client to conduct A/B experiments to help further optimise experiences.

Absolute worked with We Are Discounts to deliver an improved search experience. Several premium search solutions were explored including Elasticsearch and Algolia. Algolia was chosen as a search provider as it provided a high-quality search experience that improved discoverability and search result relevancy. We worked closely with Algolia to create a bespoke front end which enables users to quickly search for offers, returning highly relevant results after only a few keystrokes, dramatically improving the user journey.

For the front-end of the website, we introduced the new We Are Discounts branding which gave the website a fresh, clean look and feel, placing the offers front and centre. The performance was a priority here, we focused on producing a lightweight interface by losing heavy libraries and dependencies and developing the site interface using minimal vanilla JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3. This approach allowed us to develop a fast, responsive website that provided an optimal experience for We Are Discounts’ users on a variety of platforms.

We Are Discounts were able to to take advantage of Absolute Control’s multitenancy capabilities. Following the launch of healthservicediscounts.com, three more websites have since been launched: discountsforcarers.com, discountsforteachers.com and charityworkerdiscounts.com, with more affinity sites in the pipeline. Absolute Control provides a unified administration environment for running multiple websites simultaneously, allowing the We Are Discounts team reduce costs by sharing a shared infrastructure across all it’s affinity websites.

The Results

Health Service Discounts is now backed by powerful, modern Content Management System in the form of Absolute Control helping to bring offers and discounts to thousands of users daily. We were able to achieve the deep levels of integration required into all facets of We Are Discounts’ business, and unify third-party search, personalisation, and marketing tools within a single consistent administration experience. We retained the scope for We Are Discounts to expand out into new markets in the future, thanks to Absolute Control’s multitenancy capabilities.

We produced a modern, user-friendly and engaging website with a solid foundation for future customisation. By building the application from the ground, we were able to improve page performance, delivering faster load times and improving the user experience for all users, regardless of the device they are browsing on.