The Internet is gradually turning into a go-to source for medical information and advice. With the click of a button, people can find out what treatments are available for different conditions, read reviews of drugs, and even purchase medical supplies and equipment without leaving their home. The COVID-19 outbreak and its lasting aftershocks have only cemented this trend, with telehealth services and medical eCommerce amounting to more than $200 billion in 2021 and estimated to surge to over $435 billion by 2025.
It’s no surprise, then, that many people are now opting for web stores to buy health and medical products. After all, buying medical supplies online is convenient, confidential, and often much cheaper than purchasing them in person.
If you sell health products or medical supplies, it’s vital to take this trend into account and consider setting up an online shop or upgrading your functioning website. Below, you can find 5 benefits of going digital with your healthcare business.
Why does the medical industry need to adopt eCommerce?
The medical industry has been slower than many others to adopt eCommerce, but there are good reasons for healthcare to finally make the switch. Despite some obvious pitfalls, like possible misuse of a prescription, the lack of government control or security breaches, it still has a great potential for the industry growth.
In fact, eCommerce offers a number of advantages and benefits that can be extremely helpful for medical businesses. Below you’ll find top 5 reasons to at least take a look at the ever-growing eCommerce options.
1. Reach a wider (or even global) audience
When you sell medical supplies and equipment online, you’ll be able to reach a much wider audience than if you only sell in brick-and-mortar stores. People all over the world will be able to find and purchase your products, regardless of where they live.
Fortunately, most eCommerce solutions come with built-in SEO tools to make your online shop more visible on the web, as well as ready-to-go payment and shipping modules, which helps to build a global enterprise (when the need arises and sales go up).
2. Reduce costs & offer lower prices
Since selling medical supplies online doesn’t involve the same overhead costs as selling in traditional stores, you’ll be able to offer lower prices for your products. This is a great way to attract new customers and compete with other medical supply retailers.
Operating an online store is much less expensive than running a traditional one. Online retailers won’t have to pay for things like rent, utilities, and security. Thus, going digital is a great chance for small-scale and independent vendors who wish to make a living but lack the necessary startup money.
3. Unlock more marketing and advertising options
Promoting medical goods doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. There are various quick and inexpensive ways to promote your enterprise in the realm of eCommerce.
Using DIY options to generate specialized offers, discounts, A+ content, and sponsored advertising, one may breathe life into simple, uninteresting products. Customer insight tools will help you analyze customers and their behavior in order to track abandoned shopping carts, send personalized coupons or form the ‘related products’ lists for upselling.
4. Create a more user-friendly shopping experience
When you sell medical supplies online, you can design a more user-friendly shopping experience for your customers. You can create a well-organized website that’s easy to navigate, and you can offer features like customer reviews and product descriptions.
Customers can’t get all this in one place when they visit a traditional drugstore and need to make preliminary research. Save them both time and trouble by adding all the necessary information on your website.
5. Stay open 24/7 and save time
An online store never closes, which means customers can shop for medical supplies anytime, day or night. This is a huge convenience for clients, and it can help you boost sales.
Besides making purchases from the convenience of one’s home or work place, customers do not have to wait in line at cash registers to pay for the goods they have ordered, which saves them a lot of time. What’s more, salespeople won’t try to persuade them to purchase more products like they do in physical stores.
How to choose a health eCommerce platform for your store
If you’re looking to set up an online store for your medical or healthcare business, there are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing a health eCommerce platform. Here are three tips to help you choose the right platform for your business:
1. Technology stack: Make sure the platform you choose is able to support the complex medical and healthcare data that you’ll be dealing with. It’s also important to ensure that the platform is compliant with relevant regulations (HIPAA, for example). Choose between SaaS and open source solutions depending on the level of your development skills and plans to scale your business.
2. Flexibility and scalability: Your medical or healthcare business is likely to grow over time, so it’s important to choose an eCommerce platform that can grow with you. Look for a platform that offers various pricing plans so you can scale up (or down) as needed. It’s better to take into account the availability of API and other modules that can complement the pluggable architecture.
3. Pricing: Be sure to compare pricing plans from various eCommerce platforms before making a decision. You should understand what’s included in the price and whether there are any hidden costs. Choose the most cost-effective option that meets your needs. Even if some options seem to be cheaper, in the long-run regular transaction or monthly fees could exceed one-time development and deployment payment.
As of 2021, the number of digital buyers amounted to 2.14 billion, which stands for 27.6% of the total population. In the US, these figures are even bigger, and over 55% of consumers prefer to shop online. That’s why eCommerce is impossible to ignore.
Over the past few years, the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt new selling and marketing trends, but that is changing. The introduction of eCommerce into healthcare has the potential to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered and medical supplies are sold.
The advantages of online sales are clear. Store owners should consider starting their own web store to reach more customers. Not only will they provide a valuable service to their clients, but they’ll also make it easier than ever for them to get the products they need.
Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.