Since most businesses are turning to e-commerce opportunities to reach out to their customers, online platforms are opening great opportunities for healthcare businesses as well. No wonder, a lot of healthcare service providers, medical equipment brands, medicine and medical product retailers are increasingly opting for online healthcare store development.
No customer has to take the pain of buying and transporting large amounts of diapers, baby food or required medical devices. They can now conveniently get all of these right at their doorstep by simply placing an order online.
First of all online prices are more competitive and transparent than physical stores as buyers can compare and choose from a large range of sellers. Additionally, online stores offer special promotional deals and discounts from time to time.
When you buy medical supplies online you don’t have the trouble of spotting the required items by visiting various medical stores. Across online stores you can find an overwhelming number and variety of products.
The vast majority of online stores offer a platform for customers to provide genuine feedback based on their experience. This helps customers to get first-hand advice from people who already used those products.
The online medical supply market is growing at a rapid pace. A recent research carried out by the Market Research Future says that the market share for online medical supplies is likely to reach $132 billion by 2022 and majority of these opportunities will be created by both public and private hospitals.
On the other hand, according to a study by Emergo, the American online healthcare supply market has an estimated market share value of $3 trillion. China and Japan are closely following this with respectively $574 billion and $469 billion valuation.
While most refer to the rapid growth and huge outreach opportunities as the key benefits, there are several other surprising benefits for running an online medical supply business. Let us have a quick look at some of the key benefits.
Since most medical supply retailers and distributors are limited to certain locations with limited exposure and outreach, online stores for the same supplies can feel the void by reaching out to new clients, and creating larger market opportunities to scale up the business.
Compared to the traditional marketplace, very few retailers and distributors of medical supply have an online presence. This is why new entrants in the online medical supplies market can face lesser competition and more opportunities.
Read more: Key Principles and Trends for Building a User-Focused Healthcare Website
For the healthcare industry, being available all the time is a key factor. This is where an online medical store with round the clock presence can deliver a better alternative to its customers.
Besides allowing convenience and moderate competition, the e-commerce medical stores unlike the physical ones are more sophisticated as it can access data analytics and consumer research insights. Based on the consumer data and insights they can position products, make priorities and carry out marketing changes.
For a physical store getting exposure requires expensive and often less effective marketing tactics like paper ads, flyers, event networking etc. on the other hand, for online medical supply stores there are chores of sophisticated and less expensive online marketing tools including SEO, social media marketing, PR, web advertising etc.
Managing an online medical store is less expensive than maintaining an office or physical store. You can do away with the need of staffing, paying bills or rent. With less manpower and least operational cost you can run a business.
Physical stores are less opted by the B2B buyers and for bulk institutional purchases online stores are always given a priority because of the convenience, rate and brand exposure.
We can easily recognise from the above mentioned benefits that developing an online medical supply store is a good investment. But to take this business opportunity to the fullest you need to have an understanding of the key aspects of building such a store.
Let us explain the key steps for developing an online medical supplies store.
As for the business model of online supplies stores, we have two different business models. The first one is an independent store by maintaining a stock and taking care of the entire supply chain. The second is to work like a supplier by purchasing from manufacturers and other retailers as per the demand. While the first one is more secure but involves bigger investment, the second one can often face non-availability of supplies while benefiting from low operational cost.
Now that you have met the legal and licensing requirements, it’s time to figure out the future online store features. You need to create a list of must-have features for your future medical supply store.
Healthcare stores need to comply with the specific FDA requirements. They have to conform to the regulations about distributing medical devices. You also need to gather all necessary licenses for running the supply business.
For creating a really good design that instantly resonates with your audience you should take inspiration from other medical supplies stores. Select some user interface styles and user experience elements that are close to your idea about the store and then make the final choice by judging the pros and cons of each element.
The final step is to build the store. If you are new to web or e-commerce development, it is advisable to leave the job to experts or eCommerce Development Company, who have prior experience in building an e-commerce store like this. Based on your budget, you can opt for a ready to use template or a custom template designed by hired developers.
Now that the store is ready, you need to create buzz and reach out to clients. It is undoubtedly a challenge to confront, but you gave an array of effective tools to make this happen. Use marketing tools like SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, guest posting and online PR campaigns to create a loyal audience who find value with your store offerings.
Healthcare equipment and supplies businesses are increasingly jumping into the online bandwagon. Before the online space becomes too crowded, this is the right time to build your own medical supplies store and shape your online brand.
WRITTEN BY: Jeegnasa Mudsa
Jeegnasa Mudsa is Executive Director at CMARIX Technolabs Pvt. Ltd. a leading eCommerce development company with 15+ years experience. A blend of true Engineer and…
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