The healthcare eCommerce space is undergoing significant growth. Adroit Market Research anticipates that the market will hit $435.8 billion by 2025, a massive figure for an industry experiencing rapid digitization. Thanks to new market realities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical device sector is poised to contribute significantly to that figure.
The past few years have seen medical equipment suppliers face numerous challenges in getting their products in the hands of hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare organizations that desperately need them. From supply chain disruptions, to material shortages, to changing regulatory requirements, it hasn’t exactly been easy for these suppliers.
Increasingly, medical device companies are turning to digital channels to alleviate some of these pain points. B2B eCommerce tools are helping medical equipment suppliers to grow and scale their businesses, as well as deliver superior customer experiences.
But getting into the B2B healthcare eCommerce space isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Thanks to some complex compliance challenges (think HIPAA, etc.), it can be difficult to navigate shifting medical device sales to online channels. But companies that are willing to put in the time and effort required to satisfy all requirements stand to reap some pretty significant rewards.
In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into what successful medical device eCommerce looks like, and provide some tips and best practices for bringing your business online. Read on to learn more about all things medical device eCommerce.
What is medical device eCommerce?
The eCommerce revolution has arrived. Spurred by the ongoing pandemic, consumers and businesses alike are shifting their buying behaviors, seeking the convenience and cost savings that online shopping can afford. The benefits of eCommerce to consumers have long been understood, but many companies fail to recognize that similar benefits extend to business customers as well.
B2B customers crave the same convenience that consumers do. B2B eCommerce seeks to deliver this convenience by migrating traditional sales channels and strategies to the web, helping to improve buying efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Medical device producers and manufacturers utilize B2B eCommerce strategies and technologies to sell their healthcare products directly to customers rather than going through traditional distribution channels. Medical device companies that take a B2B eCommerce approach can more effectively respond to customer wants and needs, offer superior buying experiences, and drive long-term sales growth.
A medical device eCommerce success story
As a leading manufacturer of pain management needles—including those required for epidurals and other procedures—Spectra Medical Devices Inc. provides critical healthcare products to hospitals and other healthcare environments. Traditionally, Spectra sold its product inventory through large medical device distributors. However, thanks to a significant increase in demand for its products, as well as improvements to its engineering and manufacturing processes, Spectra saw an opportunity to sell its medical devices directly to healthcare facilities.
By standing up its own eCommerce site, Spectra is able to better serve its customers by enabling them to order products on an as-needed basis, as opposed to bulk orders at fixed intervals. Spectra’s eCommerce site integrates with the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, enabling customers to access product inventory in real time and purchase products without having to submit a purchase order. The eCommerce site can calculate shipping costs automatically, and provides customers with shipment tracking codes and delivery estimates directly.
Spectra’s new direct eCommerce channel and site enable the company to provide customers with a superior buying experience while affording them more control over product pricing and margins.
“Now that we have the website and our own branded products, we can direct buyers, especially those looking to purchase small quantities, to the website, which we couldn’t do in the past,” says Anthony Arrigo, director of global sales and marketing at Spectra.
“Most of these purchases are $5,000 or less. We still sell to large buyers through our sales force, but the eCommerce site is a way to augment those sales and sell direct under our own brand.”
Launching a medical device eCommerce website
Let’s look at some key tips and best practices for deploying a successful medical device eCommerce presence.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform
Choosing an eCommerce platform is an extensive process that takes time, effort, organization, and planning. The prospect of committing to an eCommerce platform is daunting, to say the least. But as your company grows and looks for more opportunities to increase sales, you’ll need a platform that’s scalable.
Don’t take this decision lightly. There are numerous cloud-based platforms available, including Codal partners Shopify and BigCommerce, but you’ll need to ensure you pick the right one for your business. Consider a platform’s technical capabilities, as well as its ability to easily integrate with your existing business tech ecosystem.
Investing in eCommerce UX
A seamless and engaging user experience (UX) is essential to an eCommerce site’s success. In order to distinguish your company from your competitors and improve your site’s customer experience, you need to ensure that your site is simple and easy to navigate.
Make sure you incorporate good product descriptions, accurate photography, and streamlined paths to purchase. Your customers will thank you for it, and you’ll see more conversions as a result. To learn more about improving your eCommerce site’s UX, check out this blog.
Keeping the B2B customer top-of-mind
The B2B online buying experience-like the traditional consumer shopping experience-is designed to be self-service. Customers need to view the process as seamless, or else they won’t consider ordering directly from you to be better than the alternative.
Make sure your eCommerce site incorporates functionality geared toward B2B customers. This can include flexible payment options, robust security, repeat order capabilities, and much more. While B2B customers are after the same convenience as traditional eCommerce consumers, they have a unique set of wants and needs. Make sure you prioritize these when deploying your eCommerce solution.
Transformational eCommerce solutions for medical device suppliers
Here at Codal, we’re a savvy design and development agency that can help you unleash the full potential of your medical device company’s eCommerce capabilities. We’ve helped healthcare providers of all shapes and sizes improve their internal processes and create better outcomes for their patients, customers, employees, and associates. So when your company is ready to join the many providers in the healthcare industry benefiting from eCommerce strategies, come connect with Codal.
As a truly innovative agency, Codal has designed and developed applications for a wide variety of industries, and the healthcare sector is no exception. We've engineered web solutions for vendors of medical supplies, psychiatric care providers, athletic medical record companies, healthcare transportation services, and medical cosmetology companies.
Codal's healthcare solutions prioritize compliance and security while striving to enhance clinical workflows and improve the patient experience. From helping you select the right eCommerce platform to ensure your site is HIPAA-compliant, Codal can do it all.