For businesses in the healthcare sector aiming to sell products and services online, implementing the right eCommerce platform is paramount.
Whether you’re a pharmaceutical company, medical insurer, hospital, or private practice, your patients or customers will expect fast, intuitive, and secure online experiences. And these expectations will only continue to grow as new digital trends and technologies emerge.
But with so many options available, how do you know which eCommerce platform is right for your organization? The first step is understanding what to prioritize in your search. Then, you can begin looking at the pros and cons of different hosting providers.
Let’s dive in.
What to look for in a healthcare eCommerce platform
Overall, you want an eCommerce platform that facilitates smooth and engaging front-end experiences, on top of efficient and secure back-end operations. Here are some of the key factors to keep in mind when building healthcare eCommerce experiences:
Traditional eCommerce platforms were designed for providers of consumer products and services, such as clothing retailers, airlines, electronics companies, hotels, and so on. Now, industry-leading platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce are being leveraged by healthcare providers in various niches. With an eCommerce platform that supports HIPAA-compliant processes for collecting, storing, and analyzing data, your organization can sell its products and services online, while also protecting sensitive data and preventing hefty industry fines.
A sophisticated eCommerce platform will provide easily-configurable design templates for your website and the ability to provide your own design. This applies to all aspects of the user experience (UX), from the homepage, to product pages, to checkout. With the right infrastructure, you can create a patient portal for your private practice with highly-specific functionality—designed to match your patients’ unique expectations—for paying bills, scheduling appointments, reviewing test results, and connecting with a doctor.
Beyond your organization’s website or mobile application, perhaps you want to advertise and sell products on marketplaces and social media platforms. Establishing a multi-channel brand presence and customer experience is essential to remaining competitive in today’s business landscape, and businesses in the healthcare sector are no longer an exception to this rule. When picking an eCommerce platform, make sure it’ll allow you to integrate external channels like Facebook and Amazon—or other marketplaces specific to your healthcare niche.
In today’s world, deploying a business website, patient portal, or another digital solution that’s not responsive to mobile devices is nonsensical. Most if not all of your customers or patients will want to access your site via their smartphone or tablet, which is why it’s so important to go with an eCommerce platform that supports mobile optimization—regardless of the product you’re building.
CRMs, ERPs, CMSs, shipping applications, inventory management tools, and other third-party solutions play a crucial role in developing an optimal front- and back-end eCommerce experience. Your eCommerce platform must integrate seamlessly with the other third-party solutions in your healthcare organization’s ecosystem. This helps automate workflows and establish a smooth flow of data between systems.
There are many ways to improve your healthcare site’s performance in search engines, including regularly posting keyword-optimized content, maintaining fast page-loading times, and strategically structuring URLs. A superior eCommerce platform will come with built-in marketing features that enable you to follow SEO best practices.
Agility, scalability, and ease of use
As your healthcare organization grows, you’ll likely bring on new patients, employees, partners, and technologies—and your eCommerce platform must be equipped to support these changes. Whether you’re rebranding your website, expanding internationally, or integrating new third-party solutions, workflows for front- and back-end developers should remain as fast and intuitive as possible.
Top healthcare eCommerce platforms
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. Choosing the right eCommerce platform will depend on your healthcare organization’s particular goals and requirements. But to help guide you in the right direction, these are the most popular eCommerce platforms among healthcare providers today:
- BigCommerce: BigCommerce offers intuitive, centralized dashboards that make it easy to manage eCommerce experiences. It also provides a wide range of features and functionalities for healthcare organizations, including customizable design templates, email marketing tools, and inventory management solutions.
- Shopify: With Shopify, you can build healthcare websites that are responsive to all devices and screen sizes. You’ll also have access to the Shopify App store, where you can easily integrate all kinds of innovative third-party solutions.
- NetSuite: Healthcare professionals prefer NetSuite because it has advanced accounting, asset management, and audit trail capabilities that are specifically designed for healthcare operations.
So what is the best healthcare eCommerce platform?
Here at Codal, we’ve leveraged a variety of eCommerce platforms to build all kinds of digital solutions for our clients in the healthcare industry.
Again, picking the right platform will depend on your organization’s specific needs and requirements. But in our experience, we’ve found that it’s a two-way tie between BigCommerce and Shopify. This is based on each platform’s features and capabilities, security, flexibility, scalability, and pricing.
We’ve designed, launched, and maintained many successful eCommerce experiences using these platforms, and have developed close relationships in the process. Codal is a Certified Shopify Plus Partner and Elite BigCommerce partner. And in 2021, we won BigCommerce Agency Partner of the Year, as well as the award for Best User Experience and Design.
Team up with Codal for cutting-edge healthcare eCommerce solutions
When your healthcare organization is ready to go online or revamp its current online presence, you’ll need a versatile, intelligent, and secure eCommerce platform that meets your business goals and requirements.
With a modern technological infrastructure, you can create a superior patient or customer experience online, streamline internal operations, adopt new trends and technologies, and effectively scale your business. But with so many different eCommerce platforms and third-party applications to choose from, it can be difficult to know what’s best for your customers, employees, and partners. Plus, you may need to build out custom solutions to satisfy specific business needs.
All of this can get very complicated very fast, so it’s important to partner with healthcare eCommerce experts when modernizing your organization. That’s where Codal comes in. We’re an award-winning design and development agency with years of experience building healthcare eCommerce solutions, from marketing websites, online patient portals, to internal reporting systems. In collaboration with BigCommerce, Shopify, or another platform that better fits your organization’s needs, we’ll plan and execute a web development strategy that enables your business to thrive in the eCommerce landscape.
If you would like to figure out what the best healthcare eCommerce platform is for your organization, get in touch with a member of our team today!