Disruption in the Medical Supplies Business: B2B eCommerce is the Prevention and the Cure
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But unfortunately, that saying doesn’t really tell you the price of either. In the medical supplies business, disruption is expensive. The medical device market (all categories) is expected to experience a CAGR of 4.1% between 2020 and 2025 and be worth over $432 billion by 2025. A combination of rapid growth and COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains and markets. But B2B eCommerce is proving to both minimize the impact of these disruptions and even prevent some of the problems offline suppliers are facing. It’s the ultimate way to prepare your business for any uncertainty in the future.
The “New Normal” of Medical Supply
Even before the pandemic, aging populations, longer life expectancies, and innovations in healthcare technology were changing the medical supplies business.
Successful suppliers were being pushed to deliver far more than just the device to buyers that were less likely to be clinicians and more likely to be administrative support staff.
As governments and insurers continue to relentlessly exert pressure to force prices down, margins decrease and the demand for efficiency increases.
Welcome to the new normal. In a post-pandemic world, you’ll be pushed to increase sales, lower costs, improve operational efficiency all while polishing your crystal ball to anticipate customer demand. B2B eCommerce supplies both the prevention and the cure.
How B2B eCommerce Benefits Medical Suppliers
With a B2B eCommerce channel, you keep customers happy and avoid market disruptions. No matter the environment, you’ll be poised to handle changes as they come your way. Everyone benefits.
Your eCommerce channel is literally a 24/7 sales rep that never sleeps, never gets sick, isn’t easily distracted, and never takes a vacation or even a bathroom break. All-day, every day it is just waiting for your customers to place their orders. With a webstore, customers buy when and where they want, and you are always ready for them. Because it is completely digital, you can easily expand into new markets and even sell globally without opening a new office. With medical supply eCommerce, it is possible to:
- Limit product visibility by customer location – so staying in compliance is easy
- Tailor the products, pricing, and shipping to specific markets or verticals. Customize the experience for any segment you choose.
- Establish minimum order quantities per line item or order
- Ship to multiple delivery addresses for each customer
- Offer effortless reordering experiences
- Allow user-defined permissions and authorities
- Localize for language, currency, and shipping preferences.
Bring New Products to Market Faster
The medical supply business is constantly changing. The life cycle of a medical device is much shorter than a drug. When a new product comes to market, you’ve got to move fast.
With an eCommerce channel, it can be as simple as creating detailed product pages and launching a digital marketing campaign. A robust medical device eCommerce platform has all the tools you need to present new products to the right segments and ensure your pricing is spot on every time. You’ll sell more products because you get to market faster. Your product catalog is always up to date. And when you integrate your eCommerce solution with your PIM, maintenance is even easier.
Eliminate Friction in the Buying Process
Everyone is looking for the easiest buying process. Your eCommerce channel removes friction. Customers don’t need to wait for your office to open, they can order or request a quote at any hour of any day. And for if they want to check on an existing order, they can simply log-in and check order status and even get tracking information. Days of requiring them to flip through a catalog and fill out a form to call or fax in their order are over. Integrate with an online chat, and if they opt-out of a self-serve model, help is always just a click away. Use customer order history as a means of placing recurring or repeat orders with just a few clicks and customers will reward you with repeat sales.
Improve the Customer Experience
B2B transactions are complex by their very nature. At the time, buyers crave simplicity in the customer experience. And customer experience is more important than ever. According to Walker research, by the end of 2020, customer experience will surpass price as the key brand differentiator. Are you providing the customer experience your customers demand?
Buyers are looking for absolute transparency into product availability, pricing, order processing and their payment options. When you meet these expectations with an exceptional online buying experience you instill a high level of customer confidence. With B2B eCommerce you can easily improve the customer experience with:
- Pricing based on each individual customer’s contract
- Product configuration based on customer preference
- Customizable upsell and cross-sell offers and special discounts and promotions
- Personalized marketing messages
- Onsite search function that can return results by product name, attribute, description, SKU, or other key identifiers
- Automated RFQ and QTC processes that eliminate manual pricing.
Easily Manage Multiple Brands, Verticals and Internal Hierarchies
A B2B eCommerce platform built from the ground up for medical suppliers will empower you to create independent sites and divisions for the front end while maintaining a single backend. Employ traditional or headless architecture and still capture the data you need to assess KPIs to evaluate the performance of each site, brand, or subdivision.
Engage in new ways of doing business with a minimal capital investment. With eCommerce, you can support B2B, B2C, B2B2C, and even create your own marketplace.
Where allowed by law, offer products directly to consumers to maximize your profit margins. You can sell to consumers, practices, hospitals and wholesalers all with the same solution, if you opt for a flexible platform.
Create your own marketplace and provide complete support for a single vertical or customer segment. The same eCommerce backend can be configured to operate multiple front ends.
Grab Your Slice of the Medical Supplies Pie
Did you know that 94% of healthcare B2B buyers begin the purchase journey with online research? If your buyers are looking for their medical supplies online, you need to make sure they find you.
A mobile-ready B2B eCommerce storefront will be your online all-the-time sales rep for your business. Since today’s buyers prefer a self-serve model, it only makes sense to provide it to them.
Whether you supply dental, orthopedic, cardiac, or any other specialty, you can create a personalized purchasing experience for each customer and be ready the moment they decide to buy.
Future proof your medical supply business with a B2B eCommerce platform that scales with you. Be confident that the solution you purchase today will adapt and grow with you in the coming years. No matter how customer demand changes, you’ll be ready to respond on a local or global basis. eCommerce is the cure for market uncertainty and the prevention for sluggish business processes and rising operating costs. It’s just what the doctor ordered.