Is eCommerce Right for Your Health Business?
The last two decades has seen an eCommerce revolution and it’s clear eCommerce is here to stay. According to the U.S. department of commerce, in the second quarter of 2017, Americans spent $111.5 billion in eCommerce sales, and this number is only projected to grow. You probably use eCommerce to shop online for yourself, as well as gifts for friends and family, but perhaps you haven’t considered that it could be relevant to your health business.
According to the Pew Research Center, not only do 80% of internet users look for health information online but health related searches are the third most popular online activity. Whilst at first glance it may seem that ‘the internet’ does not offer enough attention to individual needs to sell health related products and services, in actual fact there are several ways using eCommerce can be beneficial to you and your patients. Have a look at these tips and see if any are right for you.
Integrate eCommerce into your social media and wider strategy
Your patients trust you and your brand – why would they go to a supermarket to buy a random toothbrush when they can easily get products with your stamp of approval delivered to their door? Integrating eCommerce with your social media can be mutually beneficial to both sides of your business – you get content for your communications channels and your communication channels boost your sales. Good ways to do this can be through plugins, showing users what products are trending, and reminding users to share throughout the buying process.
Increase your online presence and boost your brand on affiliate sites
The first tip focuses on selling health related products on your website, but considering expansion into other marketplace sites can also be beneficial. If doing this yourself seems challenging, there are a number of companies that can enhance your business on Amazon and other eCommerce marketplaces for you. Expanding into additional websites boosts your online presence allowing you to reach a new audience. Make sure people who find you this way know how to get back to your business by keeping your branding strong and linking back to your site.
Streamline your service for your patients
When most people think of eCommerce they think of a shopping basket type service. While this can be beneficial to health businesses, as we’ve seen above, you and your patients may benefit from a more tailored service. Intelligent use of patient data enables a two way communication that can strengthen your customer/business relationship. Imagine how easy it would be for them if they can fill their prescription and order new contact lens solution online? In the meantime, you can keep track of their sales data and send them an individualised quarterly email recommending products especially for them, and reminding them when they need to come in for a check up. All this builds a solid relationship, making your patients more loyal to you as well as generating revenue.
ECommerce is certainly not right for all health businesses, but consider these angels and think about whether it could benefit yours.