The healthcare sector is digitizing at an amazing pace. According to Adroit Market Research, global medical healthcare eCommerce is anticipated to be over $435 billion by 2025. Initial digital transformation drivers were the aging population and the willingness of consumers to do their own online research. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven the value of medical device eCommerce as medical suppliers must increasingly rely on digital channels to service customers and grow their business.
eCommerce and the Medical Supply Industry
The B2B healthcare market is different from other forms of eCommerce. Maintaining compliance with complex and myriad regulations is a major challenge and has kept some players out. But for those who navigate the landmines of HIPPA and other medical data security issues, the medical equipment eCommerce niche is a highly lucrative market.
Hospitals, clinics, and individual practices are relying more than ever on eCommerce to procure their medical supplies. In 2018, hospitals were the largest category of eCommerce healthcare buyers (over 53%). Medical devices account for 34% of eCommerce purchases in the healthcare space.
In 2019, the median age for purchasing professionals was 45 years old. This is the internet generation. They look to the internet from their smartphones, tablets, and laptops for solutions to their problems. Product research begins with an internet search. Amazon understands this and so should you.
In 2017, Amazon announced that Amazon Business would enter the medical supply and healthcare market and today they count 84 of the top 100 health systems as their customers. Not bad for less than three years of work.
What Medical Device Buyers Want
Like all professional buyers, medical supply procurement professionals are looking for exceptional customer experience. In 2020, customer experience is the main differentiator, even over price and product. And people are willing to pay more for an exceptional experience. It’s that important.
In the medical supply industry, sellers are using their eCommerce channel to provide proof of their dedication to customer satisfaction and client success. Something as simple as offering content that helps customers develop plans for rationing PPE and hand sanitizer or offering sales and support outside of regular business hours or providing for expedited and emergency deliveries provides buyers the customer experience they demand. In a post-pandemic environment, proving the strength of your supply chain is incredibly reassuring.
As purchasing agents are forced to do more with less and procure supplies from multiple sources, they are looking for a process with as little friction as possible. An eCommerce option is the solution they seek.
The path to purchase generally starts with a Google search. 94% of healthcare equipment buyers first research products online. It’s the beginning of the self-serve process that includes finding product specifications and technical information as well as case and use studies. These busy professionals appreciate a digital RFQ process and they also want assurances on product availability and your ability to deliver on time. Transparency in inventory status is valued in any supply chain, but it is especially critical in the medical supply market. An eCommerce site complete with live inventory levels lets medical supply buyers know what you have available.