How To Create an Online Healthcare Marketplace
eCommerce Nov 11, 2020
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There is some luck in any misfortune. This refers to the healthcare sector in the present days of successive lockdowns. Even those consumers who used to ignore online pharmacy marketplaces for whatever reasons in the past have had to adopt remote healthcare recently.
Quite an involuntary leap of numerous door-to-door delivery services adds fuel to fire as well. But many players of the medical market found themselves unprepared for becoming digital. This is explainable in the context of the traditional relationships between patients and healthcare organizations.
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Anyhow, both consumers and medical care providers are forced to adopt the e-commerce paradigm under current circumstances. Big Capital starts moving through the internet-based medical projects: the digital health market is growing at a rate of 27.7%. And the competition inherent in Capitalism will help the fittest survive in the online pharmaceutical business. The only ones who seem to appear with all guns loaded are software developers with their e-commerce technologies.
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How to run a successful healthcare marketplace online is what the present post tells about.
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What a Healthcare Marketplace App Should Be Capable Of
It is no secret that any e-commerce project bets on profound personalization. In digital, personalization means a unique user experience. That’s why a web-based application for any medical marketplace store should be able to do more than any brick-and-mortar pharmacy can. There are some key features that distinguish an online pharmacy shop from its real-world rivals:
24/7 Working Schedule
A digital healthcare marketplace should have a certain level of automation that allows arranging simple purchases at any time even if the shop staff is offline. This is not a big deal for e-commerce developers who have a way with such technologies as Magento, for instance.
Of course, it is hard to arrange the continued availability when an online compounding pharmacy is just mimicking a real-world one with its own storehouse. But virtual space enables a different business model to emerge when a virtual healthcare marketplace acts as a hub connecting consumers with different chains of suppliers. If chain A lacks some medical product, you can always find the one at chains B and C. Inventory integration is what e-commerce can execute with ease.
Both international delivery giants like DHL and local courier providers are at your disposal. The courier market is destined to grow since demand always creates supply. The demand is clearly apparent in the era of lockdowns. The growing market is to create more severe competition and the delivery tariffs will go down, therefore. The door-to-door delivery is not just a sign of good manners any longer, this is a must-have feature for any online pharmacy shop.
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Integration of social networks facilitates any sector in this digital era. The online pharmaceutical business is no exception. Moreover, an online medical store could look flawed without promotional campaigns on social networks. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool for announcing discount pharmacies online. What can be better for some local online auctions than a local community reached through a social network?
Hybrid Product Range
In contrast to brick-and-mortar pharmacies, any online healthcare marketplace can easily make money from featured products. Nutrition supplements, medical cosmetics, sport nutrients, and the like won’t hurt to impress your audience with the assortment on offer. A virtual database of medical goods doesn’t suffer from a lack of storage space. It can include dozens of thousands of items while their physical location doesn’t matter too much. Any e-commerce project is much more scalable in terms of its product range than any real-world analog (remember Amazon). Your online pharmacy delivery service will help blur the line between a pure pharmacy and a grocery store.
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Clinics, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, rehabilitation experts, and many other relevant professionals can compose a pool of consultants available via messengers, voice features, and video streaming services. The experts can be easily accessible for your audience even from home via the interactive communication features embedded in your mobile or web application. The professional consultancy will add value to your online pharmaceutical business in any case.
Diverse Payment Methods
The traditional payments with bank cards and wire transfers can be supplemented by some innovative means of payment. Revolut, TransferWise, Monzo, and other online payment services keep developing rapidly to cover more and more countries if not continents. The customers of your healthcare marketplace will appreciate this option as a sign of your merchant flexibility. Read our review of the best payment systems.
Another purely digital domain of means of payment belongs to cryptocurrencies. The so-called “stable coins” such as USDT, USDC, and the like combine the stability of traditional fiat currencies with the transborder nature of crypto. If Samsung adds a crypto wallet to their smartphones, why not to inbuild the same feature into your marketplace app?
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Multichannel Customer Support
The flip side of your functional abundance is the possibility of something going wrong in interactions with your customers. Even the simplest actions on your healthcare marketplace application such as signing up can stump some customers, especially the ones who are not familiar with online healthcare stores.
If frustration is not the effect you are going to cause to your audience, advanced customer support is needed. You can add multiple channels through which your customers can get supported. Voice search extensions for Magento websites are among them. Simple and frequently occurring queries can be redirected to chatbots in messengers. Payment and delivery issues can be outsourced to some remote BPO contractors.
In other words, the reacher the set of your customer-support features is, the stronger the customer loyalty your pharmaceutical business can gain.
We described more features in our guide on creating a pharmaceutical website with custom inventory services.
How to Create the Best Healthcare Marketplace Plan
If you are reading this text, thoughts on how to start a pharmaceutical business come to your mind regularly most likely. It is worth remembering that any online pharmacy is a commercial enterprise aimed at making money. At the same time, your project should always remain humane. That’s why a good plan for establishing your virtual healthcare marketplace should include a certain sequence of coherent efforts. Some of them can be changed and even canceled over time while others cannot. Let’s consider the latter ones having the highest priority. We propose them in random order since the importance of each is the same.
Provide detailed product information
Since you are not limited by the disk space for product data (cloud storage is always at your disposal, if necessary), try to collect as much info about every item as possible. The data must be well-structured in accordance with what your customers can appreciate the most. Group the goods into certain categories, provide a simple transition from one category to another. Create an easily graspable search option enabling visitors of your online pharmacy shop to find what they need quickly. This is about the retention rate which is crucial in e-commerce.
Arrange proper onboarding of newcomers
A special section for customer credentials can strengthen the trustworthiness of your healthcare marketplace application immensely. Consider how to let your happy regulars share their experience with newcomers. You can kill two birds with one stone: your regular customers will get another opportunity for self-expression via product reviews while first-timers will be able to make their choice basing on positive customer feedback.
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Make your social responsibility indisputable
Create either a blog or a news section on your website where various pharmacy-related events can be promoted. Highlight important medical news (there is no shortage in it as long as the pandemic keeps going). Notify your customers about vaccinations and lockdowns, publish important articles from credible medicine sources. The attractive social image of your e-store will add value to your pharmaceutical business.
Take good care of online privacy
Personal data is one of the most painful issues in e-commerce. Do your best to keep your customers’ data secure. Fortunately, there are reliable encryption technologies capable of making any digital data bullet-proof protected. Online security is a matter of the goodwill of the e-store owners. Spare no expense for your customers staying calm about their personal information. The uncompromised security is what can make your healthcare marketplace unsinkable whatever storms strike the whole pharmacy market.
Continuously develop customer engagement
Try to build your pharmaceutical business in such a manner that your customers feel comfortable staying always connected. Newsletters and dynamic emails are not too cost-intensive if the campaigns are set up properly. They can be unobtrusive for your customers being rewarding for your project at the same time. The same relates to push notifications via messengers. The contemporary e-commerce platforms have many customer engagement tools since we live in the era of communication.
The pharmaceutical business will remain very lucrative for a long while. Both digitization and remote interactions will add even more value to any online pharmacy store. In the present post, we show our vision of how a successful healthcare marketplace could be designed. But everything described above is futile without two interdependent things.
The first one implies your awareness about the functions and features your online pharmacy shop must have. The second one refers to a software development company with expertise sufficient for getting the functions and features implemented. The first thing seems to be addressed by the present post. The second one is remaining entirely yours.
Have no time for a market study? Contact us today for your digital healthcare marketplace on a turn-key basis!
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