Ecommerce for the Healthcare Spare Parts Aftermarket – Part 1

By RafterOne

The driving force behind any digital transformation initiative is often the need to evolve and scale to the next level. As the world moves to a highly digital landscape, customers’ expectations are rising, and how they perceive the world is changing too. In fact, this shift is so profound in the healthcare and life sciences (HLS) vertical that by 2025 the healthcare ecommerce market is forecasted to reach $435.8 billion! Ecommerce for the healthcare spare parts aftermarket is an absolute necessity today – Read on to know more. 

Medical devices are an extremely important aspect of the HLS space and they constantly require spare parts due to failures or just wear and tear due to continued usage. Wouldn’t it be super convenient if there was an ecommerce platform where these parts could be easily found and ordered? It would be even more user-friendly if the platform could recommend the right part for the need in question – That would eliminate searching amongst millions of SKUs, saving valuable time for administrators. 

In this blog series, we address the need for ecommerce for the spare parts aftermarket, and how it is relevant for the HLS industry as well.

Need for Ecommerce in the Healthcare Spare Parts Aftermarket

The pandemic was hard on everyone, but the medical industry did view challenging times up and close. There was a shortage of several devices and medicines that were needed to keep treatment going. The need for devices, medicines, spare parts, and replacement parts, drove several innovative ways to procure, create and use them. 

The COVID-19 situation accelerated the inevitable move to go digital, leading many suppliers, and buyers to find newer and multiple ways to function. Traditional ways of directly dealing with sales reps took a backseat as in-person interaction was limited. Most importantly, the need to be self-sufficient and quick by going digital was the only way forward.

Here are the top 5 reasons why an ecommerce platform is an absolute need today in the healthcare industry. 

1. Self-Service is Essential Today

Sales cycles for ordering and re-ordering processes are no longer about interacting with sales reps, going through pages of product descriptions, and looking for the one part that is needed. 

Customers, in this case, inventory managers and administrators, want to be self-sufficient in this process. They usually look up spare parts or items they need online and place orders using platforms that provide them with a smooth ordering and delivery process. If your spare parts business does not  offer an omnichannel presence, you will miss out on many potential customers. 

Today, customers want to be able to interact seamlessly on an ecommerce platform, search products by categories, brands, price and apply filters as needed. They look out for services that make ordering easy from anywhere as well, while availing discounts and offers when ordering in bulk.

Additionally, they want to understand inventory information, for reordering as and when needed. Most importantly, they don’t want to interact with customer service associates just to get tracking information. They can instead save time that can be utilized for more important tasks if all this information is readily available.

2. Procuring the Right Products Now Made Easy

In the healthcare industry, getting the right spare parts for existing devices is crucial. To do this well, procurement has to be seamless with product information readily available with accurate details. 

A robust ecommerce platform will provide the right details with just a few keywords. They can then drill down their search with filters.  This is important because you don’t want customers to order from you while only obtaining partial information. This can lead to returns and a poor customer experience. Today’s robust search capabilities offer spare part recommendations as well, making it easier to find the right part.

Additionally, the healthcare and life sciences sector cannot run out of important stock. An ecommerce platform helps customers to keep track of their stocks and even reminds them when their next order is due based on past purchases.

3. Need to Keep Up

The professionals involved in purchasing decisions in 2019, had an average age of 45. This means the people carrying out these processes, most likely your end customers, are relying more every day on the internet. They have multiple devices. They might search for a diagnostic test on their smartphone, look up PPE kits on their laptop, or even look for replacement spareparts on their tablet. Whatever device they choose, your presence on the internet makes a difference between whether you get an inbound sale or not. 

They want fast-tracked processes, self-service capabilities, and efficient systems that do not fail them. Because if you are not going to provide them with it all, someone else will. With the power of the internet, sellers could emerge from literally any part of the globe! 

4. Personalization is Critical to Success 

When customers interact with businesses today, they want personally curated services. Since this is a common goal for several industries, it has become a basic expectation rather than a good-to-have experience. You might know your customers well and have an excellent sales team to back you up, but you cannot possibly keep track of all your customers’ preferences through traditional methods. 

An ecommerce system can help you understand their purchasing behavior, and get buyer insights. This will help you recommend products that they might need and provide reminders based on past purchases. 

Meet the Demands of your Customers with the Right Ecommerce Platform 

It is quite clear that the healthcare spare parts market most definitely is in need of going digital with seamless ecommerce capabilities. In this industry where trust matters, offering the right platform that empowers your customers is the right step in this direction. 

RafterOne’s Spare Parts Accelerator integrated with Salesforce B2B Commerce can help your healthcare business provide customers with the seamless buying journey that they demand. In our upcoming blog, we will address how our accelerator can benefit in several ways. Stay tuned!

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