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5 Takeaways from the First HIDA E-Commerce Conference

By KBK Communications, - May 10, 2018


KBK Communications recently sponsored the first ever HIDA E-Commerce Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference was in response to the need for manufacturers and distributors to come together and address the challenges and opportunities of digital sales and marketing in the healthcare supply. Jan Beery and Rebecca (Gecan) DiGiaimo were in attendance and brought back with them some pearls of wisdom we wanted to share with our readers.

    1. Amazon - They’re good at customer experience but bad at customer relationships: There is no doubt that Amazon has customer experience on lockdown, but where they fall short is customer relationships. And that, my friends, is exactly where medical distributors shine. One of the clear differences between B2C and B2B business is that B2B companies know their customers. They can speak to their pain points and they understand what keeps them up at night. Amazon’s recent revelation about the complexities of healthcare supply chain on the pharmaceutical side, tell us that at the end of the day, relationships matter.
    2. Don’t discount the value of a good product image library: Digital sales and e-commerce are a new normal and will only increase in demand. As medical device and supply sales continue to shift towards this trend having clean, attractive and thorough product images is mission critical. Manufacturers need to plan for and take ownership of your product images. Understand the sizing, file type and resolutions required by your distribution partners and plan for them. As your prospects and customers research your products online, ensure you are providing them with the positive customer experience, by providing images of your product, features and attributes they are looking for. As you budget for 2019, make sure product images are included.5 Takeaways             Image credit: Instagram @love2beselling
    3. Speaking of attributes, make sure your product information is accurate and detailed: HIDA has taken the lead on supporting healthcare supply chain partners with what they are calling their Core 23. The Core 23 listing was developed by HIDA’s Product Information Management (PIM) workgroup who is helping to steer the way on developing PIM standards.  
    4. Your first impression is important, your website matters: Understanding that 79% of your potential buyers will leave a website and not return when they experience a slow load speed. Bottom line, if your website speed is slow, your company is perceived as untrustworthy and lacking in service, quality and performance.

Here are the hard facts: 

  • 47% of people expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds.
  • 40% will abandon it entirely if it takes longer than 3 seconds.
  • You get a little bit more room to move with mobile visitors, but not much.
  • 85% of internet users expect a mobile site to load as fast or faster than on their desktop. All stats courtesy of Kissmetrics.com
  1. Buyers no longer consult vendors at the start of the selling cycle: It’s too little too late if that’s where your targeting. Everlane Clothing via Instagram developed a transparent marketing approach as an innovative means to growing their business, engage with customers during that research phase, listen, and become a transparent/trusted resource. Conversely, It’s becoming more and more clear that B to B buyers are representing 70% of the market that consults social media over google search for their research and buying decisions.

E-Commerce is top of mind for good reason. Personalization, ease of ordering, sales and marketing alignment, cross-selling with helping remind customers what else they need is changing the way we do business. The need for sales reps is evolving as the buyer will continue to dictate the journey they are most comfortable with. We’re looking forward to the future of e-commerce platforms, tools, methodologies and HIDA’s involvement in facilitating thought leaders and innovators coming together to grow, learn, and provide the best possible customer experience.

Creating a frictionless customer experience