Ecommerce Medical Supplies: How and Where to Sell Them

Nick Mirev
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    During the pandemic, eCommerce medical supplies sales skyrocketed. In fact, the demand for goods like masks and wholesale sanitizer led to significant shortages of various types of medical supplies. Furthermore, most Western countries experience a decline in population. This means the median age increases and people need healthcare services more often. These factors are among the main drives for the increase of demand and revenue in the retail and bulk medical supplies sectors. In this article, we’ll share more about the online sales of medical supplies. Make sure to check out our blog posts on dropship medical supplies and wholesale medical supplies.

    Key takeaway: Although distributors of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies rely heavily on sales representatives, the market has begun to switch to online sales. It’s easier for customers to browse through online catalogs and it makes comparing prices much easier. Distributors can also automate a variety of tasks thanks to modern solutions in the eCommerce industry.
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    Selling Ecommerce Medical Supplies

    As online ordering volumes constantly increase, distributors of medical supplies need to embrace eCommerce solutions in order to increase their B2B and B2C sales. Although they’re not among the most high-demand products, both companies and retail customers purchase eCommerce medical supplies. 

    How to Sell Medical Supplies Online

    There are two main models for selling goods online: inventory model and dropshipping. The inventory model is how standard online stores work. They purchase in bulk to benefit from wholesale prices and then sell goods at retail prices. With the dropshipping model, order fulfillment is done by a third party. Both approaches have their pros and cons. Let’s shed some light on them.

    1. Inventory model. The main benefits are the higher profit margins. As there is no commission rate, businesses can maximize their ROI. The main disadvantage of this approach is that it requires large investments in inventory and storage. As there are hundreds of subcategories, a business needs to invest a lot in products.
    2. Dropshipping model. It’s often used as a proof of concept before starting a business. Selling medical supplies can be one of the profitable dropshipping ideas. Instead of investing hundreds of thousands in inventory, you can start selling goods easily if you partner with dropshipping wholesale suppliers. Although the profit margin is lower, an eCommerce medical supplies business that uses this model can be started in just a few days. The main investments required are a website, a marketing budget, and time for research.

    Trends in the Ecommerce Medical Supplies Niche

    The eCommerce niche is changing rapidly. Allow us to share some of the trends in the field of medical supplies.

    1. Customers expect a better online presence. Many businesses aim to automate tasks and cut costs. Hospitals and healthcare companies are no different. They expect distributors of medical supplies to have fast websites or offer convenient catalog options like BlueCart’s B2B eCommerce solution.
    2. More focus on D2C sales. Distributors in the healthcare industry rely on sales representatives to manage orders from hospitals and healthcare businesses. However, that increases the cost of goods sold which has an impact on prices as well. Small businesses in the healthcare sector prefer to automate the purchasing process or purchase directly via an online platform. This will lead to reduced prices due to no commissions being paid to sales representatives.
    3. Data, technology, and AI. Undoubtedly, advancements in technology will be the main focus in the eCommerce medical supplies niche. With the help of AI and data, both businesses and distributors can automate various tasks. Furthermore, AI tools can enable better cross-sell and upsell opportunities. 
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    The Ecommerce Medical Supplies Market

    The industry is dominated by hospitals and other businesses. They make up the majority of sales and revenue in the ecommerce medical supplies market. Nevertheless, B2C sales are still an important source of revenue for suppliers that have online stores. That’s especially true after the Covid-19 pandemic. Although Covid cases have decreased significantly, many still wear personal protective equipment and use hand sanitizer frequently. That’s especially true before and during flu season.

    B2B sales are the most important source of revenue for eCommerce medical supplies platforms. Here are the main types of businesses that purchase these goods.

    1. Hospitals. They make up the majority of purchases in the medical supplies industry. Hospitals need the full range of products offered by distributors.
    2. Nursing homes and other care facilities. These businesses work on a daily basis with people who are either in poor health or old age. Thus, they require a wide variety of medical products. Nursing homes often purchase those from eCommerce medical supplies platforms.
    3. Dentists. Dental centers need to ensure immaculate hygiene. That’s why they purchase large quantities of medical supplies such as sanitizers and protective equipment. Some distributors also sell dental equipment which provides additional convenience for dental centers.
    4. Vets. The most used category of medical supplies used by vets is consumables. Protective equipment is also among the commonly used supplies by veterinary clinics.
    5. Retailers. Pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retailers might purchase wholesale medical supplies like gloves and masks and sell them to their retail customers.
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Ecommerce Medical Supplies

    The eCommerce field is changing every day. That’s why many entrepreneurs have a hard time catching up to the latest technology advancements in the sector. Below we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions on the topics of medical supplies and their online sales.

    What Are the Most Common Medical Supplies Sold Online?

    The niche is divided into hundreds of subcategories. Some websites specialize in medical devices like defibrillators or other machines used in hospitals. Others focus on the most traded goods. These businesses buy in bulk for resale things like face masks and syringes. Here are some of the most used medical supplies.

    1. Wound care. Cotton balls and bandages are purchased not only by institutions and dental centers but are also part of households’ first aid kits.
    2. Protective equipment. Aprons and shoe covers are good examples of protective supplies that are sold online. Other eCommerce medical supplies are masks, gloves, and eye protection solutions.
    3. Infusion and injection products. Needles and syringes are among the most commonly used products in hospitals. In addition, some eCommerce medical supplies websites also sell popular IV fluids.
    4. Paper and hygiene products. Paper towels, patient wipes, and incontinence supplies are some of the frequently purchased goods.

    What Other Product Categories Can be Sold Along with Medical Supplies?

    One of the reasons why starting an eCommerce medical supplies website is a great idea is the fact that it can easily be expanded. Other potential categories include personal care products and hygiene. The cosmetics niche also offers a wide array of opportunities. For example, you can follow the examples of successful dropshipping websites and expand in some D2C niches like skin and hair care.

    If you don’t want to commit to purchasing inventory in these categories, you can start offering some of the most searched and best dropshipping products. The dropshipping model can be used as a proof of concept in order to establish whether a product category is successful or not. 

    What Are the Most Popular Ecommerce Platforms?

    There are hundreds of SaaS and open-source platforms on the market. The most popular ones are Shopify and WordPress. These platforms hold more than half of the market share. Their main advantage is that they have a lot of built-in solutions for dropshipping and eCommerce. Other than having a website, business owners can sell eCommerce medical supplies on other platforms as well. Marketplaces like BlueCart give companies the opportunity to showcase their products to different audiences.

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