Why Health and Pharma Are Ready for E-Commerce
The old paradigm is quickly dying. For years, the drug and health care industries have struggled with problems of commoditization, i.e., the problem of distributing their products over the internet. Outsourcing their research and the ability to test medicines on animals came next. Now, they are delving into this messy new frontier called e-commerce.
Well, this is not exactly breaking news, but health and pharma seem to be ready for e-commerce. In the past couple of years, start-ups like SumoMe, a service that helps online marketers measure and analyzes their web traffic, have been earning large sums of money by taking on the likes of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Why? Because the pharma industry is not only extremely slow to adopt digital technologies, but it is also a slow-moving target. Users are already used to shopping online to get the best Price for their goods, so why not get them to buy from you?
Health and wellness are fields that are just as much about the mind as they are about the body. For many, health and wellness is a means of fighting illness and disease by treating symptoms and preventing the onset of illness. While these are certainly important goals, the full potential of health and wellness is often overlooked. Consumers’ approach to health and wellness consists of a series of fragmented, individualized, and reactive decisions. As a result, most people are left to deal with their own health and wellness issues. This could also be due to a lack of knowledge about the services provided by the healthcare sector. It’s probably past time for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries to advertise their services and products with the assistance of companies like Epsilon. These companies could analyze customer data in order and eventually help improve brand experiences and increase lifetime value.
In the early days of the internet, health care and pharmaceutical companies could market their products as direct-to-consumer online services, but this was challenged by a lack of trust in companies that are often perceived as being concerned with selling products rather than health, public health, and safety. This resulted in creating websites that were specifically designed to provide information about a single product to educate consumers in a way that was not biased by the company they are purchasing from. This, in turn, led to the development of private, online forums that focus on health and safety issues.
With the explosion of e-commerce and online shopping, the battle for customer trust has become a key issue for the entire industry. However, there is little evidence to show that many companies understand the importance of transparency and trust in online transactions, especially in relation to the health and well-being industry.
There is a lot of talk in the health and pharmaceutical industries these days about the future of patient e-commerce. On the one hand, some in the field see a future where patients move to centralized online platforms that allow them to buy and reorder prescriptions and medicines. Besides that, integrating their health plans from providers like IEHP with their medical history and prescriptions can make it much easier for patients as well as healthcare professionals to keep a track of any ongoing treatments or medications. On the other hand, others in the field worry that the resulting consolidation may stifle innovation and drive down prices.
Health and pharmaceuticals are quickly transitioning from traditional methods of distribution to online shopping. Take, for instance, the case of online pharmacies similar to Phlo – Digital Pharmacy (a popular web-based UK pharmacy), which happen to be the talk of the town. It may be possible that earlier they had a land-based store that sold medicines but now they might want to explore this online world which allows better customer acquisition. There are several reasons for this transition, but there is one that stands out: the new eCommerce platforms offer a way to prompt people to buy drugs. While there is no way of knowing for sure whether this will be a success, it is a topic worth exploring.
We’re currently living in a world where the health and dietary supplements industry is valued in the U.S. at $63 billion. This industry is thriving because consumers are looking for new ways to improve their health. This is why, instead of sticking with the old methods of going to the store to buy a book, or checking with your doctor, or relying on the advice of the latest nutritionist, people are using the internet to find information and advice in ways which are less time-consuming and expensive.
Health and pharma are currently yet to be prepared for e-commerce. In fact, they have not been ready since the internet began. It’s a market worth over $5 trillion globally, and with the rise of internet shopping, it is expected that it will be up to 1 trillion in the near future. The issue was highlighted by the UK’s Independent Retailers Association, which believes that there is a need for a new level of regulation. The government is expected to look at this to regulate e-commerce.