When Healthcare Meets eCommerce

By Benjamin Patipa, MD
Vice President, Healthcare Strategy, MonarchFx


It seems that not a day goes by without seeing news about Amazon or some trendy new start-up trying to disrupt the consumer shopping experience. More soberly, observing neighborhoods and cities now being dominated by empty storefronts and shopping malls.  While we live in a country that invented the modern shopping mall, consumers are increasingly seeking out the latest and greatest in Unichannel shopping experiences instead. It does not stop at retail. Traditional retailers are now getting into the health business. Amazon bought Whole Foods, a grocer that began as a health food store and PillPack, an online pharmacy startup. In the biggest retail healthcare deal yet, CVS is buying Aetna for a proposed $69 billion, bringing together a retail chain with nearly 10,000 stores and a major national health insurer.

What does this all mean? Will the average American consumer soon be going on-line to purchase their health products and supplies along with their electronics, video games, books, apparel, cosmetics, and other consumer packaged goods? The short answer to this question is, yes and it is already happening at a rapidly growing pace.

Consumers Are In The Driver’s Seat

The medical supplies market is growing exponentially, expected to reach $132 billion by 2022, with over 25% of US Sales occurring in eCommerce. The nutraceuticals market is rising at an annual rate of 7.3% and is expected to reach $279 billion by the end of 2021. Consumer retail spending for durable medical equipment has already reached $48.5 billion, up 4% from the previous year. These trends are 100% consumer centric, the key to this centricity is convenience. The customer must be able to interact, engage, and buy any way, any time, and any where they want, and have it delivered now.

What Does This Mean For Sellers Of Healthcare Products?

By reducing the inventory on the shelves and changing the supply chain feeding the shelf from a case fulfillment process to an each fulfillment process based upon real time demand signals. Inventory will turn quicker while suppliers are creating more and more new products to sell. This will result in an increase in on-shelf availability, sales, and an improved return on invested capital. The healthcare product supply business has changed forever and the world of New Healthcare has created dramatically challenging expectations on a sellers ability to affordably deliver products to consumers in two-days or less.

What Should Sellers Of Healthcare Products Be Looking For?

Smart sellers of healthcare products who provide digital oriented purchasing experiences, win. Those winners integrate off-line, on-line, logistics, and data across a single unified supply chain. The new reality in healthcare eCommerce fulfillment capabilities is that it must be inexpensive and fast, while being compliant and reliable. MonarchFx’s eCommerce fulfillment solution provides this through:  

  • No up-front capital outlay
  • No payment until your product ships
  • All-in unit pricing
  • Close to you customer (two-day, one-day, same day delivery)  
  • Faster delivery generating sales uplift and lower shipping costs 
  • Robotic sorting and automated facilities
  • Flexible, scalable, and trustworthy

Smart sellers of healthcare products who think differently, plan differently, and act differently are increasingly calling for a fast, reliable, and cost-effective fulfillment ecosystem to help face one of the most critical periods ever

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