Online Retail: Don’t jump at new and great
A. The short answer to that question is the answer you probably do not want to hear, “It depends.” The long answer is determined by understanding your business focus and your customer mix. To build a successful retail business you must offer products that complement your current funded products and services. In other words, don’t think in general terms about what people are looking to buy. Don’t get excited about the next new great retail product at Medtrade. Instead, focus more on accessories and cash sale items that complement the products and services you already offer and your patients will benefit from. First of all, it’s what you know. You already know that when someone is renting a wheelchair, they need a cup holder, a cushion, a rain poncho, a bath transfer bench and so on. There is your answer!
The next important issue has to do with which brand, what mix and which supplier to use for those items. The short answer again is, “It depends.” The long answer has to do with product quality, your acquisition cost compared to average street selling prices, minimu;m order quantities and the manufacturer’s commitment to your success as an HME. When starting out, it is always good to work with a manufacturer or distributor that does not have product saturation and price erosion on Amazon, eBay and other online marketplaces.
Finally, start thinking outside the box. Your primary objective should be to carry items that improve the lives of the patients you serve. But, do not forget the caregiver.
Kamal Haddad is CEO of Health Mobius. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.