Ecommerce: Not just for you, not just for your patients!
The term “ecommerce” has gained traction and speed as we have been catapulted into the digital era of patient care and business services due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, many hearing care providers (HCP) have been grappling with figuring out the balance between clinical safety for both patients and staff, practice services, and business maintenance and profitability.
In addition, during these unprecedented times where HCPs are seeing declining, or in some cases non-existent cash flow, patients may be struggling and looking for solutions, but they’re unable to connect the dots to you and your practice.
Ecommerce is a way to connect to one another and provides the opportunity for additional revenue streams for your business. It also helps you to meet your patients where they are in addition to staying connected to them, how they’re doing and their hearing journey.
How do I know ecommerce is right for my business?
The concept of ecommerce may bring along misconceptions of perceived difficulty in setting up a storefront on your website for example. However, for many HCPs, they find that it’s not as difficult as it seems.
In addition, Phonak, as your partner in business, can support you by discussing your options in implementing your own eStore as a potential revenue stream as well as other components of ecommerce, including online marketing, database mailers and email blasts.
Is an eStore enough to sustain my practice?
When exploring the idea of ecommerce and building an estore for your business, it is important to ask yourself what it is that you may offer in that eStore and what the revenue impact could potentially be. Product offerings may range from basic maintenance supplies to wireless accessory products that can be easily paired at home or via a remote office visit.
While starting an eStore may not be enough to sustain your business at the beginning, the opportunity to grow is evergreen as you start to meet your patients’ needs in regards to technology and continued access to hearing, as well as respecting and ensuring their safety, choices and yours!
What would I sell in my eStore – what would my patients want to buy?
Similar to the products and accessories you offer in office, a digital storefront provides the opportunity to offer the same products and accessories that your patients may need or desire. For example, patients could purchase hearing aid maintenance supplies, such as batteries, wax guards, cleaning tools and care supplies.
In addition, it is important to also consider wireless accessories, such as the TV Connector, PartnerMic™, and other tools to help overcome any challenges or difficulties patients may be experiencing during the current pandemic and stay at home orders.
When deciding what to offer in your eStore, it is important to provide clarity around compatibility with hearing aids as well as access to instructions on how to use any additional accessories purchased.
Don’t forget to communicate what’s available!
If you’ve decided that ecommerce is right for your business, don’t forget to let your patients know! Ensuring the proper communication via email, social media and phone calls about the new store on your website. It is also important to reassure your patients that they are still receiving your services as part of their hearing journey, but that they now have some additional control to access what they need. And, don’t forget to remind them that they are safe to use the eStore.
Using ecommerce for your business and clinical needs with Phonak eStore
In an effort to provide your business exactly what it needs in an efficient and effective way, Phonak has been working diligently to ensure our eStore not only continues to carry what you need, but has also adapted to meet the changing needs of you and your patients during COVID-19, including:
- Shipping items directly to patients so they don’t need to come into the office
- Personal Protective Equipment supplies available for order
- Print FedEx labels directly in office for your shipments
Haven’t used the eStore before? Don’t worry!
What exactly can I purchase on the Phonak eStore?
By using the eStore, you can:
- Find product quickly, thanks to the intuitive and easy-to-use layout
- Easily decide the product configurations you’d like to order by selecting the product and optional components you’d like, all online
- Check & Extend Warranties for patients
- Manage your Phonak account with the click of a mouse
- Reduce any errors related to faxing, handwriting or calls confirming the selection you have made. Be confident in knowing exactly what you’re ordering.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to your Phonak Account Manager to learn more about the eStore.
Nicole Klutz, Au.D., is Manager of Audiology at the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC) in Warrenville, IL. In her role, she provides audiological support and professional training to employees and hearing care professionals around the country.