Medical supplies have been surging in demand this year and this may be an excellent opportunity for dropshipping businesses.
But is this just a temporary trend, or are there long-lasting opportunities in medical supply dropshipping?
Here is a guide that will answer your questions.
Medical supply businesses are booming online, even if you ignore the rapid changes brought about by 2020 and COVID-19. From 2015-2020, online medical supplies sales grew 17%, to more than $5 billion in annual sales.
Online medical device and supply retailers have seen a gross profit margin of up to 50%. Even more growth is anticipated in the coming years.
Some of the reasons why this market is growing so quickly are:
Around the world, the population over age 60 more than doubled between 1980 and 2017, to 962 million. By 2050, that number is expected to increase to more than 2.1 billion.
Older adults need medical care, as a result the demand for devices and supplies increases.
Increase in Consumer Trust
A few years ago, consumers were more skeptical about ordering necessary medical items online. However, there has been a more significant shift toward consumer confidence in this area.
Customers are now more likely to feel that ordering their medical supplies online is secure and convenient, particularly when they have reduced mobility and transportation options.
Recent years have seen the online medical supply business market expands dramatically. Medical supplies are now being ordered online by a much wider range of people, including medical professionals, patients, and caregivers.
Also, due to the COVID pandemic, a much broader population range now needs medical supplies like PPE and sterilization equipment.
Traditionally, consumers had to get medical supplies from a limited number of available suppliers. Today, consumers can shop for medical supplies online, making product comparisons, and looking for better value for their money.
Recurrent Sales Opportunities
Many medical conditions are chronic or ongoing, which means constant demand, often for the customer’s lifetime.
Many medical supply companies recognize this need with subscription or auto-refill options that create more convenience for the customer and more predictable revenue for the business. This ongoing customer relationship also provides excellent returns in terms of marketing investment.
Popular Product Categories
It’s best to build a large store with a broad range of complementary products if you intend to sell medical supplies online.
Generally speaking, a good medical supply online store has 100+ product categories and thousands of products. Some popular top-level product categories include:
- Personal protective gears
- Medical furniture
- Surgical instruments
- Measuring instruments
- Sterilization equipment
- Sanitary supplies
- Medical and pharmacy equipment
- Nursing care products
- Rehabilitation aids
- Wellness products
Product Pricing Strategy
You may ask, is it possible to sell just a few products in a store?
Chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease require a wide range of supportive supplies and equipment. Offering just a few of the products your customers need may encourage them to look elsewhere for a one-stop shopping experience.
A common dropshipping strategy is to research your target audience to determine what supplies they need and bundle products to increase the order value.
You may want to reduce the bundle’s price and profit from sales volume, particularly for single-use or disposable medical supplies and products like PPE.
On the other hand, many medical and surgical instruments are sophisticated and higher-priced and can command a higher margin.
Can you dropship medical supplies? The Risks
With all these opportunities, there are naturally some risks. Here are some of the critical things to consider when starting a medical supply dropshipping business:
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
Medical equipment and supplies usually invite more government oversight than other products. Laws may govern your product range, marketing claims, licensing, and certifications.
You need to comply with all local rules and regulations and stay up to date. They may change from time to time.
While rare, there is a possibility of medical supply or device failure, which may have adverse health effects for your customer. This could potentially create liability on your part.
Thus, it is always a good idea to have an attorney review your dropshipping agreements.
And it is essential to review legal liabilities in the instance of late or delayed shipments, expired or faulty products, or other potential mishaps.
Diligence in Marketing and Sales
With medical supplies, customer trust is even more critical than in other dropshipping businesses.
Be especially careful and transparent in your claims about product use and effectiveness, shipping times and delivery estimates, and all other aspects of marketing and sales. Your customers may be skeptical or vulnerable, and it’s essential to earn and keep their trust.
To start a medical dropshipping business, you will need:
It’s an advantage if you have a medical or healthcare background to have better insight into your product’s use and features. If you don’t have that background, do some research. If possible, talk to medical professionals and ask for an opinion.
Understanding of any Applicable Regulations
Research and understand any requirements for importing or exporting medical products, sales & marketing thereof, or any certifications or licenses you may need.
Ability to Do Sales and Service
It is often not enough for medical supply dropshippers to have a website and do digital marketing. You will need more contact with potential customers, offering lengthy services and support, and turning those interactions into sales.
How to choose a dropshipping supplier?
Because the medical field is about giving a high standard of care, it’s essential to hold suppliers to a higher standard as well. Whether you are looking for a supplier, an agent, or a fulfillment center, here are some things to be aware of.
Reputation and Quality
Look for very high reviews and ratings (and a guarantee, if possible) of product quality and effectiveness, as well as reliability in shipping and delivery.
Storage and Packing
Many medical supplies have expiration dates or specific storage requirements. If you are working with a warehouse or fulfillment center, make sure they store your inventory appropriately.
Most medical supplies are subject to specific rules and regulations. Ensure that your suppliers comply with all laws regarding registration, labeling, reporting. Many medical supply manufacturers keep a compliance score. It’s a good idea to request and review this score when available.
Because of the increased liability risk with medical supplies, make sure that your supplier agreements address any liability questions or concerns.
A Directory of Medical Supplies Dropship Suppliers
Here is a list of suppliers who offer a dropship or wholesale programme.
|Company name||Country||Top Categories||Description|
|Australia||patient care, physiotherapy rehabilitation equipment||DearJane Medical is an online store proudly dedicated to supplying Australia with the best quality products from leading world class brands. |
DearJane Medical range include products supporting aged care, disability, recovery and rehabilitation, hospital, medical and diagnostic and clinical needs.
|Canada||health monitors, medical supplies, ostomy supplies, urological, skin & wound||Payless Medical uses the largest drop ship facilities in both the United States and Canada. |
Backed by these national drop shippers, Payless Medical has the ability to provide the best possible service by utilizing their multiple warehouses and industry-leading service and support.
|China||medical consumables, medical devices, health care products||Alibaba is China’s largest wholesale platform|
|China||medical supplies, beauty & personal care||As part of the Golden Science & Technology Group, Bestmedicaldirect.com was the first Dedicated Medical & Health Products Wholesaler to ship direct from the Asian factories to Hospitals, Clinics, University Labs, Small Businesses (B2B) and Home Care Users (B2C). |
Best Medical Direct is still the only existing Chinese wholesale ecommerce provider of healthy lifestyle gadgets and home care equipment to have real doctors in their ownership group.
|China||personal care, health care, home care||Global Care Market is a leading online shop for Health Care Products and Home Care Supplies.|
|USA||orthopedics & phsical therapy, fitness & exercise, medical equipment & supplies||Health Mobius is a family owned business. |
Deliveries are blind drop shipped to the lower 48 states from their 13,000 square foot warehouse, making the process easy for sellers.
|USA||bracing & supports, electrotherapy, home medical care, home & furnishings, skin care||Healio Health work everyday to find the best health, medical, and beauty innovations on the market. Offering everything from condition-specific items to everyday products that keep one healthy.|
|USA||diagnostic tools, exercise equipment, laboratory supplies, personal care, surgical supplies||With one of the largest catalogs of medical, surgical, and diagnostic supplies available online, Medex Supply can provide all the medical equipment necessary to ensure a healthy, safe, and sterile environment.|
|USA||advanced wound care, diagnostics, lab supplies, surgery, therapy & rehabilitation||Medline helps healthcare systems and facilities across the continuum activate the clinical and supply chain resources they need to deliver their best care.|
The marketing strategy for medical supplies business depends significantly on whether you are selling to organizations like hospitals or care facilities (B2B) or directly to the public (B2C). In either case, it’s essential to:
Have a Professional Online Store
Building trust starts with having a well-organized online store with clean, professional branding. Your store should have a complete product catalog, and display knowledge and understanding of your products.
Use Appropriate Terminology
Use clear language that your consumer understands, and make sure that you have well-written, professional descriptions for your products.
Make sure to focus on your product’s value and your service, rather than merely listing the product specs.
Comply With Marketing Regulations
As we’ve mentioned, there may be specific regulations that apply to marketing your products, so make sure you comply.
A good medical supply dropshipping business builds itself on relationships rather than transactions.
Build your client base by establishing credibility and trust, and offer exceptional communication and service. If possible, create a chat service on your website where people can get questions answered 24/7.
For B2B medical supply dropshipping, there are a few more marketing considerations:
- Learn where to find prospects. Identify hospitals, clinics, care homes, spas, and other potential clients.
- Understand the procurement process. Larger organizations have an established procurement process, usually with an IT system. Learn how to access their sourcing events and submit responses through their system.
- Allow repeat orders. Large B2B clients tend to refill their supply frequently, and your store should facilitate that. It should allow them to repeat previous orders quickly. Offer volume discounts and adjust the pricing according to the quantity of the order.
- Advertise where you have the most impact. It may be more useful to advertise in medical journals or publications where large organizational clients have a subscription for.
In 2020 and beyond, there is a tremendous opportunity in medical supply dropshipping, especially for dropshippers who can establish the credibility and reliability that their customers need.