The pandemic highlighted the significance of well-known but unresolved issues in many sectors, including pharmaceuticals.
Around the world issues for pharmaceuticals companies include clear product differentiation, obtaining a holistic view of customer needs, improved communication and strict regulation.
Throughout the pandemic pharmaceuticals ecommerce companies saw dramatic growth, with leaders like the pharmacy benefit managers CVS Caremark seeing a 1,000% increase on online prescription orders.
Both direct to consumer(D2C) and business to business (B2B) ecommerce pharmaceutical sales need high quality design and functionality to meet customer demand for easy, efficient and transparent purchasing of medicines.
Now that digital transformation in the pharmaceuticals sector has made an estimated five-year leap forward both manufacturers and sellers need to embrace change in this fast-growing market.
According to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index it’s very unlikely that the trend towards online buying will slow down. This will include the global online healthcare industry with revenue expected to reach US$435.8billion by 2025.
Amazon and Alibaba have both invested in their online pharmacy businesses to improve experiences for providers and customers. Both allow prescription medication to be ordered online and plan to expand their offer through new technology.
However, it isn’t all plain sailing, with recent reports that China might ban third-party platforms from offering medicines over the internet. This possibility has affected share prices for both Alibaba Health Information Technology and JD Health International.
With B2B ecommerce software integration, pharmaceuticals companies can provide easy and efficient ways for customers to search for and buy their supplies. A comprehensive pharmaceutical B2B ecommerce platform allows you to review and manage purchasing and sales including stock availability and pricing, so you can prepare and respond in a volatile market.
Online pharmaceutical sales
Hospitals and healthcare providers will be in a stronger position to compare and negotiate the best possible prices to achieve organizational cost savings.
However, online pharmaceutical sellers must have reliable methods to verify and validate orders for prescription medicines. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already issued warnings to online pharmacies for selling unapproved drugs, selling without the proper prescriptions, instructions for safe use, or the required risk warnings. Legitimate online sellers will need to move quickly to avoid widespread concern and reputational damage.
With increasing issues involving opioid misuse security and the risk of diversion of prescription packages must be prioritized throughout the fulfilment process.
The benefits of pharmaceuticals ecommerce
As a complex, highly regulated and licensed industry pharmaceuticals companies must choose a platform that is designed to address their unique requirements. Effective B2B ecommerce software will allow your pharmaceuticals company to meet your customers’ needs quickly and efficiently around the clock with functionality such as:
✓ CATALOG CONTROL – bespoke product catalogs allow you to manage access through your customers’ login credentials and you can still allow them the option of viewing but not purchasing other products. You can integrate directly with your suppliers’ product and stock data to enhance product and safety information and to enable drop shipping.
✓ PRODUCT CONTROL – you can maintain tight control over specification and manufacturing batch identification throughout your product lifecycles with online tracking of individual serial numbers or batches. You can also implement product recalls for out of date products or batches that must be returned using serialized inventory and order management tools.
✓ TRANSPARENT PURCHASING – online purchasing of medicines and technologies such as real-time price monitoring and spend tracking help to make purchasing simple and efficient. You can also limit purchase numbers for restricted products or by customer for specific periods and block certain product combinations.
✓ IMPROVED BUSINESS PROCESSES – through effective integration you can connect your B2B ecommerce platform with your accounting, warehouse management and order processing systems to improve efficiency and avoid manual data entry. At the same time performance can be monitored across your whole operation.
✓ BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE – your field sales representatives will continue to play and important part in your business. You can empower them with instant access to product data, stock levels and customer-specific pricing to streamline order taking and improve customer service.
✓ FAST AND ACCURATE ORDERING – with effective procurement and purchase controls customers have an efficient purchase approval process so orders can be simpler and faster than offline ordering. Spending limits can be set for different buyers, departments and locations along with multiple levels of approval for different decision makers.
✓ SIMPLIFIED SHIPPING – complex delivery charge calculations can be simplified. When your customers log in they can see pre-agreed delivery options, according to their location, items in the order, weight, and volume along with any additional requirements such as insurance.
✓ DIGITIZATION – efficiency and visibility across your whole supply chain can be improved when you handle all your orders digitally via your B2B ecommerce platform. From small companies to large corporations, you can trade via electronic data interchange (EDI) or provide invoices as PDFs, depending on your customer’s needs. In your back office systems, they can all be handled digitally to streamline your processes.
Move ahead with confidence
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding industry pharmaceuticals manufacturers and wholesalers who are not yet operating online need to urgently review costs and opportunities and start preparing an implementation plan.
Cloudfy has been designed from the outset to meet the needs of B2B ecommerce so you can be confident you will have all the features you need to meet your pharmaceuticals ecommerce and regulatory requirements.
With years of experience creating B2B ecommerce portals and working with companies from medical and pharmaceutical industries the Cloudfy team can create a high performing, streamlined B2B ecommerce platform in the cloud that will allow you to stand out in an increasingly competitive online market.
Book a free Cloudfy demonstration to find out how we can meet the B2B ecommerce software needs of your pharmaceuticals business.