It’s true that most physicians, practices, and healthcare agencies fail to maximize their websites– when they even provide websites. For those looking to create a strong web presence (or to retrofit their existing website), Ecommerce platforms can make it easier to build and maintain a fantastic and user-friendly website. But there are so many platforms to choose from that it can be quite difficult to pick the best from among all the available options.
The best Ecommerce platform for any business will always be dependent on the nature of that business’ needs. After all, not all ecommerce businesses are built the same. A legal ecommerce website won’t have the same needs as a fashion boutique, which won’t have the same needs as a general practitioner’s website. To ensure that healthcare agencies looking for Ecommerce options understand the pros and cons of different Ecommerce options as they apply to the unique industry of healthcare, we’ve outlined the common Ecommerce needs of most healthcare practices, and ranked the top-performing Ecommerce platforms based on how well they meet those needs.
What Most Healthcare Agencies Need in Ecommerce Websites
Most healthcare websites need to meet all the standards of a good business website… and then go above and beyond. This means that they’ll need a comprehensive and easy-to-read color scheme, strong agency brand, good photos, plenty of informational pages, and it must be fast: ideally completely loading in under 3 seconds.
But a healthcare or medical practitioner’s website should always go a step further. More and more patients are using information on websites to evaluate practices and practitioners, meaning that the more information a practice can provide customers, the better. Having strong informational areas to discuss not just the practice itself, but to promote the knowledge and acumen of the staff can go very far in helping to leave potential visitors with a positive impression. Areas for case studies, clinically appropriate information, and even interactive treatment calendars are all ideal to have. A great Ecommerce website should also improve the patient experience by providing digital forms for patients to fill out, which can reduce waiting time in-office for patience and streamline the office workflow.
But perhaps most importantly, healthcare Ecommerce websites should be HIPAA compliant. This usually means that if your website is collecting patient information, it must be on a secure server with additional digital protections to help secure that data against misuse or theft. And often, the ability to be HIPAA or PCI compliant is where most Ecommerce platforms fail the healthcare suitability litmus test.
The Best Ecommerce Platforms for Healthcare Agencies
The following Ecommerce platforms are among the best for healthcare agencies and providers, and have been ranked based on their ease of use and management for laymen, their ease of being made HIPAA and PCI compliant, their cost relative to their offerings, and the ability to be plugged into existing office systems like insurance and payment management. We recommend that healthcare offices looking into getting an Ecommerce website consider POS case studies and articles on website insurance integration for using their website to help improve office workflow.
WooCommerce is a fantastic, easy-to-use WordPress-based solution, meaning it’s easy for office staff to learn how to use. It comes with dozens of different plugins to help promote everything from document-sharing to easy scheduling, and can be built on a secure hosting platform which is HIPAA compliant. The biggest drawback is the potential cost, which can stack up, given hosting isn’t included in the cost of its apps. But compared to many other healthcare website options, it’s still relatively cheap.
This platform is best if you simply want to integrate simple, easily-managed Ecommerce options onto an existing website: which is why it falls as number 3 on the list. It’s priced well and beautifully functional, and also immensely easy to integrate and learn, but falls far short of offering all the great features a fully-stocked Ecommerce platform might provide for a healthcare website.
Volusion is one of the few Ecommerce platforms which won’t charge you an arm and a leg for add-ons, and instead offers the full suite of its available options at a single price. It’s easy to use and learn, and can easily integrate with regular office tasks: phone appointments and transactions can easily be entered into its checkout system. And unlike other options, Volusion offers custom SSL certificates, which means their stores can be HIPAA compliant.
Infusionsoft will give you a red-carpet treatment: but it will cost you. Being one of the more expensive solutions, its price tag can run as high as $500 a month. But for that price, it offers far more than just Ecommerce capabilities. Infusionsoft can act as a CRM, helping manage client information, automate your marketing, become your POS, and integrate with almost any other piece of software your business uses. It’s also easy to learn and offers a massive online library of information, and includes concierge-like support.
Bigcommerce ranks below each of these because, though it offers a fantastic suite of features and is one of the easiest platforms to use, it charges users more the more they bill consumers. That means that if your practice uses this platform to bill over 6 figures, you could wind up paying as much as $1,500 a month for its services. For that amount of money, most practices could simply hire a staff designer and have a fully custom web-presence.