Dermatologists and plastic surgeons are among the most requested medical specialties in the country. Although this high demand is certainly a cause for celebration for aesthetics providers, it also presents a major challenge: how can you find ways to remain competitive, retain patients, and increase revenues without sacrificing quality care? Fortunately for providers and their patients, ecommerce has emerged as a key solution to this problem, making it easier than ever before for aesthetics providers to retain patients and sell more products and services without sacrificing quality time spent with patients.
One of the most important goals for any business is to retain customers through long-lasting relationships
Retention is one of the most important goals for any business. In the highly competitive aesthetics industry, keeping patients over time is essential to staying profitable. Retaining customers can be hard when you’re on the front lines of beauty. One study found that only half of clients stay with their aesthetics practitioner from year to year, and only 20 percent keep coming after two years.
What can you do to improve your ability to retain your patients over a long period time? One of the most valuable tools to help you retain patients—and improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and engagement—is ecommerce. How can ecommerce help? Let’s look at some ways that online stores will help keep your clients coming back for more.
Ecommerce is an especially attractive channel for the aesthetics industry because it’s low-touch and convenient
Ecommerce is attractive for both the office staff and the patient because it’s low-touch and convenient. Patients who shop online are more likely to purchase products from your practice repeatedly and over a longer period of time than those who don’t. The ability of patients to shop online makes it easier for patients to purchase and replenish products from your practice, which both increases revenue and drives loyalty. Ecommerce can also make it easier for patients to find the products they want, even if they have special needs or concerns that require specific ingredients or formulations. Proper online store design, content, marketing and remarketing make it easier for patients to learn about and find complementary products to their favorite products.
Ecommerce makes it easier for patients to maintain recommended treatment regimens by making them available from their trusted medical provider without having to take time off work or make an extra visit your office during the day. It also helps increase conversion of your special offers and promotions—whether advertised via email marketing, social ads, direct mail campaigns, or other—since customers will be able to click through to your store and purchase specials while they are top of the mind, regardless of the day of the week or time of day.
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The aesthetics industry has benefitted enormously from the growth of ecommerce in two ways: through increased sales and improved patient engagement
Increased sales and improved patient engagement are two of the most significant benefits of ecommerce for aesthetics practices.
The aesthetics industry is growing rapidly, driven by an aging population that is increasingly interested in maintaining their physical appearance. Meanwhile, ecommerce is also growing at a rapid rate. As more people buy goods and services online and become increasingly more comfortable with shopping online, they are more likely to make purchases from practices that sell products and services online.
The impact of these developments on the aesthetics industry is twofold. First, it creates an opportunity for providers to serve their patients where the patients are comfortable, thus increasing the lifetime value of each patient. Second, it improves the patient experience by making it easier for patients to engage with their providers and make purchases wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.
Thanks to ecommerce, product replenishment can continue even after the patient leaves the office
Ecommerce makes automatic product replenishment easy for both office and patient. It enables your patient to benefit from both the convenience and price incentives for auto-replenishing their favorite products. It enables your practice to benefit from being able to claim revenues for the professional skincare products that you have taken the time to introduce to your patient, rather than lose those revenues to other online retailers.
In addition, optimally configured ecommerce solutions help suggest to patients not only product replenishment, but can target appropriate complementary products and services for your patients through thoughtfully configured up-selling and cross-selling on your online store.
Online stores can help aesthetics practices promote consumable services such as injectables and fillers, making it easier for patients to purchase their favorite treatments
Many aesthetics practices derive a large percentage of revenues from consumable services such as injectables and fillers, and often try to attract returning and new clients by offering special promotions on these services. Allowing your patient to purchase her next service online—and to easily avail herself of your special offers—increases the likelihood that your patient will purchase her next cosmetic injectable or filler from you. An online store makes it easier for patients to purchase their favorite treatments when they’re thinking about it and ready to purchase.
Related to this principal is the importance of mirroring your in-office services and products on your online channel. Offering all of the services and products available from your practice ensures that your online store is truly a convenient channel for your patients. When your online store incorporates all services, product lines, memberships, e-gift cards, and even surgical deposits/payments, you are more likely to satisfy your patients who are online shoppers.
Practices must differentiate themselves by improving customer experience and offering unique value propositions
There are many tactics you can employ with your online store to increase loyalty. A Rewards Program where patients can earn points for online purchases and other online activities—such as reviewing products, signing up for your newsletter, or referring friends—is one of the most basic and proven effective tools for achieving the engagement and retention we’ve discussed in this article.
The impact of customer experience in the success of ecommerce cannot be overstated. It’s one thing for your site to look nice or offer great prices; it’s another thing entirely for your online store visitors to have a positive customer experience. It involves providing your customers useful information about products so that they know exactly what they’re buying before they make their purchase, giving them confidence that they are purchasing authentic products from an Authorized Physician Reseller, and using best practices in packaging and shipping, such as incorporating handwritten thank you cards and coupon cards in each shipment.
We’re excited about the growth of ecommerce in the aesthetics industry, and the developments that DermPRO has been instrumental in implementing. DermPRO’s HIPAA-compliant stores, integrations with Patient Management Systems, partnerships with skincare manufacturers, and fully-stocked libraries of professional skin care products, cosmetic services, and promotions have transformed ecommerce for some of the country’s top aesthetics practitioners. Contact DermPRO to start benefiting from ecommerce today.