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How To Start a Medical Supply Business Online

Roadmap to enter and win the market

Leveraging vast experience in healthcare and ecommerce, ScienceSoft helps medical businesses gain online presence.

How to Sell Medical Supply - ScienceSoft
How to Sell Medical Supply - ScienceSoft

Brief Summary of Our Guide

Launch of an online medical supply business is a viable way for manufacturers, distributors and retailers of medical supplies and equipment to increase their net profit. While the demand for medical supplies and devices has been consistent throughout the years, the need for an online presence is largely dictated by overall digitization of sales transactions across all verticals, including healthcare.

You are welcome to read our full guide, but we’ve also prepared a summary of key ideas to remember:

  • A B2M business model is most profitable for manufacturers or distributors of medical stuff. To launch it, you will need to separate a registration process and user journeys for business buyers and individual consumers.
  • A platform to sell medical supplies and equipment relies on all the standard ecommerce functionality, though must be tailored to the specifics of your business processes and target audience.
  • Key integrations to set up are: a vendor portal, an order management system, ERP, a data analytics solution.
  • Relationship marketing can be the best marketing technique to gain long-term clients in a highly competitive market.
  • $70,000 is a starting cost of ecommerce platform development for a medical e-business.

Medical Supply & Equipment Market: Trend for Digitization

An online medical supply and equipment market encompasses the sale of essential medical goods – medical apparel, IV kits, diagnostic tools, durable medical tools, surgical consumables, and more – to medical institutions, laboratories, nursing homes as well as to individual consumers for home care.

Over the last five years, the market has been steadily growing at an annualized rate of 17%. Lately, the growth has been driven by the global COVID-19 spread and its consequences entailing an increased demand for medical supplies by both individuals and all kinds of healthcare institutions.

Peter Manko, Ecommerce Consultant at ScienceSoft, is confident that the trend for digitization will continue in the sales of medical supply and equipment:

"Now, we witness global digitization of sales across all verticals, healthcare is no exception. But what puts medical supply businesses in a favorable position is a short life cycle and recurrent nature of medical assets, which makes them immune to market downturns." 

Steps to Sell Medical Supplies and Equipment Online

A journey to digital sales will be unique for each medical company, still five milestones will form the basis of your business plan.

Step #1

Research business licensing and regulations.

Step #2

Establish a supply system.

Step #3

Choose a business model (B2C, B2B or B2M) and launch an ecommerce platform.

Step #4

Plan an automated order management system.

Step #5

Advertise your webstore.

ScienceSoft will be happy to help you with:

Market entry consulting (market entry research, feasibility study).


Website design and development.


Automation of your business processes (supply chain, order distribution).


Business Models to Employ

Pricing models for medtech manufacturers

Outcome guarantee model

Gain sharing model

Device-as-a-service model

Management service model

Ecommerce models for medtech manufacturers/sellers

B2C model

B2B model

B2M (business-to-many) model

Eases the availability of medical equipment and supplies for individual consumers, including those in rural areas with limited access to healthcare.

E-solution must provide comprehensive product information and multi-channel customer support to guide consumers to an informed product choice.

Focus on bulk sales. Facilitates the accessibility of product information and reduces transaction costs including sales communication costs.

E-solution must provide self-service for clients to research products and place orders; offer a possibility to negotiate client-specific deals and maintain flexible bulk pricing.

Most profitable

Focus on B2B customers as a more sustainable revenue source. Requires diversified marketing strategies to appeal to a multifaceted target audience.

E-solution must provide different registration roles and webstore views for business and individual users.

Features of an E-Solution for Medical Supply & Equipment Business

We at ScienceSoft look at an e-solution for healthcare suppliers from two perspectives: as a customer-facing ecommerce website and a constituent of back-office operations. Hence, we describe the website features to have and show a map of technology integrations needed to set up business workflows.

Basic website functionality

Medical supply & equipment catalog management

  • Configurable navigation, faceted product search.
  • Unlimited product attributes.
  • Simple, configurable and bundled products.
  • Pre-defined product templates with different attribute sets.
  • Recommendations of similar or supplement products.
  • Stock tracking.
  • Backorders and back-in-stock notifications.
  • 360-degree product images for sophisticated medical devices.
  • AR-powered user manuals.
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Typical ecommerce website structure

  • Homepage: page builder for content editing and publishing.
  • Catalog pages: online merchandizing tools.
  • Product details pages:
    • Multiple images per SKU.
    • Video format of product description.
    • Product rating and reviews.
    • Product reviews moderation.
  • Shopping cart: automated tax and shipping calculation.
  • Checkout: out-of-the-box and custom payment methods.
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Order management

  • Order management dashboard to view, edit and fulfil orders.
  • Invoices, packing slips, and shipping labels available for printing.
  • Return management authorization.
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Ecommerce website setup

  • HIPAA compliance.
  • Template-based or custom website design.
  • Multi-store setup to target different geographies or represent different brands.
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Functionality specific to B2C targeting

Guided purchasing process

  • High-value product content: product descriptions, downloadable product specifications, video manuals, disposal instructions, etc.
  • Price comparison for similar products.
  • Pricing based on a customer group (e.g., the elderly).
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Regulated sales

  • Prescription validation.
  • Health insurance submission.
  • Clear indication of non-refundable items.
  • Limitation of item quantity per user.
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  • Estimated delivery date.
  • Order tracking number available in a customer’s profile.
  • Live updates and email notifications on order status.
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Functionality specific to B2B targeting

Multi-role account management

  • Multiple roles reflecting a company’s procurement hierarchy.
  • Possibility to create, edit and delete permissions for all orders (created by a user or subordinates).
  • Bulk order approval/rejection.
  • Shopping cart export for management approval.
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Flexible price formation tools

  • Automated quantity-based discounts.
  • Customer segmentation.
  • Shared catalogs with segment-specific and individual pricing.
  • Negotiable price quotes.
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Facilitated placement of bulk and complex orders

  • Multiple requisition lists of frequently bought items for quick reorder.
  • Order by SKU and product files importing.
  • Backorders for items out-of-stock or with insufficient stock availability.
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Payment and order shipment

  • Company credit displaying the current outstanding balance, available credit, and the credit limit.
  • Split order shipment to multiple locations.
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Key Functionality Illustrated

Different content formats on a product page building deep product knowledge

A convenient drag-and-drop page builder not requiring coding skills

Built-in analytics with main business KPIs to track

Real-time order tracking and email notifications for order status changes

A possibility of backorders to retain loyal customers in case of the current inventory lack

Credit buying enabled for B2B customers

Supply Chain Structure and Required Integrations

Companies selling medical equipment online need to adopt an integrated approach enabling them to make procurement decisions based on real-time sales data and eliminate manual work involved in multi-warehouse management.

Supply chain structure and required integrations - ScienceSoft

  • Creates a consolidated database of vendors.
  • Provides a platform for digital communication with vendors.
  • Enables the placement and tracking the status of procurement orders.
  • Facilitates reordering.
  • Gives access to the whole transaction history per each vendor.


  • Consolidates real-time stock information from multiple warehouses.
  • Alerts on low stock and thus timely prevents out-of-stocks.
  • Eliminates manual activities aimed at inventory control and improves labor productivity.

Order management system

  • Routes orders automatically to an optimal warehouse based on geographical location and stock levels.
  • Enables the setup of workflows to fulfill orders different in order value, quantity, and more.
  • Informs customers of order shipment and status changes with automated emails.

Data analytics solution

  • Enables sales forecasting for different regions, types of medical equipment and supplies, buyers, etc.
  • Optimizes the use of warehouse space by preventing stale stock.
  • Nurtures customer loyalty by preventing insufficient stock.

How Much Is It to Launch Online Sales in Healthcare?

Numerous factors will shape the project cost: the volume of your product catalog, web design requirements, the scope of your audience targeting, the maturity of your business workflow automation and required integrations, to name a few. For the middle market of medical supply and equipment sales, we estimate an average cost range for the design and development of an ecommerce portal at $70,000-$250,000.

Learn the Cost of Your Project

ScienceSoft can help your business prepare for an online launch and know a precise volume of needed investment.

ScienceSoft as Your Digital Implementation Partner

Advocates of digital transformation, we are ready to make your initiative of selling medical devices, supplies and equipment a success. We provide end-to-end ecommerce implementation for medical supply & equipment businesses.

Business & technology consulting 

Our ecommerce and healthcare certified consultants will conduct comprehensive research to make your market entry well-targeted. Namely, they will:

  • Analyze the target audience, create personas, plan digital user journeys.
  • Make you aware of market entry specifics (competition, industry regulations and governmental laws).
  • Plan competitive advantages of digital experience to provide.
  • Calculate required investments and assess expected ROI.

Digital solution development 

Since 2005, our team has been responding to challenges that manufacturers and sellers of medical products face. To help you launch online sales, we:

  • Elicit your business requirements and functional characteristics of the future solution.
  • Choose a technology stack.
  • Unfold ecommerce development process: set up hosting environment, install the software, configure and customize it to comply with functional requirements.
  • Integrate your ecommerce operations with other business workflows to ensure automated data transfer.

How to Sell Medical Equipment & Supply: Challenges and Solutions

Challenge #1. Building ecommerce on top of an informational website: costly and time-consuming

Solution: Headless approach

If your medical supply business is already present online with a product catalog or an educational resource (mostly likely built on a CMS), you need to migrate your website from a CMS to an ecommerce platform to enable online sales. The migration might be challenging, however, as you will have to rebuild all the pages anew. The most cost-effective solution will be to decouple the front and back end of your CMS to enable headless data delivery. Then, you will create ecommerce pages and elements in a CMS and connect them via APIs to a newly implemented ecommerce back end.

Challenge #2. The market dominated by big players

Solution: Relationship marketing to accrue your market power

The market of medical supplies and equipment is pretty competitive with large manufacturers and suppliers having established long-term relationships with major clients. Market newcomers may try to overcome this entry market barrier by lowering the prices. This tactic, however, can be self-destructive and lead to a negative profit margin.

What ScienceSoft recommends is relationship marketing.

  • Focus on product value and your professional expertise. Don’t just sell but explain how your products will benefit patients’ treatment and medical staff routine. As a rule, this demands vast content capabilities on the website to share knowledge in interviews, researches, discussions of healthcare trends and innovations, etc.
  • Establish the practice of proactive customer contact. The ways to be proactive without expressing an explicit hard-sell intention encompass creating education materials and holding training and networking events for healthcare professionals (prospective customers), announcing your latest updates in social media, and more.

Challenge #3. The need for a sales team is eliminated by online retail

Solution: Sales team refocusing

For medical equipment business, an ecommerce portal is a self-service tool for clients to choose products, place orders and conduct payment transactions – the actions that used to require from them regular communication with salespeople via email, phone calls or fax. But ecommerce does not make a sales team redundant, rather it frees up their time for strategic thinking and customer relationship building. Their functions may shift to:

  • Analyzing sales data to elicit trends and customer needs and, as a result, better plan customer engagement.
  • Nurturing new prospects via cold calls, emails, in-person visits.
  • Curating the creation of educational materials and supplying them to clients.
  • Driving website evolution by promoting new features requested by clients during personal interactions.
About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

Since 1989, ScienceSoft has matured as a software development and IT consulting provider with experience in 30+ industries. For ecommerce businesses, out team provides end-to-end services, starting from the elaboration of an ecommerce strategy to full-cycle ecommerce design and development. Achieving project goals in spite of time and budget constraints, as well as changing requirements, is ScienceSoft's top priority. You set goals, we drive the project to fulfill them.