Four Ways Dental Businesses are Driving eCommerce Sales

In 2020, eCommerce skyrocketed beyond all expectations and changed the way that everyone buys and sells. eCommerce was supposed to grow 18% but actually grew 32% in 2020 and according to eMarketer US eCommerce reached $794 billion in sales last year. 

The pandemic has accelerated eCommerce and people now expect a faster, more convenient, and better online shopping experience for everything. 

Those same consumers who are buying on Amazon and other top eCommerce sites have taken their high expectations to their place of work too. This means dentist offices. 

The global market for Dental equipment and consumables is big and growing. The overall market is expected to grow 6% per year from 2020 to $36 billion in sales by 2026, according to Global Market Insights.

Dental offices usually work with sales representatives to book supply and part orders and re-orders. But, often this process is a challenge. Manufacturing for dental equipment can be dispersed so dentist offices are often forced to work with multiple sales people to fully supply their needs. That means different buying processes, delivery timelines, payments to manage and more. 

Especially during COVID-19 and social distancing, it has become harder to reliably get the supplies required to operate a successful dental practice from offline channels. 

Here’s how the market leaders in dentistry are growing with eCommerce.

Put Dentists in Control

The eCommerce business is like any other business except even more so. 

By that we mean that it’s easier to win and lose customers with eCommerce than it is with any other businesses. That means you need to earn the right to serve dental practices. A great way to do this is by putting the dentist in control.

A great example of this is Braseller, a Henry Schein company, and a Threekit customer. Brasseler was seeing a high growth in customized kit requests from dentist practices. 

Because every dentists has their own wants, needs, and nuances for different procedures, it's very important for each dentist to be able to build a set that is just right for them. 

Brassler uses Threekit’s 3D Configurator to allow dentists to build amazing customized dental kits. 

Before Threekit, the "kitting" process for each dentist had been tedious with a 6-8 week turnaround and lots of paperwork. 

With a goal to simplify, drive sales, and create a more engaging experience the Brasseler team integrated Threekit.

The Brasseler custom Kit Designer is a powerful customization process that any dentist can use to build the exact kit they need, see the price, and buy it and do it all right now. 

Build a brand

Perhaps the most important aspect of building a successful eCommerce business is building a brand that dentists can trust and use with ease. 

The care of dental patients is of utmost importance and the supplies and tooling therefore must be high quality and reliable. 

By focusing on how and why your company is able to serve dental practices with a fantastic product, reliable service, and simple ease of use, you begin to differentiate your business and build trust so that dentists come back every time. 

Keep a wide stock and sell directly online

It isn’t enough to be a reliable brand with fast delivery and a great customer experience. Like most shoppers, convenience is key for dental offices. They want to be able to order most of their needs from a one stop shop.

Leading brands like Henry Schien already offer more than 120k online SKUs. A wide selection of goods ensures that dental offices make more of their purchases from your site due to the connivence of not visiting multiple sites or interacting with multiple sales people. 

It also makes sense to sell directly to your customers - not through a distributor or retailer - because it creates a more seamless customer experience and it cuts out the middleman and increases margins.

A recent Barclays survey of 500 UK manufacturers showed that three-quarters (73%) have already adopted direct to customer sales as part of their business strategy. 

Ship on time 

According to Dentistry IQ - dental practices often buy too many supplies because the ordering process is so difficult and deliveries take so long.

This ‘hoarding’ factor means dental consumables often expire before being used because they were ordered in bulk but not used.

If dental eCommerce practices could rely on eCommerce orders like Amazon, they would waste less and worry less -- this is an area for dental eCommerce businesses to build trust and relationships with offices.

The future for Dental eCommerce

The dental products market size is growing into a $36 billion dollar behemoth and with a huge surge in eCommerce -- There’s a bright future ahead for dental sales online. 

As consumers and business buyers continue to overlap the expectations of creating a brand, putting dentists in control, keeping a wide stock and selling directly online, and shipping on time creates an opportunity for first movers to capture the market.