Blog Link your Plato with Shopify – and Grow Your Practice

Link your Plato with Shopify – and Grow Your Practice

Expand your clinic’s reach by selling products and services online.

You have some inventory sitting on your shelf. Perhaps it is a product which carries your brand name. The product and its chances of sale are provided only to patients who visit your clinic. Because of this, some of your products are sitting idle.

But there is a customer out there who is looking exactly for what’s on your shelf – a customer that will benefit from your product. Because your product remains trapped in your brick-and-mortar clinic, it is available only to those who walk in.

When someone is clutching at their jaw in pain, googling for a toothbrush that’s not hard on the gums, why not “be present” to solve their problem? Your product might be just the solution. Or when someone is simply searching for a hydrating toner, why not give your product a chance to be considered?

You could leverage the power of the internet and sell products online. Similar to setting up a physical store, at the minimum, you would require an online storefront – this serves as your gateway to the digital world, a display shelf, so that your customers can browse and select your product – and crucially, an ability to collect payment from customers.

Platforms such as Shopify provide the tools to get your ecommerce business up and running in minutes. Shopify is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that allows its users to build online storefronts, process and ship orders and build customer relationships. Shopify is not a new player. It is a publicly listed company that powers upwards of 800,000 businesses in about 175 countries and has been trusted by brands such as Tesla Motors, Red Bull and Nestle.

Shopify is used in the healthcare space as well. Three examples of dentist/doctors tapping the power of Shopify follow.

US-based dentist Dr Ramezani and surgeon Dr Sabo run an online oral care store, Dr Brite that is powered by Shopify. Sonic toothbrushes, oral care pens and oral sprays are among the items that customers can browse and discover in the online store. At the same time, Dr Brite seeks sign-ups for its newsletters. The store accepts a wide range of payment methods ranging including the popular Visa/Mastercard to the trendier Apple Pay and Google Pay, unlocking access beyond geographical barriers.

Also entrusting Shopify to power his online store is Taiwan-based dermatologist, Dr Ying-Ching Wu of DR. Wu Clinical Skincare. In the store, he sells skincare products carrying his name. Customers can browse his extensive range of products sorted by price, date and popularity helping them make a decision quickly yet confidently.

Dermatologist Dr Lily Talakoub delivers her skincare expertise in the form of skincare products through Derm to Door – an online store similarly powered by Shopify. Customers can view products classified by their skincare concern (for those who might have wandered to the website as a result of googling an issue) or by type (for those who have made up their mind about what they want).

Shopify lets its users create, cultivate and communicate their brand, unlike other ecommerce platforms that tend to commoditise sellers. Because of this, each of the three stores appear markedly different even though they are all powered by Shopify. Each of the stores is infused with its own unique branding. Yet Shopify-powered stores provide a passing customer with the familiar tools they have come to expect from e-commerce websites: an ability to browse, select and pay for a product.

When you have an online store that complements your brick-and-mortar practice, record-keeping of revenue-generating activities might become tedious. Having revenue flow in from multiple sources, tracking invoices, managing inventory records and recording payments can lead to fragmented administrative processes. You will have to manage invoices, keep track of inventory and record payments from different channels.

But with effective integrations, such problems can be managed. On Plato, purchases from Shopify are synced with Plato so that invoices are created and stock is automatically updated. Whether a sale is made online or in your clinic, information can be retrieved from one source so that you can expand your revenue-sources unencumbered by admin work.

June 25, 2020