Online selling for veterinary practice: Tactics to get started

4 minutes
Published on August 10, 2021

The vast majority of people try to organize their daily lives as pragmatically as possible, since time is often short. That is one of the reasons why online shopping is becoming increasingly popular: 8/10 Canadian shopped online in 2020*, and this figure is expected to rise.

eCommerce is part of a company’s vision of organic growth and is inseparable from the services offered in veterinary practices. Moreover, online selling improves the reach of the business, helps build customer loyalty and can even attract new clients. It does not replace retail sales; rather, it is an essential complement that meets a clear need expressed by consumers.


1. Focus on the user: Your client

Based on your clinic’s experience, set your goals according to what clients are looking for when they shop online: clear and easily accessible information, an interesting selection of products and a purchasing process that is both easy and efficient. These are your starting points!


2. Offer clients a good experience… both online and in-clinic!

Consumers are increasingly turning to eCommerce, but they also want to see the products in their veterinary clinic, where they can get advice and interact with the team. Every aspect of the customer experience is important, from the care and advice they receive to the design of the retail space, and, of course, the online shopping. For the client, all of these elements form a whole, which is why it is important to make sure their experience is enjoyable and consistent from start to finish. Your ultimate goal is to be there for the client and to support and guide them every step of the way.


3. Ensure transparency in order to build trust

It all boils down to information. Clients have a wealth of information at their fingertips: don’t let “Dr. Google” do your job (results are sometimes good, but often bad!). Feed your website with information, publish content in a newsletter – in short, educate your clients so that you become THE number one medical reference for them. The same goes for the clinic: take the time to explain your recommendations so that clients are more likely to follow them.


4. Choosing the right platform

Make sure that the eCommerce platform you select meets your needs, both in terms of the customer experience and management (order reception and processing, inventory, shipping, etc.). The technological solution you choose must allow you to maximize your sales while minimizing your efforts. To validate your choice, do not hesitate talk to peers with a similar reality to yours and ask them about their satisfaction with certain functionalities of one platform versus another.


5. Work with experts

Surround yourself with people who know you and can help you perform from day one. Make sure you plan every aspect of your e-commerce project (this a good time to review your processes!). Finally, creating a promotional and marketing communications plan is essential to the success of your launch… and everything that comes next!

Did you know…?

The vast majority of pet owners have a choice of at least two veterinarians in their area. An eCommerce platform gives you an additional channel to connect with them, talk to them and let them browse through your veterinary store from the comfort of their home. In short, e-commerce promotes better positioning and helps to extend your reach. Reach out your customers where they already are: online!

* Source: Canada Post, The 2020 Canadian e-commerce report.

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