A great healthcare website sells to visitors naturally.
- Your patient comes to your website for information and realizes she should make an appointment for a checkup.
- Someone looking for a great gym or dance studio finds you with Google and signs up for a class.
- A person with back pain researches his symptoms online, finds your physical therapy practice, and gives you a call.
But what if you want to sell products? A visitor looking for a doctor, for health information, or for health services may not be looking for exercise gear or medical wearables — but might be open to a purchase. How do you let your visitors know they can buy products from your healthcare website?
Watch out for excess ads
The screenshot below is not from a healthcare website. We don’t want to call anyone out for their website. But if it looks at all familiar — with lots of banners and calls to action — you should know that Google doesn’t like websites that overwhelm visitors with ads.
It seems obvious. If you want to sell supplements, put nice big banner ads at the top, a couple of ads in your sidebar, and maybe a pop-up. Your patients are visiting your website anyway, so this is a good means of getting their attention, right?
Most of us ignore ads, actually, unless we’re already interested. So limit yourself to one or two ads. People who want supplements will probably notice it, and other visitors won’t feel battered by banners.
Set up shop
Add a shop if you have three or more products. Call it “Store” or “Shop” and put it in your main navigation. This allows people who want to shop to find your products easily.
Those who don’t want to shop don’t go to that page. It’s not intrusive and it doesn’t damage their experience at the rest of the website.
You can link to products at your store from relevant pages. If you offer eye health supplements, it makes sense to write about the ingredients at your blog. Then link to the supplement from that page. Again, it’s not intrusive. But the reader who is thinking, “This sounds like just what I need,” can click through and make a purchase.
In short, present your products as a convenience for your patients. Provide a good shopping experience and don’t interfere with the main jobs of your website.
Include every product
If your barre studio includes a little retail area with weights and mats, your online store can also include monthly class passes or new-student offers. You might not think of those things as products, but online they certainly can be. Visitors to your healthcare website are primarily looking for healthcare information and services, so they won’t be disappointed to see your Lunch ‘n’ Learn or intro class on your Store page.
Subscriptions, events, and appointments can all be sold in e-commerce pages. If you use WooCommerce, you’ll find that you can easily generate products from events and subscriptions and memberships.
Taking a product-oriented look at your practice can help you stock your Store page and make it appealing.
Focus on the visual
Use the manufacturer’s product images or spring for a professional photographer to make sure your products look good. While 17% of Americans buy supplements online, they’ll be comparing your website’s shopping experience to Amazon in their minds. A generic image might not seem trustworthy or satisfying.
At the same time, choose images that provide the needed information. Your visitors should be able to tell exactly what they’re getting. Your descriptions should be thorough, too, including all the information you would give a patient who was considering making a purchase.
Handled right, e-commerce can provide an additional income stream without conflicting with your primary brand message.