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The American Healthcare Market
The American Health Care market is worth nearly $2.8 trillion, and it is no surprise that e-commerce in this sector is exploding. In 2016, consumers spent over $300 billion on prescriptions at pharmacies, with a surge in the desire for prescription delivery services, especially at the cheaper rates offered by some Canadian pharmacies. As well as this, customers are now increasingly starting to choose insurance plans and medical treatment packages online because of the ability to compare services quickly and easily. Even dental plans are now being offered online with the promise of up to 60% in savings.
Large companies such as Walgreens are using their existing e-commerce platforms to offer their customers online ordering of prescription and non-prescription drugs. Last year CVS announced that they would be buying Aetna, this brings together a retail giant with nearly 10,000 stores and a prominent insurance provider. There is also talk of Amazon entering the Health Care market, adding to some of the medical supplies and equipment it already sells to clinics and hospitals. Interestingly, hospitals across the US are already using Alexa to necessary information with patients once they have been discharged.
The adoption of e-commerce into the Healthcare industry has allowed a direct-to-consumer approach to flourish and is providing cost-savings for consumers. There has also been a drastic increase in the number of manufacturers who are using their websites to operate a “Telemedicine” service which offers patients live chats with a doctor, eliminating the need to travel away from home, it is convenient and cost-effective.
As e-commerce competition increases, more providers will also look to build the customer experience, with companies like CapsuleCares.com already offering free two-hour delivery to those closeby. According to Goldman Sachs, the healthcare industry is ready to spend over $30 billion on e-commerce and web services annually which is a clear indicator that competition within the market will increase, which is excellent news for consumers and should lower costs and force services to continue to improve.