A third-generation family-owned business, Geriatric Medical and Surgical Supply Inc. has continued to expand and upgrade its services since it launched in 1945 to supply nursing homes and young families with hygiene products and cleaning services.
The distributor, which initially specialized in diapers, has expanded over the years to supply more than 10,000 SKUs from hundreds of brands across 277 categories ranging from bandages to blood pressure monitoring equipment, wheelchairs and hospital beds. Customers include assisted living residences, hospitals and pharmacies as well as nursing homes. The company, based in the Boston suburb of Woburn, Mass., distributes to customers throughout New England and part of New York State with its own fleet of trucks.
Geriatric Medical accepts customer orders through several channels, including phone, fax and electronic data interchange, but more than 70% of its orders come through its e-commerce site, GeriatricMedical.com. And the company hopes to increase that percentage, director of marketing and e-commerce Justin Racine says. “We’re trying to get more customers on board with our e-commerce site,” he says.
In addition to providing more efficiency and lower operating costs for Geriatric Medical compared with taking orders through phone and fax, for example, e-commerce helps to make the job of purchasing easier for customers through site search and navigation and online product recommendations, Racine says.
He notes that Geriatric Medical designed its e-commerce to make it easier for customers to quickly find what they need and check out, making it easier and faster than ordering offline. “Our customers need to be able to find what they need, add it to their order, and complete the process quickly,” he says. “Our website has allowed them to do just this through our features, speed of service, and dedication to always improving the customer experience.”
It also helps the company to accept orders as late as 5 p.m. for next-day delivery, with online orders typically sent to the fulfillment department more quickly than phone or fax orders. The online system complements a company policy offer the latest-possible order cut-off time,” Racine says.
Racine adds that the web analytics derived from Geriatric Medical’s e-commerce site on how customers browse and buy online is helping the distributor improve conversion rates and sales by more effectively promoting products on its site and through online marketing to groups of customers by their interests. “We see better results when targeting customers by customer segments,” Racine says.
Geriatric Medical, which operates its e-commerce site on Insite Commerce software from Insite Software Solutions Inc., has also been increasing sales via the mobile devices often used by nurses and other medical professionals while tending to patients. “We see more and more mobile and tablet visitors each month,” Racine says. GeriatricMedical.com was developed with responsive design, a technology that automatically adjusts its content to the size of the screen size of any mobile devices a customer uses.
This month the company expects to further improve how it targets customers with personalized merchandising displays on its site as well as through e-mail, search and social media marketing campaigns as it upgrades to version 4.0 of Insite Commerce. Among other things, the upgraded software will enable Geriatric Medical to more easily and quickly modify online merchandising and marketing content when preparing new campaigns, Racine says.
New marketing and advertising efforts will include campaigns through social media sites like LinkedIn, where Racine says he has found it effective to reach out to potential customers by their geographic location and job title. “I’ve found that to be extremely helpful in finding new leads,” he says.
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