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Standard Catalogs vs eCommerce Solutions for HME Providers

Standard Catalogs vs eCommerce Solutions for HME Providers

You know that you need to have an online presence to sell your products... but where do you start? Your two options include a standard catalog of products or a comprehensive eCommerce solution. In this article, we’ll walk through the differences between these two solutions and how an HME provider can decide which one is best for them. Because there is no clear-cut answer, the solution you go with is all about your business’s specific needs.

Here’s a quick comparison before we dive deeper:

Standard Catalog


Easily Import Your Current Products

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Customizable Product Descriptions

Utilize Forbin’s Master Product Catalog with Pre-written Product Descriptions

Mobile-friendly Design


Generate Reports to Track Your Online Store’s Performance

Set Coupon Codes

Offer “View Similar Products” to Customers

Secure Payment Portal

Brightree Integration (easy billing, ordering & tracking)

Streamline fulfillment process with Fulfillment Integration

Insurance Verification Integration

Automated Tax with Avalara Integration

The major difference between these two solutions is that a customer can purchase one of your products directly online with an eCommerce solution, but with a standard catalog they need to fill out a product request form. When someone fills out a product request form, your business receives a notification and you can take over the insurance verification, fulfillment and shipping processes for the order rather than having them automated.

Now, let’s determine which solution will be best for you based on your business goals and needs.

You Don’t Have Time to Fulfill Orders Manually

A little self-explanatory, but when your staff doesn’t have time to fulfill orders manually, eCommerce is the way to go. Not only can customers purchase products directly online, but you can automate virtually the entire operation process for online shopping. This frees uptime for your staff to catch up on training, cater to customers’ needs and spend time marketing your products.

HartMedical website

When You Want a Scalable Solution

For very similar reasons as above, if you’re looking to scale your business for maximum growth, an eCommerce solution is the best way to do that. As we mentioned, when the online shopping process is virtually all automated, your staff has time to complete tasks that will help you grow your business. For example:

  • Budgeting for expansion
  • Researching and purchasing new merchandise to sell
  • Fulfilling orders in a shorter amount of time

Binsons Website

When Your Budget is Tight

Sometimes you need to start a little smaller before your business is ready to launch into the next step. So, if the budget is tight, we recommend a website platform with a standard catalog ( PowerWeb™) solution instead of an eCommerce solution. While we just got done explaining why an eCommerce solution is so amazing, a standard online catalog is also a great way to attract customers because you can:

  • Optimize product descriptions and data for search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Replace a “Buy Now” button with a “Request Product” button that links to an online form
  • Link related products in your product descriptions
  • Link people directly to certain products with online marketing tactics (like social media posts and Google Ads)

Side Note: The marketing mediums we linked above are things we can also help you with! Click on them to learn more about the services we provide for each or fill out our form below to let us know what you’re interested in.

Power web Independent Equipment template

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  • Both eCommerce and standard catalogs are great solutions for showcasing products online
  • The primary reason a company would choose an eCommerce solution over a standard catalog is to streamline backend operations (fulfillment, shipping, taxes)

If you haven’t made up your mind about which solution is right for you, don’t fret! Just fill out the form below and one of our experts will be in touch to help you out. If you already have your mind made up, you can still fill out the form below to get a catalog or eCommerce project started with VGM Forbin.