Bright Medical channel surfs
PHILADELPHIA - When it comes to driving sales, online provider Andrei Lemiasheuski looks beyond the usual resources like Google and Bing to drive traffic to his website.
This summer, the president of Bright Medical tried out comparison shopping search engines like pricegrabber.com and shopzilla.com.
"We use all channels available," said Lemiasheuski.
The way these comparison sites work: The seller basically provides a feed of what's available on their ecommerce site, including pictures, links, parts numbers and, of course, pricing. The user shops by category, say a certain brand and style of wheelchair, and then compares all products listed in that category. When they find one they like they click through and it takes them to the seller's own ecommerce site.
The seller pays per click on each product listed--Lemiasheuski says he pays between 60 cents and 70 cents per click--whether the click results in a sale or not.
"If the customer just wants to select the cheapest product, it will give them that," said Lemiasheuski. "We are in the lower level of pricing for durable medical equipment, so it's increased sales for us."
Comparison shopping search engines don't work for everyone, cautions industry consultant Jonathan Gordon.
"They aren't always effective at converting click rates (to sales)," said Gordon, president of Coribus Group. "Look at how much you spend on overall clicks. If you are spending $100 to make one $50 sale, that's obviously not going to work."
Bright Medical, which was founded in 2006, offers between 4,000 and 5,000 products ranging from incontinence supplies to IV poles. The provider has a physical location in addition to its web site, but Lemiasheuski plans to be strictly online within the next year, he says.
"I hear so many stories about people who don't want to buy through their insurance," he said. "There's a high demand for (cash sales) and I'd rather be on the (leading) edge of the industry."