Profits & Discounting with Wellevate
When you were first setting up your Wellevate dispensary, you were asked whether you would like to offer a patient discount or collect the full percentage profit available for your practice. Initially, you might think that to make the most money, the answer to this question would be a no-brainer: collect the highest percentage you can! But the answer is actually much more nuanced than that.
Within the Wellevate platform, we have practitioners that collect no profit for themselves, and others who collect the full profit and offer their patients no discount. Let’s discuss the merits of these approaches, as well as a more moderate in-between approach.
Collecting No Profit
Patient Discount = Full Percentage Allowed
This is a great option for clinicians who want to offer access to the highest quality supplements but do not want to integrate it into their business as part of their revenue. This is most common when providers are part of a system (like a hospital network) or a clinic where supplements can be recommended, but not dispensed by the provider.
While this is a very convenient option when needed, when it comes to earning revenue, it’s clearly not the best choice!
Collecting the Full Profit
Patient Discount = 0%
I understand the attraction to this approach. If you sell a product for $30 (retail price), and you can earn $3 (10% profit) or $10.50 (35% profit) on that product, what would you choose? The $10.50 option is more revenue for your practice—the clear winner, right?
But remember: like it or not, you’re in a competitive marketplace. And now, with the ease of a Google search on your mobile phone, you can price compare, order something from halfway around the world, and have it delivered to your doorstep in two days without having to pay for shipping.
This is the case with just about everything these days, including professional supplements. And while I’d love to be able to change this, it’s the disruption we’re seeing in every industry. Remember Blockbuster? Netflix built the advantage, and that’s why they lead the home movie industry today. And we’re seeing it in virtually every product category—from clothing to décor to groceries—with Amazon and other online megastores.
So while you might earn $10.50 on a product sale, if your patient can find that same product cheaper online, will that keep them coming back to your practice for their refills or other purchases?
If your patients are going elsewhere, you face several issues:
1. You lose the connection with your patient. When they come to your dispensary, they re-engage with your practice’s brand—they see your logo, your name, and your recommendation if you’ve built one. When they get their supplements delivered from your dispensary, they see your name on the invoice, right along with the products they’re using to get and stay well.
2. They could buy the wrong product. A different brand, ingredient formulation, or dosage might look very similar to a patient’s eye—but you chose the product for them for a reason, right? When your patients buy online, there’s a likelihood of them making a mistake and purchasing the wrong product. (Or intentionally buying something different because they found it cheaper.)
3. They might not receive the right efficacy. Counterfeits, older or expired product, and improper storage are al very real issues in the online marketplace.
4. You may never get another sale from that patient. I know this likely isn’t your first priority, but if you depend on supplement revenue to support your practice—to allow you to see fewer patients per day and have longer visits, to keep visit costs lower, to save for practice growth, and so much more—you risk losing that future sale.
So, $10.50 today is just that. But it could be $0 in the future.
I know, it’s hard to swallow. But this is the reality your business faces today.
The practitioners who are most successful on Wellevate, and whose patients are coming back again and again, are taking a more moderate approach.
Offering a Competitive Discount in Your Wellevate Dispensary
What is competitive? Take a look around: shop online for a few of your most recommended products and see what kinds of prices patients can find through an easy search. Generally, patients can find most products at 10-15% off or can find a coupon to get that discount.
If you price your Wellevate dispensary at a discount, a few things happen:
1. You’re a hero (or a lifesaver) to your patients. Be sure to tell your patients about this discount, which they can only access when they’re a patient of yours! Here’s an easy way to start the conversation:
“You’ll receive an email invite to set up an account in Wellevate. Here, you can see all of the products I recommend for you, and you can purchase them directly. I’ve set it up for you so that you’ll receive 20% off all of your purchases, so this should be the most affordable place you can find the products you need. And I use Wellevate because they hold the products in an FDA-registered facility, so what your order will be exactly what you need, and stored exactly the way it’s supposed to be.”
Reiterate quality AND price!
2. You build trust with your patients. Patients will still look around online—it’s only natural. But now they’ll see that you really are the place they can find their products at the best prices. (Remember that for patients, there’s nothing like the feeling of knowing your practitioner has your back, rather than wondering why an online reseller they don’t personally know is giving them a better break on cost.)
3. Your patients will come back to you. When they need a refill, they know there’s only one place to look to get the best products and the best pricing.
4. Your patients will buy other products from you. If you open your dispensary and share with your patients that they can also find non-supplement items in Wellevate—like their favorite organic and natural brand sunscreen, skin care, shampoos, protein bars and powders, and more—they’ll likely buy these items through you too. With your discount in place, they can’t get their favorite products for cheaper elsewhere!
The math works, too.
Let’s say you take only a 20% profit and you pass the rest to your patients. That $30 bottle only results in a $6 profit, that’s true. But that same patient will come back to buy refills for as long as they’re on it.
Let’s be conservative and say 6 months. That’s $6 x 6 months, meaning you’ll bring in $36 total, when you may have only been able to get $10.50 without discounting. Plus, you’re building trust, loyalty, and happiness with your patients.
And it doesn’t stop there. Let’s say they decide to also pick up some SmartyPants Gummy Multivitamins for their children, or the Garden of Life Protein Powder they usually buy from a health food store. They might even treat themselves to a nice new facial moisturizer from Dr. Hauschka, or a Goddess Garden sunscreen they usually buy at Target. (You get the picture.) By offering those products at a discount, alongside their recommended vitamins and supplements, you’re profiting more—and so is your patient.
I know this is a new way to think. But we’re all about win-win situations here, and we think offering your patients a good discount will keep them coming back to you—building trust in your clinic, and creating that personal brand love that we all strive to build with our patients.