Providing education, interaction in the aisles


Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare manufactures more than 5,000 products — most of which consumers haven’t heard of or thought of as part of the DME portfolio. And according to SVP product management David Cohon, the main task that specialty DME stores have — and the task that presents the most opportunity in the omnichannel retail space — is providing a knowledge resource at the point-of-sale.

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“Who’s teaching the caregiver, the patient, the consumers [about products], whether it’s a lifestyle enhancement product or one that provides a little more dignity and independence, or it’s something that’s truly needed from a safety standpoint?” Cohon asked. “I think that there’s an opportunity to partner on education with Walmart, who has the traffic, the brand recognition and established trust with their consumers.”

With the array of products that consumers have in front of them at any given time, the trick is to provide “an interaction and the opportunity to understand what you don’t know,” Cohon said.

“That’s precisely what we have an opportunity to do with Walmart, and that’s what happens in the DME space. There’s someone there to guide you through that. You walk in for a wheelchair, and they say, ‘You should have a grab bar’ or ‘You’re really going to need a bath bench.’ ... That’s the part that’s missing, and that’s the part where Walmart can truly be a leader in the retail space.”

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