December 12, 2013, 12:30 PM

Personalizing the B2B e-commerce experience

Health care products supplier Medline deploys Oracle technology to diversify web content for customers. “The site delivers a better experience for our customers,” Medline vice president of e-commerce Michael McMahon says.

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Medline Industries Inc., a business-to-business supplier of health care products to customers ranging from large hospital networks to small medical clinics and nursing homes, realized last year that it could no longer offer a “one-size-fits-all” e-commerce site to all of its customer segments.

“As a global company with more than 350,000 products that serves the entire continuum of care, Medline and its online customer experience was not where we needed it to be,” says Michael McMahon, vice president of e-commerce.

Medline, which has used web site technology from Oracle Corp. since 2010, upgraded its e-commerce site’s personalization features in May on the Oracle ATG Web Commerce 10.1 e-commerce software platform. Now when visitors first arrive on, a pop-up window asks them to choose their area of health care, such as hospital networks, long-term care facilities, small physician offices and hospice care agencies. Once a visitor clicks her area of health care, the home page automatically switches to web content, including products available for purchase, images, research reports and educational materials, tailored to the chosen area.

As an individual buyer uses the site, the personalization technology further adjusts content to help her find what she needs, Oracle says. A purchasing agent at a long-term care facility or nursing home, for example, could search on for “drapes” and see search results for various types of window treatments, while a purchasing agent conducting the same search from a hospital would also see listings of surgical drapes.

Medline hasn’t commented on the impact of its newly personalized site on online sales, but McMahon notes an improvement in customer engagement. "In just two weeks, we saw a 60% increase in views of content targeted to decision-makers,” he says.

“Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce 10.1 provided the capabilities and personalization required for the diversity of our products and customer base,” McMahon adds. “The web site experience now meets our goals and, most importantly, delivers a better experience for our customers.”

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