For five consecutive years, Lakeside Marketing has been working to grow some of the largest e-commerce accounts for Standard Process, a supplement manufacturer with organic farm fields and production facilities in Palmyra, WI.

Choosing the Right E-Commerce Platform: Insite vs. Shopify

Choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial for healthcare practitioners. It’s not just about selling products; it’s about creating a seamless, engaging online experience for patients and clients. Two popular options are the templated Insite standard process websites and Shopify API drop-ship websites, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here’s how each stacks up…

Here is an example of a Standard Process Insite Website, hosted at

Insite Standard Process Websites: Simplify Your Digital Entry

For practitioners new to the digital world, Insite websites offer a straightforward, low-maintenance solution. Hosted on, these templated sites provide essential e-commerce functionalities, including subscription services and tax handling, without the overhead of a custom-built site. While they offer ease and profitability, Insite websites come with limitations in customization and engagement—factors crucial for building long-term patient relationships.


  • Low maintenance – Hosted on, eliminating the need for technical oversight.
  • Built-in features – Includes subscriptions and tax handling to ease operations.
  • Lower overhead – Reduces costs with templated designs and integrated support.


  • Limited customization – No option to add unique content or tracking codes.
  • Reduced engagement – Lacks features like blogs, chat support, and user reviews.
  • High free shipping threshold – May deter average purchases, affecting sales.

Here is an example of a Shopify with Standard Process API Integrated Website, owned by Dr. Bill Hemmer

Shopify API Drop-Ship Websites: Customize Your Digital Experience

For those seeking a more tailored approach, Shopify API drop-ship websites offer extensive customization options. From blogs and chat support to loyalty programs and analytic tracking, Shopify allows practitioners to build a comprehensive online clinic that reflects their brand and meets their patients’ needs. However, this increased flexibility comes with higher initial costs, ongoing maintenance, and a steeper learning curve.


  • High customization – Tailor your site with blogs, chat support, and more to match your brand.
  • Enhanced engagement – Build trust with reviews, deals, and loyalty programs.
  • Scalability – Ideal for growth, allowing for multiple product lines and services.


  • Higher costs – Initial setup and ongoing maintenance can be expensive.
  • Complex management – Requires more time and expertise to manage effectively.
  • Additional fees – Costs accrue from tax collection, credit card fees, and add-ons.

Understanding Your Short and Long Term Goals

When planning your digital transformation, it’s crucial to align your efforts with both your immediate objectives and your vision for the future. As the healthcare industry increasingly moves online, understanding and setting clear, strategic goals for your practice becomes essential. Here’s a list of practice goals to consider as part of your e-commerce strategy:

Short Term Goals:

  1. Increase Patient Engagement – Aim to boost interactions with your patients through your website and social media channels to foster stronger relationships.
  2. Enhance Online Visibility – Improve your practice’s online presence through SEO, content marketing, and social media to attract more visitors.
  3. Streamline Appointment Booking – Implement an efficient online booking system to reduce administrative workload and improve patient convenience.
  4. Boost Product Sales – Increase sales of health products or supplements by optimizing your e-commerce platform and marketing strategies.
  5. Improve Patient Education – Offer valuable content such as blog posts, videos, and resources to educate your patients and position your practice as a thought leader.

Long Term Goals:

  1. Establish a Strong Brand Presence – Develop a distinctive brand identity and message that resonates with your target audience and differentiates your practice.
  2. Expand Services and Offerings – Plan to introduce new services like health coaching, at-home lab tests, or nutritional assessments to provide more comprehensive care.
  3. Build a Community – Create a loyal community around your practice by engaging with patients, encouraging reviews, and offering rewards.
  4. Scale Operations: Aim to expand your practice, whether by opening new locations, adding new practitioners, or extending your service hours.
  5. Achieve Sustainable Growth – Focus on sustainable business practices, such as maintaining a steady flow of new patients, retaining existing ones, and managing overhead costs efficiently.
  6. Innovate Healthcare Delivery – Leverage technology to offer innovative solutions like telehealth, personalized medicine, and integrated patient care.
  7. Enhance Patient Outcomes – Commit to continuously improving patient outcomes through better diagnostics, treatment plans, and follow-up care.

Features and Strategies to Consider for a Shopify Drop-Ship Site

Consider a Shopify API integrated website for the following features and strategies. These elements are crafted to significantly improve online presence, enrich patient experience, and streamline operational efficiency, making them crucial for the success of any modern healthcare practice. Which ones would you like to add to your clinic’s website?

  1. Regular, Searchable Content
    Develop and publish consistent content every two weeks.
  2. Landing Pages for Advertising 
    Create specific landing pages for different campaigns, services, or products, which can be directly targeted in digital ad campaigns.
  3. Digital Services Expansion
    Introduce digital services such as nutritional assessments, virtual consultations, and personalized treatment plans to enhance patient care beyond the physical clinic.
  4. Multiple Clinic Integration
    If your practice operates across multiple locations, ensure your e-commerce solution can cater to all, providing a unified patient experience.
  5. Branded Experience
    Tailor the look, feel, and messaging of your online presence to reflect your practice’s values and brand, creating a memorable experience for patients.
  6. Community Building Features
    Engage with your patients through features like comments, reviews, product ratings, and social groups to foster a sense of community and trust.
  7. Points and Rewards Systems
    Implement loyalty programs to reward patients for purchases, referrals, or engagement, encouraging repeat visits and fostering loyalty.
  8. Multiple Product Lines
    What lines, do they have a drop-ship program? Is it a simple integration?
  9. Social CTAs (Calls to Action)
    Utilize social media integrations and CTAs to encourage patients to connect with your practice on various platforms, enhancing your reach and engagement.
  10. Chat and Customer Service
    Offer live chat or customer service options to provide immediate assistance and support to your patients, improving their overall experience.
  11. Health Coaches, Nurse Practitioners and At-home Labs
    Consider offering services from health coaches and at-home laboratory tests to provide comprehensive health solutions that extend beyond traditional clinic visits.

Which is right for you?

Choosing between Insite and Shopify depends on your current needs and future goals. Regardless of your choice, we are here to support your journey toward digital success. The digital landscape for healthcare practitioners is rich with opportunities but navigating it requires careful planning and support. Whether you’re drawn to the simplicity of Insite websites or the expansive potential of Shopify, Lakeside Marketing is your partner in crafting a digital strategy that aligns with your goals, engages your patients, and grows your practice.

Let’s Build an Amazing Experience For Your Patients

At Lakeside Marketing, we specialize in bridging the gap between these e-commerce solutions and the unique needs of healthcare practitioners. Our services are designed to optimize your online presence, regardless of the platform you choose. Here’s how we can help:

Tailored Email and Social Marketing

Our targeted email marketing campaigns and social media strategies are crafted to engage your patient base and build lasting relationships. By leveraging the strengths of your chosen e-commerce platform, we help you deliver valuable content, promote your services, and stay connected with your community.

Seamless Integration and Support

We understand the challenges of navigating taxes, nexus laws, and the myriad details of online retail. Our team provides the support you need to manage these complexities, ensuring your online clinic operates smoothly and efficiently.

Brand Building and Online Presence

Whether you’re starting with a templated Insite website or venturing into a customized Shopify solution, Lakeside Marketing is here to help you build your brand and grow your online presence. From content creation to digital advertising, we offer a range of services tailored to the needs of healthcare practitioners.

In an industry where the personal touch matters, let us help you extend that touch to your online presence. Together, we’ll ensure your e-commerce solution not only meets today’s needs but paves the way for tomorrow’s success. Join forces with us, and transform your online approach to better serve your patients and grow your practice in the digital age. Reach out to us, and we will arrange a 20-minute consultation to gain a deeper understanding of your practice’s goals and objectives.

About Author

Pete Wisniewski

Pete Wisniewski is partner of Lakeside Marketing. He is based in Lake in the Hills, IL and can be found exploring the local hiking trails and working with community groups to create positive change.