Online marketplaces are popping up like mushrooms all around the world. Most of our readers will have used one or more, knowingly or not, and now a new one has been launched to service the care sector.
Online marketplaces are websites where multiple different sellers can sell their goods and services to multiple different buyers. There have been consumer sites like this for decades, starting with likes of confused.com and comparethemarket.com. Then they moved into travel with Airbnb and Booking.com, but lately there are marketplaces everywhere – even Facebook has a marketplace now, where buyers and sellers can meet and buy and sell.
But Wippet, which launched at the Care Show this month, is a specialised marketplace just for healthcare. It’s a B2B site where care providers can buy everything they need from wipes to wheelchairs, from furniture to food. But with Wippet customers can buy all these different things in one basket, with one login and one invoice – saving countless hours of administrative time that could be better spent delivering care.
The new Internet service is the brainchild of Matt Oxley who brought in two co-founders, John Barrowcliffe, an ecommerce and tech expert, and David Meikle a marketing expert.
“I know form first-hand experience the breadth and depth of services that care provision needs – and it entails the management of multiple suppliers across multiple locations with multiple different needs for each location. The complexity of the care service supply chain is mind-boggling. That’s what we’ve set out to simplify and that’s what we’re achieving with Wippet. The technological capability behind Wippet has existed for a long time, but nobody has applied it properly to benefit one of the sectors that needs it most.”
Wippet launched at the Care Show to great excitement. The site has the look, feel and functionality of the most sophisticated, but at the same time intuitive, consumer websites. John Barrowcliffe, known as JB, was the mastermind behind the platform:
“It was hugely complex to construct, but that’s what’s required to make it simple to use. There’s no point setting out to make life easier for care providers and then asking them to make significant changes to the way they work. For example, if we only managed transactions on credit and debit cards, many care providers would have had to change their preferred payment methods to suit us. That’s all backwards. So, we made sure that the site can accommodate existing payment methods, whatever they are. Suppliers can even upload credit terms with their customers, so their clients can enjoy the same flexibility on Wippet as they did before.”
The response from suppliers has been very enthusiastic. Wippet has already signed up giants to the care sector like Care Shop and Renray Healthcare, and many more. There are already about 20 suppliers on the site and they’re being added at an estimated rate of ten per month. You can find out more at www.wippet.com.