In 2009, Andrew Hippert had an accident that nearly ended his life. He broke his neck diving into a pool, damaging his spinal cord. His resulting condition of quadriplegia inspired Hippert to found Living Spinal, an online retailer of products for all people in wheelchairs.
“I didn’t know how difficult it could be for people with paralysis to communicate their needs over the phone to receive the right medical supply advice and products,” he said.
The main obstacle Hippert faced was that most customer service representatives in the industry didn’t have any experience with the products he needed.
“If you have never lived in a wheelchair and tried to use a catheter, or taken a wheelchair to a park, or even pushed yourself up a steep hill, it’s hard to understand the difficulties and help others with creative solutions,” he said.
At Living Spinal, that isn’t a problem.
“Our customers will never have to beat around the bush with us or have to explain their situation multiple times,” Hippert said. “If someone in a wheelchair needs to speak with someone who understands life in a wheelchair, they can give us a call. We will never make our customers feel embarrassed asking us their questions, and we will always try to provide them with helpful information from our first hand experience.”
With that first-hand experience, Living Spinal is deeply involved in finding the resources to help people with disabilities enjoy their lives.
“Our focus is connecting with customers to better understand how we can use the products available all over the world to improve their quality of life,” Hippert said. “Keeping them involved in their families lives, playing on the playground with kids or grandkids with a FreeWheel, NaviONE, or Firefly wheelchair attachment. Joining friends or family, independently moving all over the beach on vacation with a Freedom Trax. Riding all over the forest and trails up a mountain with a Zoom all-terrain vehicle.”
The business’s inventory includes wheelchairs, power assists and handcycles, seated segways, medical supplies, and many more products for daily living and comfort.
Living Spinal’s ultimate goal is to help find a cure for paralysis, Hippert said.
“In all of the time Living Spinal has existed, we’ve donated a portion of sales toward funding research, which will one day help millions of people around the world,” he said. “We are serious about this pursuit.”
Living Spinal goes Fast
In March of 2021, Living Spinal partnered with checkout platform Fast. Fast is home of Fast Checkout, a one-click payment button that allows shoppers to make purchases in a matter of seconds. When customers click “Fast Checkout,” they skip the process of entering their address and payment card details.
Customers only have to enter their information one time, when they’re making a first-time purchase via Fast Checkout. Afterwards, shoppers never have to fill out numerous forms again to buy something at any store that uses the payment button. Once they click “Fast Checkout,” their items are instantly ordered. And if they want to update their order, Fast offers a five-minute window after checkout to do so.
“At Living Spinal, we’re hyper-focused on giving our customers the best experience possible on our website, and that includes a simple checkout process,” Hippert said. “A significant share of our customers have used Fast to place their orders at lightning speed.”