Independent stores have a certain charm to them, especially in our era of chains and international conglomerates. Visiting their stores feels more personal, more like a tailor-made experience – they probably even know your name and your kids’ names.
It can be more difficult to translate that personal touch digitally through ecommerce websites. But it can be done. More importantly, having a digital presence is vital for independent stores, including independent pharmacies.
With these bespoke pharmacies in mind, let’s take a look at some of the core reasons why launching an ecommerce store is not only sensible but necessary.
Many customers will buy their pharma products from multiple places. We have already seen how the pandemic has provoked shifts in consumer behavior, including the willingness to move away from familiar brands and try new ones.
The larger chains have invested heavily in developing greater ecommerce capabilities and, as a result, they have been scooping up sales from other pharmacy customers. Many of these people are shopping online for the first time after fighting off the inevitable overlap of ecommerce into people’s lives.
The risk is that you, as an independent pharmacy, will lose customers that know about or discover how convenient shopping online is and begin to build brand loyalty with competitor pharmacies.
It would be a double hit, given that not only will you lose out on business through retail sales but also through key subscription sales through prescriptions – which would heavily eat into your profits.
Broader revenue streams
An ecommerce pharmacy provides the ability to develop an online marketing hub for greater digital revenue as well as create a broader brand presence and bring in more and more customers.
Pharmacies can bring in new customers on a local level, national level, or international level depending on the logistical capabilities of the pharmacy.
When it comes to products, you can test them out online without needing to stock physical shelves, too. And besides products, you can even consider providing health services such as consultations and webinars.
eCommerce websites for independent pharmacies have been expanding their clinical services – such as flu vaccination services. Beyond that, there are many more services that pharmacies can cater towards, such as blood glucose testing, otoscopy, and so on.
Each time a customer comes to your pharmacy website, whether they’re there to order a prescription, search for products, or simply read your blog, they will get clarity over what services you offer.
With broader streams of customers begin to be channeled through the digital universe, the pharmacy is going to be receiving fewer and fewer calls about products and orders. This eliminates human error as customers will be going through automated processes online.
In addition, customers will be able to search and order products, prescriptions, and services much quicker on your pharmacy website. What this all adds up to is that pharmacies will be able to spend less time on the phone and more time on their jobs.
Plugging your pharmacy into the internet creates a pool of data that helps you understand your customers better.
This type of customer data can hugely influence categories such as purchasing decisions, stock management, and marketing both digitally and in the physical pharmacy.
Local customers will be able to place prescription orders from the comforts of their own homes if you have an ecommerce store. And in just a few clicks, they’ll be able to let your pharmacy know they want to collect their prescription.
Above all else, they’ll be able to do this whenever they remember. It can be done at any time of the day, on any day of the week from any device. Or you can even send them reminders so that they don’t forget.
eCommerce websites have the ability to become the central hub of a pharmacy. Through content marketing strategies, pharmacies have the potential to become a local region’s healthcare expert.
You can build up your website to be a key resource for reliable healthcare information – and that can be accessed by not only locals but potentially the world. An online pharmacy allows you to market to new segments of the population and capture more customers.