Customers expect more than the proven methods used in the past to entice them to spend money.
What works today may not work tomorrow as technology continues to evolve. In order to be competitive, independent pharmacists must be ready to embrace change. Online shopping is nothing new, but people are doing it more often than ever before, with 58.4% of internet users saying they make at least one online purchase every week.1
The pandemic has dramatically changed what people use to shop on the internet, with groceries seeing a particularly big surge. This is also true in pharmacies, with many wanting to have prescriptions delivered to their homes or order refills and over-the-counter medications, but then pick up purchases in-store.
“We know how important innovation is right now because the world is changing at a rapid pace,” said Tricia Simpson, vice president of pharmaceutical distribution marketing, e-commerce and transformation at Cardinal Health. “An independent pharmacy can focus on future success by taking a step or two toward innovation. This can be adding a relevant solution or creating e-commerce capabilities for prescription refills and over-the-counter products. »
Harnessing the power of e-commerce only takes 3 steps for the independent pharmacist:
Keep the personal touch. With 62% of online customers reporting making purchases based on previous customer service interactions,2 ensuring customers have the opportunity to interact face-to-face can lead to customer satisfaction and customer return. This personal touch is what makes independent pharmacy so important to the community.
Develop and maintain a presence on social networks. It may seem like a full-time job, but these Facebook and Instagram posts are a free way to spread awareness of a pharmacy’s name and provide customers with a way to contact the pharmacy anytime.
Use in-store/online promotions. Everyone loves a bargain and independent pharmacists can provide them.
Ultimately, independent pharmacy customers want what has always been the secret to independent pharmacy success: an unparalleled customer experience. Today, they want that experience in the form of on-demand services and the latest technology.
The Cardinal Health™ Pharmacy Marketing Advantage PLUS or PMA PLUS digital solution is a way for pharmacies to marry the old with the new. The platform offers customers an easy way to order prescriptions and over-the-counter products using a smartphone, tablet or computer. It also offers pharmacies thousands of products for customer delivery or in-store pickup.
“Historically, many independent pharmacies have been limited in storage space due to store size,” Simpson said. “Now, with PMA PLUS, independent pharmacists have access to both a personalized e-commerce site and an inventory of thousands of products that do not need to be stocked in-store. When a customer orders products through the e-commerce site, Cardinal Health ships them to the pharmacy for in-store pickup or delivery to the customer’s home.
Pharmacists using PMA PLUS get a personalized, mobile-friendly website; search engine optimization services to ensure their pharmacy ranks high in search results; a mobile app with prescription refill and marketing capabilities; the possibility of sending a weekly newsletter to patients; and a data-driven analytics dashboard.
PMA PLUS worked for John “JJ” Bernabei, RPh, CEO of Tri-State Medical Group Pharmacies, including three Medicine Shoppe stores. “We went around the neighborhood with our website and mobile apps, but we needed someone who knew best practices and could do it for us,” Bernabei said. “With PMA PLUS, Cardinal Health not only does the work for us, but it is individualized for each of our stores. Now that our patients have a selection of products to choose from through our e-commerce site, they spend more money on over-the-counter items than they can get from us. We make money and we continue to build our relationship with them. We provide them with their prescriptions, and we also provide them with everything they need for their daily life when it comes to their health.
- Kemp S. Digital 2022: global summary report. Press release. Published January 26, 2022. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2022-global-overview-report
- E-commerce statistics for retailers and online purchases in 2022. Press release. Accessed July 27, 2022. https://ecommerceguide.com/ecommerce-statistics/