Running any company comes with the need to adapt to remain profitable. The Pharmaceutical Industry is no different, especially because we live in an era that is always looking for innovation. Staying innovative is made particularly harder for those who own and run independent pharmacies because the current trend is that pharmacies are being bought or partially owned by bigger players in the industry. However, there are always ideas you can implement to set your pharmacy up for even more success. So what can you do to take your pharmacy to the next level?
Do your market research
Ensuring that you stock what your customers are looking for is a great way to boost non-prescription sales. You can’t only rely on your intuition for this, so reviewing data like your product sales and conducting market research will help guide you when making profitable decisions. A study conducted by revealed that cold & allergy, vitamins & dietary supplements, and pain relief categories represent nearly 43% of unit sales in health and wellness, so having insights like these can help you determine which products your customers are keen to purchase.
Use your pharmacy’s floor plan to your advantage
Once you’ve got a better understanding of the products your customers regularly purchase, you can take steps to make these easier to locate. You know which areas of your pharmacy attract more foot traffic, so putting popular merchandise in these areas is a great way to help boost sales. Areas near the prescription counter and the aisles leading your customers to the tills have great foot traffic, so placing the more popular products there is a strategic choice. Also, once you’ve identified these products, you can use your floor plan to display any complementary items nearby. For example, customers looking to buy generic medication for a cold could benefit from buying tissues as well. So stocking those items close to each other will help your customer efficiently navigate your store.
Be your own secret shopper
Routinely go through your aisles and pretend that it’s your first time there. Think about whether your store looks inviting and if you’d enjoy shopping there. If you’re unable to, perhaps ask someone close to you to go undercover and get their feedback. The point of the exercise is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers to get a better understanding of what their experiences might be. Perhaps your store could use brighter lighting, an update in décor or a fresh coat of paint.
Evaluate your customer service approach
Everything starts and ends with customer service. Exceptional customer service is another important way to boost sales. Train your staff to go the extra mile by providing personalised service to the best of their ability. A great example would be to ask your staff to keep track of your regular customers so that they can be referred to by name. Not only will this help your staff keep track of the items your regulars usually buy, but this will also help take their customer experience to the next level because this builds trust. People tend to return to stores where they feel they have personal connections to the staff.
Train your pharmacy team to cross-sell and upsell
Some medications cause drug-induced nutritional deficiencies and your pharmacy is the perfect place for your staff to upsell nutritional supplements to these customers. By training your staff to upsell, they’ll be able to provide value-adding customer service while boosting your sales. For example, a customer needing medication for iron deficiency can benefit from buying vitamin c supplements to help with the absorption of the iron – training your pharmacy team to recognise this and have that discussion with your customer boosts the customer experience and your sales.
Make use of technology
Using a pharmacy automation system will result in your team using their time more efficiently. Adopting automation, particularly for time-consuming tasks like managing customer information or the retrieval of medication etc. improves the accuracy of the information while creating a better customer experience.
The bottom line
Remember that your pharmacy is more than just a place to fill prescriptions. It’s a place that offers your customers convenient products, beneficial supplements, food and various household items. Implementing ways to boost the sales of these items not only benefits your customers but also benefits the bottom line of your pharmacy. To understand how we can fund your pharmacy’s growth, contact Merchant Capital today.