Pharmacies are one of the fastest-growing and evolving businesses in Ireland and with a large customer base already built-in from their location, they have a great opportunity to grow their pharmacy retail offering.
One of the main challenges for independent pharmacies is standing out from their competition while maintaining employee and patient safety and driving revenue. Here are five ways pharmacies can streamline and grow their retail offering:
1. Build strong customer relationships
To create trust, pharmacists need to build strong relationships with their patients by getting to know them and their unique needs. This improves patient care and establishes your pharmacy as a trusted partner when it comes to their health and well-being.
One of the main challenges for pharmacies is finding time to offer a personalised touch to customers. By using a strong CRM system that seamlessly integrates with their EPOS system, pharmacies can make better recommendations for their customers. The user profile stored in their till system can provide that personalised feel at the touch of a button, allowing the pharmacy team to advise customers when a subscription is due for renewal and see what medications or purchases the customer has made before.
With their time freed up, pharmacists can have more important conversations about the well-being of their customers and make informed recommendations for complementary purchases. Customers are more likely to return when they feel cared for and like that they can rely on and trust the expertise of the pharmacy team they are dealing with.
2. Grow loyalty
A strong CRM will also allow pharmacies to reach out to their customers with seasonal promotions and information, for example, in the summer months they can promote special offers on sun protection products or advice on how to deal with hayfever! Promotions can be tied to certain grouped products, ensuring customers buy more items online or in store.
Pharmacies can also encourage repeat visits, by giving bonus points for every purchase, or additional points for shopping online. Pharmacies can then grow their customer base by offering Gift Cards, encouraging their existing customers to spread the good word (and get some rewards for themselves in the process).
With a strong loyalty and gift card scheme, customers will stay connected to their pharmacy and will shop with them at any of their convenient branches across the country.
3. Renew/order prescriptions online
Consumers are continually looking for greater flexibility around how they shop, including filling prescriptions and picking up over the counter medicines. One of the strongest ways for pharmacies to grow their retail business is to allow their customers to renew and order prescriptions online.
By integrating an eCommerce system with their EPOS system, pharmacies can allow their customers to easily renew and order from their mobile device, and stop by the pharmacy to collect their prescriptions. This gives greater flexibility to consumers and gives a more managed workflow for the pharmacy team.
4. Expand into new product areas
An eCommerce website that is integrated with their EPOS system, also makes it easier for pharmacies to sell a greater range of products and further expand their pharmacy retail opportunities. Prescription and over the counter medication are the bread and butter of a pharmacy’s revenue, however offering additional products can increase sales and give customers a reason to shop, even when they don’t have a prescription.
Additional retail offerings for pharmacies such as beauty products, supplements and sports nutrition can provide a completely new stream of revenue through an omnichannel shopping experience.
Using strong reporting from their EPOS system, pharmacies can also learn what products and ranges sell best, and prioritise these in future customer communications and loyalty programs.
5. Grow your number of locations
With a loyal customer base and a strong loyalty program, a natural step is for a pharmacy to open new locations.
An integrated EPOS system and an eCommerce offering will mean that pharmacies can easily roll out the exact same stock, till system and customer accounts to new locations, and manage them all from one location. Strong reporting will allow new locations to hit the ground running with top-selling product lines and tried and tested customer loyalty programs.
Driving the future of pharmacy retail
Utilising the features of a strong EPOS system, pharmacies can save resources, while growing their customer base and increasing sales, revenue streams and grow their overall pharmacy retail. Retail Integration’s Meridian Retail system offers all of the above and has already seen great success with pharmacies across Ireland.
Mulligans Pharmacy Stock Project Manager, John Paul Walsh said:
“From going into partnership with Retail integration, our business has begun to take steps forward. After 20 years with a different EPOS provider, Retail Integration has provided a fresher view of how their system can streamline our business and deliver us with the information we need in the timeframes that we require it to be available. We have been able to streamline our stocktaking process so we can complete them in a much more efficient way as well as using the in-store ordering system to ensure we get our goods into our stores at the right time to serve our customers”.