May 25, 2017
Is your independent community pharmacy differentiating its over-the-counter (OTC) offerings from the competition?
Chances are, you have a similar OTC inventory as other pharmacies.
Which may leave patients wondering why to choose your pharmacy for their OTC needs over another.
Data shows that 40 percent of people believe low price is the most important factor when making a purchase.
And, these compelling statistics illustrate the role discounts play in their decision:
If those statistics don’t convince you to start offering discounts, here are ten more reasons why discounts could boost your pharmacy’s front-end business.
Discounting items allows you to dispose of short dated inventory and items you plan to stop selling.
For example, if you order bulk Allegra® during allergy season, you might have excess when the season ends. It’s better to get some money for them than to let them expire on the shelf.
Place these items in the front of your pharmacy to make them more visible to your customers and offer them at a bigger discount.
Studies have found that people who purchase with a deal are more open to giving their contact information.
A database of customer information is valuable for marketing and for understanding your demographics. The better you know your customer base, the better you can serve them and sell to them.
So, offer customers a one-time discount to provide their email address. Or, ask them to take a survey to learn how you can better serve them.
Twenty-eight percent of shoppers are likely to spend more money if a retailer offers a percent off their total, according to a RetailMeNot report. And, 17 percent will spend more if retailers offer specific product deals.
For example, if a customer plans to buy a pack of Excedrin®, she’ll be motivated to buy three packs at 25 percent off instead of one pack simply because of the discount.
Or, if you offer 10 percent off customers’ total purchase, they’re likely to buy more products to make the discount matter more. (Think of when you have 10 cents off gas and wait until your car is empty to get the most savings.)
People are always looking for a good deal.
Hold a sale to get rid of slow-moving merchandise, overstock, discontinued products or seasonal items.
Promote your sale with signage, banners and bag stuffers.
Discounts are an effective marketing tool. If you send coupons to potential customers or advertise in the mail or newspaper, discounts serve the dual purpose of exposing new customers to your pharmacy and enticing them to come visit.
Both generate traffic to your pharmacy. Once there, customers will discover everything else you have to offer, including services and products they might not have known about.
If your discount gets someone to step through your pharmacy’s doors for the first time, it’s already a return on investment.
When people come to your pharmacy for a discounted item, they’re likely to buy other items as well. For example, a customer visiting your pharmacy for a discount on Advil® might also purchase vitamins while there.
Or, he’ll discover that your prices, selection, or services are better than his current pharmacy’s and become a new committed customer.
Many people are willing to travel to redeem coupons.
That means that people who are normally outside your market area, perhaps on the opposite side of town, are more likely to visit your pharmacy if their coupon will save them enough money.
So, don’t limit direct mail coupons to a restricted area. You might miss out on broadening your customer base.
A discount can showcase a new product to potential and existing customers. It also gives them a reason to try it out.
If you discount a quality product customers wouldn’t normally buy, they may get hooked and want to buy it regularly—even at the sticker price.
Advertised discounts also market the new product to existing customers and potential customers.
A loyalty program is a surefire way to build customer retention through discounts.
Loyalty programs give you access to customer information and buying habits, so you can tailor discounts to them. This keeps customers satisfied and prompts them to buy more products.
For example, offer a free product for every 10 that they buy. The more of these offers customers receive, the more committed they’ll be to your pharmacy.
Simply put, your customers are happier when they get discounts.
A study by Dr. Paul J. Zak from the Claremont Graduate University (backed by Coupons.com) observed the neurological effects of receiving a coupon.
Shoppers who received coupons showed 38 percent higher levels of the “happiness hormone” compared with those who didn’t receive a coupon. They also had lower stress levels.
In fact, receiving a coupon made the participants happier than receiving a gift.
Associate your pharmacy with happiness by giving your customers discounts.
Make your customers’ decision easy. Give them a discount and they’ll give you their business.
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