October 9, 2014
How often do you use coupons in your pharmacy? A survey recently conducted by the online coupon site RetailMeNot found that 96 percent of Americans use coupons when they shop. This 96 percent spans across all ages and all income levels and emphasizes that using coupons is not just for low-income households, but is a part of today’s shopping experience.
The survey also found that 80 percent of shoppers simply feel smarter when they use coupons. The trend towards “smart shopping” is undeniable: Today’s consumers both want and, in some ways, expect to save on the purchases they make. What they buy in your pharmacy is no exception.
Although deals and bargains aren’t what generally bring patients into your pharmacy, there’s no reason why you can’t use them occasionally to increase traffic. Take advantage of these three opportunities to distribute coupons and you’ll empower your customers as “smart shoppers,” while also boosting your front-end sales.
Hand out a “new customer” coupon that requires customers to return to the store to use it; for example, $5 off their next front-end purchase. You might also consider asking if you can email them a coupon. This will both encourage the customer to return to use the coupon and ensure that you get their contact information for your email list.
Using social media to offer coupons is a win-win: you get more online followers, and your customers save money. According to the survey, seventy-nine percent of Facebook users “like” a company just to receive discounts. Even more importantly, they’ll be willing to share it with friends: 53 percent of users recommend stores and products—and their coupons—on their own profiles.
Tell customers in your pharmacy to “like” your page for a special coupon. Chances are, they’ll do it and they’ll share it with their friends and family. You’ll have even more new and returning customers shopping in your front end.
Loyalty programs provide countless opportunities to offer discounts and, by extension, to market your pharmacy. As a start, you can offer welcome rewards, birthday rewards and members-only discounts off specific front-end products. These coupons will guide customers towards your front end. Plus, the added incentive of earning points for the rewards program can keep customers coming back.
When planning your coupons, you should aim to offer a discount that is neither too general nor too specific, and an expiration date that is neither too soon nor too far away. Determine what makes the most sense for your pharmacy, and go from there. These guidelines will help ensure that the coupons will not only benefit the customer, but your business, as well. If managed correctly, coupons can satisfy your customers while giving you a big-time boost in sales.