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4 Ways to Differentiate Your Pharmacy from National Chains

4 Ways to Differentiate Your Pharmacy from National Chains by Elements magazine |

August 17, 2015

With national chain pharmacies offering more clinical services such as medication therapy management, immunizations and specialized disease care, it’s harder than ever to set your independent community pharmacy apart.

Fortunately, there are several things you can offer patients that the national chains can’t.

Here are four ways to make your pharmacy more appealing than the big-box chains.

1. Reinvest in your community

A study completed in Salt Lake City, Utah, found that independent retailers return 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, while national chain stores return only 13.6 percent.

Let your patients know that by using your pharmacy, they are also investing in their community.

Demonstrate your community commitment by supporting local charities and organizations, and consider stocking your front end with products from local companies. Unique, local products won’t be available at the national chain pharmacy down the street.

2. Develop a reputation for excellent customer service

As an independent community pharmacy, you have the opportunity to give patients the medications they need, and a positive interpersonal experience, as well.

Often, pharmacists at national chains are too busy to step out from behind the counter to help patients select the best over-the-counter medication for their allergies, or answer their questions about getting a flu shot.

Learning your regular patients’ names and knowing what is important in their lives allows you to create a positive experience with each visit, and it enables you to better meet their health care needs.

3. Be known for short wait times

While some patients might love to stop and chat for a few minutes, others will always be on the go.

Set your pharmacy apart by getting these patients in and out the door quickly with exactly what they need. Once patients compare this service to the long wait times at the national chain pharmacies, they’ll come back to you.

If fast, efficient service is something you’re able to provide consistently, consider advertising it.

4. Localize your care

While national chains rely on their breadth of care and service offerings, tailor your pharmacy’s selection to your community’s needs.

Consider the needs of your patients by researching your area. Are you located in an area with an aging population? Are you in a popular neighborhood for young families? Or, are you in an area with lots of middle and high school athletes?

The products, services and resources you offer should meet your community’s needs.



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