July 18, 2017
Your patients are consumers. And your pharmacy is a retail outlet.
Even though patients can’t choose their prescriptions, they can choose which pharmacy to fill those prescriptions at. (And they have plenty to choose from!)
If you understand what consumers want and how they behave, you can apply that knowledge to your independent community pharmacy to attract more patients.
Surveys and studies can give you snapshots into what motivates consumers to buy and what determines where they spend their money.
Here are five consumer trends your pharmacy needs to know to start winning patients now.
Your pharmacy needs to build a compelling online presence to win over the modern consumer.
More than 65 percent of consumers conduct online research before stepping foot in a store.
The two most effective online channels are:
In fact, customer reviews and company websites are consumers’ second and third most trusted sources of retailer information.
If you haven’t already, create a standout website to highlight why patients should choose you. If you already have a website, keep it up-to-date and enhance it with some simple strategies. (Like these.)
Also, improve your pharmacy website’s search engine optimization (SEO) to get noticed. When someone searches Google for “pharmacy” in your area, is your pharmacy first in the search results? If not, improve your SEO or else those potential patients may never discover your pharmacy.
For customer reviews, boost your social media presence and encourage reviews of your pharmacy on Facebook and review websites, like Yelp and Google. Generate reviews by offering a small reward, like 10 percent off a purchase, for patients who write an online review.
How does your pharmacy make patients feel? A recent Mood Media survey of more than 11,000 shoppers found that a store’s atmosphere makes a big difference in the way shoppers feel.
Specifically, the survey found music as a significant factor:
In addition, 37 percent of consumers said they’re more likely to make impulse purchases when they’re in the right mood.
So, play music in your pharmacy to get more purchases from your customers, satisfy shoppers and improve your patients’ mood.
Also, design your front end to create an appealing atmosphere for shoppers. Consider seasonal decorations and current design trends to ensure you’re attuned to ever-changing consumer preferences.
Even with the prevalence of online and mobile shopping options that remove personal interaction, consumers still want to connect emotionally to the companies they buy from.
The need for emotional connection is particularly strong in millennials. Research shows that millennials are drawn to brands that are more humanized, transparent and focused on experience and community.
Make sure your pharmacy is active in the community and transparent with patients, and focus on building personal interactions in your store and through your online presence.
Your brand is the face of your pharmacy. Engage patients with your pharmacy’s personalized brand, which includes every part of your marketing. Consumers are more likely to connect emotionally with a brand that feels personal rather than generic and relational rather than transactional.
Nearly 60 percent of shoppers look up product information and prices on their mobile phones while shopping.
That means customers already inside your pharmacy may leave if they discover a better deal somewhere else using their phone.
In general, men are more likely to use their mobile devices to seek information or to compare prices, while women are more likely to download digital coupons.
Meet both customers’ needs. Provide rich and clear product descriptions in your front end and a knowledgeable staff. And offer mobile discounts to shoppers.
Also, know how your competitors are pricing their products. If your prices aren’t competitive, you could lose potential customers.
The internet and digital globalization have created an information-sharing culture. Companies sell information to one another for more personalized advertising and all that information sits within systems vulnerable to hackers.
With data breaches occurring to some of the biggest giants in the industry, like Yahoo, Target and The Home Depot, consumers have become more concerned with the privacy of their information.
Your pharmacy holds especially sensitive health and financial information that’s valuable to cyber criminals.
Make patients’ privacy your priority and secure your systems from a cyberattack.
Be sure to let your patients know how much you value their privacy and how you’re investing in its protection. Be prepared to answer specific questions from patients about how you store, protect and use their information.
Now your pharmacy can use these trends to turn consumers into customers.
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