January 8, 2019
Inside: Draw new patients to your pharmacy and keep current patients coming back with these irresistible front-end deals.
With 77 percent of shoppers saying discounts can influence where they shop, it makes sense to incorporate deals into your business strategy. Creating special offers in your front end draws in new patients looking to save a little money. Done right, it can also nurture loyalty with repeat customers by making them feel appreciated.
To boost sales and generate new business, try these 12 front-end discount tactics.
Urgency and scarcity are the most common sales tactics in retail. Shoppers are more likely to respond to offers if they know they’re for a limited time, of a limited quantity, or both. Limiting your offers encourages people to act quickly for fear that they’ll miss out on the opportunity.
Offer “this week only” or “limited quantity” deals. Choose items that patients regularly use but might not need right at that time, such as toothpaste or skin care products. This strategy also works well for getting rid items that have been on the shelf too long or are set to expire soon.
Sometimes merely placing two complementary products together—like cold relief and hand sanitizer—is enough for an add-on sale. Other times, patients need to see some savings to decide to buy more.
Bundling products together for a discounted price can convince patients to buy two items instead of one. Take, for example, a patient who comes to your store for non-drowsy daytime cold and flu relief. Bundling daytime and nighttime products together for a discount will entice them to buy both products even though they were only looking for daytime relief.
Highlight the “community” part of independent community pharmacy by cheering on the local high school or college sports team with a special discount the day after a win.
In the South, grocery chain Piggly Wiggly ties football into its gasoline savings promotions with its Touchdown Savings program. For every touchdown the hometown team scores on Sunday, shoppers earn four cents off per gallon.
This strategy is common even among the most successful corporate chains: McDonald’s offers BOGO big macs when a city’s baseball team makes a double play. Subway offers a BOGO six-inch sandwich when the team gets nine hits.
Create an offer that fits your community to get more patients in your doors.
Patients over 65 do the lions’ share of spending at most pharmacies. Show them you appreciate their business with a special discount for seniors. Some retailers chose a specific day of the week to offer seniors a discount around 5 or 10 percent. Others offer a smaller discount every day of the week.
For savvy shoppers, this type of deal works wonders. They can’t resist paying $7 dollars for three packs of tissues when a single pack costs $3, for example. If they know they’ll need tissues in the future, that $2 in savings is a no-brainer.
Be careful with how and what you discount for volume, however. The benefits don’t always outweigh the loss in profit. Save it for items with high margins or items you need to turn quickly.
Your patients likely see deals every day telling them they can “take 10 percent off” of this product or that service. Since your pharmacy is a health destination, make your offers more engaging and appealing by providing meaningful advice along with the deal you’re offering.
For example, when you offer a Vitamin C immune-booster deal at the beginning of cold season or a discount on Vitamin D3 as the days grow shorter, tell your patients how these products can benefit their health.
Offer a five-dollar-off discount to people on social media for participating in a contest, liking your pages, or sharing your posts. That will help extend your marketing reach and the exclusive deal will draw in new patients who otherwise wouldn’t have visited your pharmacy.
If one day of the week is consistently slow for you, bring in more foot traffic with a weekly discount day. Whether it’s Monday Madness, Saving Sunday, or something else, offering a predictable day to save a little money fosters repeat visits and, in turn, loyalty.
Create a front-end offer to entice new patients to come to your store. Maybe it’s a $5 front-end gift card to new patients when they transfer their prescriptions, or a free multivitamin gift with a $10 purchase for first-time shoppers.
Once you get new patients into your pharmacy, you can showcase your superior customer service and potentially make them repeat patients.
Everyone enjoys receiving deals for their birthday, and you can reinforce a positive patient-pharmacist relationship with a free reward.
Give patients a discount off a front end-item, or give away a product of their choice up to a $10 value for their birthday. They’ll remember the extra thought.
Consider starting a front-end rewards program, which gives patients discounts based on the amount they spend in your store over time.
Your patients will not only want to continue buying front-end necessities at your pharmacy, but they’ll also come back to fill prescriptions and receive clinical services.
There are lots of choices when implementing a rewards program. Will you use a card system, or keep track of rewards digitally? When patients reach their spending target, will you offer prizes or discounts on future purchases or goods? (Learn how to promote your new loyalty rewards program.)
Discounts for the referrer and referred are great ways to expand your patient base.
Not only will your current patient receive a benefit for marketing your pharmacy, but you’ll also have the opportunity to interface with a patient you may not have met otherwise.
You can offer discounts for referrals, or even a free gift for new patients. (Read more tips for increasing referrals.)
Use smart discounts and special offers to attract new patients and strengthen relationships with existing patients.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their businesses. The company is an independently owned pharmacy services organization based in Kansas City, Mo., that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, distribution services, and more.
PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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