November 4, 2016
It may be easy to identify who your competitors are. But do you know what makes them tick?
How can you compete without knowing what services your competitors offer patients? How they market their business? Or, the ways they differ from your pharmacy? When you take the time to learn your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, your pharmacy can gain a competitive advantage.
Here are seven ways to successfully research your independent community pharmacy’s competition.
Performing a simple Google search, and utilizing the business tools Google provides, can reveal insights into your competitors.
Google Trends is an online tool that allows users to see how often specific words or subjects are searched on Google. You can stay up-to-date on industry news and even learn how your pharmacy compares to other pharmacies in searches.
When you search a term like “pharmacy denver colorado” on Google Trends, you’re able to discover the amount of user interest in the search term, where the search term interest is most popular and other queries Google users have searched in relation to the term. You can even compare one search term to another.
For example, if you type the name of your pharmacy in Google Trends, you’re able to see a more detailed analysis of search trends. And, you can even compare it to another pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens.
You can also keep an eye on your competitors by subscribing to their Google Alerts. The tool sends an email alert to you when new information like web pages, news articles or blogs are posted online about a specific subject.
You’ve probably already checked out your competitors’ websites, but have you done a thorough examination?
See how your rivals’ websites compare to your own. You could even learn something new that you’d like to include on your own website.
For example, if you notice that they have an “About” page that explains their pharmacy’s unique story, you may want to consider writing one for your own website.
Any proper investigation requires a detective.
Become a “spy” for your pharmacy and visit your competing local independents, national chain pharmacies and big box pharmacies as a customer. Visiting these stores firsthand can help you discover what your competitors do differently, and it can spark new ideas that you can adopt in your own pharmacy.
Inspecting your opponents’ social media is a must. Not only will you learn what types of content they post online, but you also can find out what their customers think of them by looking at online reviews they’ve received.
There is substantial power in online ratings and reviews, such as those on Facebook. Eighty-one percent of individuals claim to read customer reviews and ratings of a business, according to The Deloitte Consumer Review, The growing power of consumers, a May 2014 insight report by Deloitte, an auditing, consulting, financial advisory, tax and related services company.
For example, discovering that your competition has a negative review about its customer service or long wait times can give you a better perspective on what matters most to patients, and what your pharmacy should focus on.
Have you lost business to another pharmacy? Find out why.
If you want to get more extensive information on how your pharmacy differs from the competition and learn what you can improve on, send out a survey to patients who are no longer customers. SurveyMonkey is a free tool that makes it easy to create questionnaires and surveys to email to patients.
Ask questions like, “What made you change stores?” or “What does your new pharmacy offer that we don’t?”
It’s also beneficial to find out what your loyal patients think about your pharmacy.
Events are both a great way to network and to learn more about your pharmacy’s competitors.
When you participate in community events, like health fairs, you can learn what your rivals are up to, as they provide an opportunity for local businesses to exhibit.
Attending conferences is another great way to get inspired by other pharmacists.
Another research tactic is getting on the mailing list of a competing pharmacy.
Subscribe to its mailing list or e-newsletter to help you learn what new developments the pharmacy is working on. Doing so can also give you ideas of what you can improve on in your own mailings or e-newsletters.
Discover 10 ways your pharmacy can get ahead of the competition.