5 Tips for Increasing Sleep Aid Sales (and Helping Patients)

5 Tips for Increasing Sleep Aid Sales (and Helping Patients) by Elements magazine | pbahealth.com

Did you get a good night’s sleep?

For many patients, sleeplessness is a common problem, and your pharmacy can help. A recent survey from Field Agent, a marketing company, examined the common problem of sleeplessness and found several key insights about sleeplessness, those who suffer from it, and common remedies.

Use these key insights and tips about sleeplessness to help recommend over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids to your patients. You’ll help them sleep soundly, and you’ll boost your pharmacy’s front-end sales. 

1. Sleeplessness is common

The Field Agent survey found that sleeplessness is a common—and reoccurring—problem.

According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents have trouble sleeping and 18 percent reported having “a lot to extreme” trouble sleeping. Sleeplessness reoccurs one to two nights per week for 39 percent of respondents, while 7 percent feel restless every night of the week.

Tip: Because sleeplessness is common and reoccurring, consider creating an event at your pharmacy (or at your local community center) to talk about home remedies and OTC treatment options to combat sleeplessness. The widespread nature of the problem will draw a large crowd and give you a chance to share information about the sleeplessness remedies your pharmacy offers.

2. Patients are looking for answers

Of those suffering from sleeplessness, 41 percent reported turning to the Internet for answers, and 40 percent consulted friends and family for advice, according to the Field Agent survey.

Tip: Use your health care expertise to provide patients with quality information about sleeplessness and their treatment options. Your status as a health care provider will lend credibility to your advice, and counseling patients about this problem will build your relationships with them.

3. Sleep aids are commonly purchased OTC

Among the 51 percent of respondents in the Field Agent survey who said they have used a sleep aid remedy in the past year, 84 percent used an OTC sleep aid.

According to the survey, two main factors drove patients in their OTC sleep aid selection—cost and natural ingredients. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they choose the lowest cost sleep aid option, while 41 percent reported choosing a natural remedy.

Tip: Knowing that these factors drive buying behavior, stock sleep aids that are both low-cost and natural. Also, consider putting together an end cap with your lowest cost option and natural options to attract patients’ attention. When you’re counseling patients, ask if they have a price point they’d like to stay under or if they’re interested in natural remedies, and recommend a product based on their answers.

4. Brand names matter

When asked which sleep remedy they bought most recently, 44.7 percent of respondents in the Field Agent survey said they purchased Tylenol® PM, making it the most commonly purchased OTC sleep aid.

Zzzquil™ tablets and Zzzquil™ syrup followed Tylenol with 24.7 and 23.5 percent respectively.

Tip: Use planograms or stand-alone displays from manufacturers to promote commonly purchased sleep aid brands. Draw attention to these displays by placing them near the checkout counter. Remind patients at the counter to consider purchasing a sleep aid to have on hand, just in case.

5. There’s an information void

Thirty-five percent of respondents in the Field Agent survey who have trouble sleeping didn’t seek advice from anyone, and only 5.5 percent of respondents reported turning to their pharmacist for advice about their sleep problems.

Tip: Use social media—which has a wide reach—to establish your pharmacy as an expert source of information about sleep aids. Also, consider creating a display in your pharmacy about sleeplessness, symptoms and options for OTC products that can help treat it.

Help your patients get a good night’s sleep by incorporating these tips into your pharmacy.

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Elements is written and produced by PBA Health, a buy-side solutions company.

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