Tried-and-true products probably dominate your pharmacy’s front-end sales, but if you want to remain profitable, you can’t rely completely on your old standbys.
Patients’ tastes and desires change over time, and your front-end product mix should reflect that.
By consistently reassessing your front end, you can keep up with the competition, win over new patients, and keep your current patients satisfied.
Here’s what you should be thinking about when you are building out your front-end product mix.
If your patients are coming in and consistently purchasing the same types of products, give the people what they want. Use the data from your point-of-sale system to find out what products are your bestsellers, and brainstorm ways to do more.
Pay specific attention to seasonality. If sunscreen is your bestseller in the summer, consider adding a wider selection of products with higher cost, higher margin options.
Looking at your point-of-sale data can also help you identify the products that aren’t selling. If you have any money losers, take them out of the front end and clear up the shelf space for something new.
Concentrate on front-end products that align with your branding. If you specialize in travel vaccinations, build out your front end to have a large selection of travel-related products. If you provide veterinary prescriptions, create a complementary pet section.
If you have a niche behind the pharmacy counter, expanding that niche into your front end can help you build your reputation and expand your market share. By ensuring your pharmacy services and front-end products work together, you can become a retail destination rather than another errand on shoppers’ to-do lists.
Be aware of the kinds of products your competitors are offering and how they are presenting them. If one of your competitors is prominently offering a certain product, your patients might come in asking if you have it, too.
Also consider what kind of products your competitors are not offering, as that gives you a chance to gain a competitive advantage. If you can offer something your competitors don’t, position it prominently in your front end and in your marketing. Using this strategy, you could win over new patients who are dissatisfied with their current pharmacy’s front-end selection.
As a small operation, you have an advantage when it comes to stocking trendy items in your front end. Chain operations have to go through a lot of red tape to change their product mix, but you can jump on a trend right away.
If you identify a trendy item that might do well in your pharmacy, purchase a small quantity and try it out. If it sells like hot cakes, you can expand your selection, and if it doesn’t take, you’ve only made a small investment.
Keeping your front-end product mix fresh isn’t only about what you have in the pharmacy — it’s also about how you display it.
Take advantage of your end caps. If you have a great product that’s been languishing in the middle of an aisle, put it in an end-cap display to give it new life and create demand.
Know where people tend to stop around your store and be strategic about placing products in those spots. Seasonal items can get a lot of love if they are placed near the checkout counters or close to the pharmacy waiting area.
Reorganizing your front end completely can help freshen up the space and showcase products, but when you make big changes, make sure to have clear directions for longtime patients who may be confused by the new layout.
A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.