July 6, 2015
Summertime means vacations, and many of your patients will be traveling all summer long. Is a visit to your pharmacy included in their travel preparations?
In 2014, Americans took 1.7 billion trips for leisure, and 452 million business trips, according to the U.S. Travel Association. And those travelers spent an average of $550 each on health care services before they departed, mostly in cash.
Traveling patients are a new marketing opportunity, a new set of potential patients and an additional way to generate revenue for your pharmacy.
Whether people are stocking up before leaving on a trip, or stopping by your pharmacy for relief mid-vacation, offering solutions to traveling patients allows you to help a specific segment of patients—and boost sales.
Make your pharmacy a travel health resource by providing the information your patients need. Stay up-to-date on travel immunization and medication guidelines, and advise your patients on what they need to know about traveling with their prescription medications. You could even post this information on your website or social media pages.
Set up front-end displays themed around a specific trip. One idea is a trip to the beach. You can include sunscreen, sunglasses, beach towels and small toys. Another display could center on a camping trip. Show off bug spray, BAND-AIDS® and s’mores supplies!
Stock travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and over-the-counter (OTC) medications in your front end. Some common OTC purchases by travelers include pain relievers, motion sickness medications and melatonin, so make sure they’re on your shelves and are easy-to-find. To encourage multiple purchases, display signs saying, “Buy one for home and one for travel!”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend putting together travel health kits for patients, so they’ll be sure to have everything they need while they’re away.
Many international travelers are required to receive additional vaccines before they head abroad. Some common travel vaccines include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis and rabies. Check your state’s regulations on which vaccines your pharmacy can offer, and consider adding them to your vaccination program.
Don’t forget to let patients know you offer these vaccines. Put a sign in your window and in front of your pharmacy. If your patients tell you about their upcoming vacation, let them know.
Once you have patients in your pharmacy for travel needs, it’s easy to introduce them to other products and services. Appeal to these patients, and boost your entire business.