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20 Strategies to Increase Non-Prescription Pharmacy Sales

20 Strategies to Increase Non-Prescription Pharmacy Sales by Elements magazine |

May 9, 2019

Inside: Supplement your sales behind the counter with a boost of revenue in front of the counter.

As profit margins for prescriptions continue to shrink, upping your game with non-prescription pharmacy sales is more crucial than ever.

From improving your customer service to expanding your digital presence, there are lots of small moves you can make that will add up to bigger profits.

Here are twenty creative solutions that go beyond slashing prices to boost your front-end sales.

1. Create curb appeal

With a welcoming storefront, you’ll attract new customers into your pharmacy. Attractive exteriors make people excited to see the interior.

But you don’t have to break the bank with a remodel of your exterior—small changes might do the trick. Put together window displays that stay fresh or place a chalkboard outside with a witty message.

Learn more: How to Make Your Pharmacy Storefront More Attractive

2. Embrace cross merchandising

Getting creative with the items you display together can result in customers seeing items they didn’t know they needed. It’s called cross merchandising, and you can use it to earn additional sales.

Placing batteries next to flashlights reminds customers not to forget them and to buy them even though they weren’t initially on their list.

Try some of these pairings:


Learn more: This Classic Retail Tactic Boosts Front-End Pharmacy Sales

3. Offer free health assessments

Pharmacy revenue is increasingly supplemented by clinical services. Nearly half of Americans over 40 say they would transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy that provides preventive care services.

Offering health assessments allows you to identify which services will benefit each patient and provides real evidence that your service can help. If insurance doesn’t cover the cost of the service, many patients will pay out of pocket.

Learn more: 9 Preventive Care Ideas to Boost Independent Pharmacy Profit

4. Create eye-catching displays

If your endcaps have the same products on them month after month, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Change up your displays regularly, and go above and beyond with your presentation.

Don’t place items customers already know they need on displays—instead, show them the things they didn’t know they wanted. Attract their attention with clever signage that captures their attention and makes them stop to really look at the shelves.

Try these creative display ideas:


Learn more: How to Get Creative with Front-End Displays to Boost Sales

5. Think about atmosphere

Once you get customers through the door, the pharmacy should be a pleasant place to shop.

Keeping the space clean and tidy is just the beginning. Choose music that you think your patients will appreciate and make sure it’s loud enough to hear but not so loud that it inhibits conversation.

Find subtle scents like lavender or mint that will put folks in a relaxed state of mind.

Learn more: Set Your Pharmacy’s Front End Apart by Engaging All Five Senses

6. Jump on holidays

Black Friday and Christmas are big for sales, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait around all year to take advantage of the holiday boost.

Run promotions around lesser-known celebrations to feel the holiday cheer all year round to boost non-prescription pharmacy sales. For example, put reading glasses on sale in March, during Save Your Vision Month.

Carve out some time to create your holiday calendar for the year.

This free calendar from Elements and this calendar from the Department of Health should cover all the holidays you can take advantage of.

Learn more: What Are the Top Pharmacy Days, Holidays, and Events to Celebrate?

7. Implement a rewards program

Rewards programs are an excellent way to convince patients to come into the store more often and buy more while they’re there.

A good rewards program will have positive reinforcement with regular benefits. It shows patients that if they shop at your pharmacy, good things will come to them.

Make it easy for patients to see how many points they have or how close they are to the next reward, and you’ll encourage them to make more purchases to cross the next threshold.

Learn more: How to Keep Pharmacy Patients Engaged With Your Rewards Program

8. Encourage impulse buying

Tempt patients into purchasing items that aren’t on their shopping list by encouraging impulse buys. Make them an offer they can’t refuse with low priced items within arm’s reach of the check out.

You can also shelve small toys or candies closer to the ground, at children’s eye level, so your patients’ kids can make the hard sell for you.

Learn more: How to Encourage Impulse Shoppers to Buy More Products They Need

9. Use planograms

If you’re overthinking shelving displays on your front end, you can hand that responsibility over to the experts by using planograms.

Planograms, put together by companies like Hamacher Resource Group, make shelving into science. The visuals show exactly where each product should be placed on the shelves in order to maximize their sales.

Learn more: How to Use Planograms to Guarantee Increased Pharmacy Retail Sales

10. Offer discounts

According to a RetailMeNot report, 28 percent of shoppers are more likely to spend more money when a retailer offers a percentage off their total. Seventeen percent will spend more when retailers offer deals on specific products. That means you can increase the average spend per customer even if you’re charging less per item.

Use these strategies to increase non-prescription pharmacy sales with discounts:


Learn more: How to Offer Front-End Discounts and Still Make a Profit

11. Learn the art of the upsell

Having a staff well-versed in your products leads to another opportunity: the upsell.

If a patient trusts the associate, it will be easy to convince them that a more expensive product will serve them better than the other, less-expensive product they came in for.

A good upsell will address the patients’ needs and make them feel like the pharmacy cares about their wellbeing.

Learn more: 10 Genuine Ways to Help Patients By Upselling Pharmacy Products

12. Know your shoppers

Different people have different shopping behaviors.

Learning the differences among all types of shoppers enables you to:


 Learn more: You’ll Want to Know These 5 Types of Pharmacy Front-End Shoppers to Increase Retail Sales

13. Have a great website

Before patients even arrive at your pharmacy, you can start making your case with a polished and professional website.

A study by Google showed that three quarters of people searched a store online before deciding to visit in person, so having a modern web presence is a must.

Learn more: 9 Things Your Independent Pharmacy Website Has to Have

14. Start a referral program

Referrals are the most effective form of marketing. So, getting current patients to refer your pharmacy is guaranteed to boost non-prescription pharmacy sales.

Ways to encourage referrals:


Learn more: 10 Easy Ways to Increase Patient Referrals

15. Know your bestsellers

Pay attention to the non-prescription pharmacy items that seem to fly off the shelves. Once you’ve identified these bestsellers, make sure they’re never out of stock.

If patients are consistently coming into the pharmacy for baby wipes and they find the shelf empty one day, they’ll start buying them somewhere else. Keep your customers loyal by never running out of the things they need.

Learn more: What You Need to Know About Measuring Pharmacy Inventory to Increase Revenue

16. Pay attention to trends

Keeping up with pop culture can pay off. With your finger on the pulse of things going on outside the world of pharmacy, you can take advantage of the moment.

This can mean stocking low-cost items that have big demand—think fidget spinners or Silly Bandz. One independent pharmacy capitalized on the fidget spinner craze, selling out its first order within a couple hours. The pharmacy ultimately earned thousands from the spinners at 50 percent profit and gained new patients through the increased traffic.

You can also use the items you already stock. For example, put together a display of snacks for a Game of Thrones watch party, a show currently watched by more than 17 million Americans.

Learn more: 5 Consumer Trends Your Pharmacy Should Know

17. Advertise

Advertising is essential to growing any business. If people don’t know about you, how will they visit you?

Advertising lets people know about upcoming promotions, but it also increases recognition of your name and brand. Bolstering your reputation within your community through advertising will have a positive effect for the long term as well as the short term.

Learn more: 5 Secrets to Advertise Your Pharmacy Like a Pro

18. Amp up your social media presence

Facebook is one of the cheapest ways to advertise, but you don’t need to spend money to raise your pharmacy’s online profile.

Make sure you have accounts on prominent social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. By posting frequently and interacting with followers, you’ll stay in the back of people’s minds and make them more likely to visit your store in the future.

Learn more: 17 Tips to Make Your Pharmacy More Successful on Social Media.

19. Host a unique event

Partner with a non-competing local business or organization to host an event in your pharmacy that will bring in new customers.

Reach out to local doctors to provide free health screening in your pharmacy. This will foster goodwill among your neighborhood and expose potential new patients to your pharmacy.

Learn more: How to Prepare & Plan for a Pharmacy Event

20. Use your POS system to its fullest

Methods to improve your non-prescription pharmacy sales might be hiding in plain sight, within your POS system.

Inventory management features can ensure products are never out of stock. And by automating some of the more menial parts of your business, you’ll have more time to focus on the customer.

Learn more: How to Easily Use Data to Improve Your Pharmacy’s Bottom Line


An Independently Owned Organization Serving Independent Pharmacies

PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is a member-owned organization that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, 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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